Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

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Member Reviews

Thank you so much, NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books, for the chance to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

Bishop is a city known for various things: recurring, windstorms, many sunflowers and missing women. When three women disappear in a stormy night, none is surprised and their daughter are left to fend for themselves, now living in a dusty shared house and trying to protect themselves. With secrets and lies, the girls are trying to survive. Delihah is the one caring for the other girls, while liking to move on with her boyfriend Bennett, but struggling to bear his touch. Whitney has lost her mother and her girlfriend, Jude, her twin, only wants to forget everything and everyone, but now the wind is whispering her secret: the fling she had with Delihah's boyfriend in the summer. And Bo is sure the city knows what happened to their mothers and wants to uncover it. They are in danger, because the land hungers for their blood too, now.

Where Darkness Blooms is a wonderfully eerie story about a peculiar town, mysterious disappearances and supernatural moments, with four girl as main characters with their lies and secrets and the determination to protect each other and uncover the truth. I loved reading this book. Since the very beginning the reader is captured by this city filled with sunflowers and wind and missing women, about secrets whispered in the wind and lies upon lies. A city founded on blood and secrets. The setting is pretty much amazing and chilling and I felt really involved in the story. By Bo's stubborness, Delihah's care, Jude's feelings, Whitney's pain. I was impressed and blown away by the author's writing style and characterization. Really amazing.
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Thank you for the advanced copy of this book! I will be posting my review on social media, to include Instagram, Amazon, Goodreads, and Instagram!
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Oh wow. This was a trip. I love a good magical realism novel, and this didn’t disappoint. The story was compelling and the characters were unique. Each bit of the plot was hidden until just the right moment, which made it easy to follow while still being surprising.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4

The tiny town of Bishop, Kansas has a long history of dead and missing women. Maybe it's the whispers in the raging wind, maybe it's the way the sunflowers sway knowingly; the one thing the townspeople know is that something is off in Bishop. 

When Darkness Blooms is a split-perspective novel that follows a group of young girls (Delilah, Bo, and twins Whitney and Jude) who have been drawn together by one thing - the disappearances of their mothers 2 years ago. As tragedy upon tragedy befalls the women in Bishop, the girls become more and more suspicious of the way their mothers disappeared. As they uncover more of the town's secrets, they realize their lives may now be in danger.

I would have loved for the book to get more into the history and lore of the area - we really only get a taste with the prologue and the hints of information the girls learn through the story. The cursed land is such an interesting angle, but I wish we got more on it! 

I also found the beginning of the book a bit difficult to get into because I kept mixing up the characters. As we learn more about them, the 4 main characters become more distinctive, but at the beginning, it is a bit hard to track. I also would have liked to hear more about the relationships between the girls and their families, especially how they came to live together. We don't get very deep into their dynamic outside of the main conflict of the book.

Overall this was a very interesting book. I loved the concept, and I think the themes rang very true throughout the heart of the story. You'll like this if you like thrillers with a paranormal bend to them.

CW for: murder, rape

Crossposted to Goodreads at:
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- thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc to review! 

- this was a decent read, with a spooky premise but a lackluster execution, but i enjoyed what was there. i just wish the plot holes were explained more and that character motives made sense, but an overall solid novel!
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This book wasn’t for me but I appreciate being sent it. It wasn’t interesting to me. I really liked the cover and I thought it would interest me but it did not.
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Where Darkness Blooms is the rare slow, creeping horror that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat without doing much of anything. It doesn't fully fall into the no plot just vibes category, but the plot plods along so slowly that it often feels like it. It follows, Delilah, Bo, and twin sisters Whitney and Jude, whose mother's all went missing from their small, dusty, windy, town. The four girls finally set out to solve the mystery and what follows is creepy, haunting and enraging. 

I really liked this. Creepy small towns, wronged women and plants with feelings are very much my vibe. I really loved the sunflowers, and I loved that right from the beginning, the reader understood what was happening. It makes the frustration and fear we feel for the girls feel so real and visceral. I also liked that each girl really had their strengths and their moment to shine. I do feel that they were all a little underdeveloped, especially Jude, but they were easy to root for and I felt all of their heartbreak and loss. I do think this followed a typical YA horror formula when it picked up in the end, but it had enough twists and enough heart to keep it fresh.

Ultimately, this is a horror novel that tackles real life fears in a smart way, with lyrical writing, It lets its main characters be messy and mean and sad, feeling all the complicated emotions teenage girls do. Its impactful, even when it flounders, and I think teenage readers will get a lot from it, but make sure you check or provide trigger warnings!
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Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Another YA female queer book about teenage girls and the weird relationship they have with the earth and flowers.  This was an interesting story, but I did feel a little cheated in the end.  It had a lot of good elements in the story , I just didn't feel a great connection to it, or a "hook" into the story.  It felt to me a bit Handmaid's Tale , which I feel has been done over and over as of lately. Not bad , but not fantastic.  meh
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I found it hard to get into Where Darkness Blooms, unfortunately.  I tried it twice but it just didn't pull me in -- I think the character voices were a bit too similar and I had trouble telling them apart and thus, caring about them.  However, I really loved the setting and it was wonderfully creepy, so I might give this one a try again in the future.
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I gave this a three out of five stars. I just thought it was okay. I did love the cover though. I really liked the characters.
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I wanted to like this but it just wasn't there for me. Too many pov's and main characters that seemed to have the same voice, I couldn't keep straight who was who. The beginning of sentences were so repetitive sometimes I thought I was rereading the same passage/sentence. I went back in one chapter and there were 4 sentences in a row that started with She, then a 2 sentence break, into 7 sentences again starting with She. The concept was great but sadly I think the writing and edits needed some help.
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Where Darkness Blooms is plenty creepy, atmospheric, dark, and a good thrilling read...if you don't read too closely. 
Don't get me wrong! A lot of readers will find the premise and the execution well developed and well executed. But like other reviewers here, there were chapters I struggled to distinguish the narrators from each other. I kept having to go back and re-read chapters because I felt like I was missing details. 

Ultimately, I do recommend this for classroom libraries because teen thrillers are all the rage right now and my students will enjoy this a great deal.
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great book and such great characters. I enjoyed the mystery and some romance. I also enjoyed the journey of the characters. I didn't know what to expect with this book but I enjoyed it .
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Definitely an interesting plot. This had the creepy atmosphere I was looking for but it was distracting that it seemed like the town really wasn’t concerned about what was going on at the beginning. The characters kept me reading though
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Poor pacing. Once reaching half way through the book I felt as though there should have been more progress made in the story. The characters were too similar and/or not fleshed out enough to be easily distinguishable.
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In the town of Bishop, there are secrets kept from the females but not the males.  The town is known for its beautiful sunflowers.  When a mother disappears, the four girls continue to live in their home.  They don’t understand why their mother disappeared.  The sunflowers whisper to them.  What do the sunflowers whisper?  Why did an 18 year old healthy girl die of a heart attack? Will the girls find out about the secret of the land? 

The novel is a supernatural thriller that starts off with a prologue of how Bishop began.  The novel is mysterious and at times creepy.  It is chilling to read but I did enjoy it.  I couldn’t stop reading as I wanted to know what happened to the four girls.  There was an explanation of why some girls died and some didn’t which made it seemed even scarier.  This is a book not to be missed if you like creepy books.  It’s a mystery and supernatural thriller combined.
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I’m all for settings with small towns harboring secrets and curses, and this eerie cover is perfect for the story.

To think I only considered sunflowers good for their seeds and looking pretty. After reading this novel, I’ll never look at them in the same way again. In a mid west town where the land thirsts for blood, sunflowers bloom where blood has been spilled. Let’s just say there are fields of sunflowers in the town of Bishop. The four MCs and POVs are Delilah, Bo, and twins Jude and Whitney. Their three mothers (who were best friends) disappeared two years ago and are presumed dead. The four teens still reside in the house they all lived in as a family. Their mothers’ disappearances don’t sit well with the girls and after clues and discrepancies come to light, they’re determined to uncover the truth. I admired their tenacity and perseverance – but wondered why it took them two years to begin their search. The novel certainly isn’t lacking in atmosphere (those sunflowers are freaky) or characters you love to hate.

I was curious about several things such as how the men benefited from feeding the land, why other citizens didn’t question why so many women went missing/died/ran away, why there was no hospital in town (and no one thought that was strange), and why there was apparently no outside communication with other cities or people. Part of the ending was what I’d hoped, but I was also confused about the other half. I’m still not sure what happened.

While this is a creepy, atmospheric read, I’d hoped several questions would be answered before the conclusion. Reviews are split, so if you don’t dig too deeply, this might be a suspenseful read you’d enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I went into reading WHERE DARKNESS BLOOMS without knowing much about it and I loved it!

The storyline was so compelling and the writing was so vivid and I couldn't put it down. I found myself completely drawn into each of the girls lives and felt deeply for each character.

*thanl you to Wednesday Books and netgalley for the gifted copy for review
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Definitely different than I expected. I didn’t hate it but it’s not my new favorite. Honestly it was a little weird. I get what the author was trying to do and I liked more because of it. Okay read overall.
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Another odd YA book with a white girl being consumed by flowers on the cover! Much like the other girl-with-flowers-for-eyes books, 'When Darkness Blooms' features recently abandoned female protagonists who live in an atmospheric town run by powerful people with a secret hell bent on keeping it - oh, and there are a lot of flowers.

Despite the copy and paste scenario, this was a fun read! The story behind Bishop, Kansas was creepy and intriguing. Hannah spent a great deal of time framing the town as its own character, mostly by making the flowers literally talk, but it was worth it since figuring out the mystery of Bishop was the most completing piece of the novel. The four storylines, each following the POV of the four sisters/friends, was confusing, oddly paced, and unbelievable. It doesn’t help that none of the main characters are particularly multifaceted -  One is perfect, another is angry, and the twins are opposites (aka wild and free vs. reserved and aloof). They don’t even like one another most of the time so it is difficult to get invested in their success as a group.

Ultimately, this is not a bad book, but if you want a book with a half girl half flower hybrid on the cover, I recommend 'House of Hollow' by Krystal Sutherland or 'Burn Our Bodies Down' by Rory Powers (although technically the cover is half girl, half corn). 

Thank you to NetGalley, Andrea Hannah, St. Martin's Press, and Wednesday Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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