Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

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Member Reviews

I loved this! The book was a quick, engrossing read. Spooky and all-engrossing, I can't recommend this enough.
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Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press & Wednesday books for the ARC.

WOW. I had no clue what I was getting into with this novel. I was interested mostly because if the genre and trying to branch out. The cover is very mysterious which also drew me. There were a few times I was ready to DNF because it just felt like it was dragging but then the sunflowers would grab a hold of me like they did the girls of the book. 

Each girl had their own voice and trauma. It was easy to tell the difference between them which was nice. The progression of their healing was wonderful. The author really gave a great example of female friendship. They were more sisters than friends. The way they came together for eachother in the end was admirable. 

I wasnt expecting the twist at the end. I wasn't expecting it to be a happy ending. It was nice way to end it.
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"Wash the blood off their hands..."

A town where the sunflowers whisper, the storms scream their rage and an offering of blood settles the ground the past settled on. Hannah crafted a slow burning narrative surrounding four girls and the mothers who've mysteriously gone missing.

The audiobook was narrated expertly by Rachanee Lumayo, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, Emily Ellet and Lindsey Dorcus. This full cast brings voice and persona to the array of characters in this novel. I feel this is one that is best to go in blind on. The writing style is easy to get lost in with the lush descriptives and eery setting.

I enjoyed the unique character personas and the backstory they each have. There are some areas that left me with questions and the buildup was longer than what I generally go for. Overall though, I had a hard time putting this one down.

Thank you Wednesday Books and OrangeSky Audio for the gifted copies in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. True rating 3.5/5
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Is this cover not just gorgeous??? Rhetorical, as always. Unfortunately though, despite this beautiful cover, this book ended up being just "okay" for me.... which is honestly super disappointing, as it was an ARC I was really excited about getting. I'm not much of a Thriller/Horror reader in general, but over the last year or so I've been trying to expand/diversify my genres and have found quite a bit of success (especially since, admittedly, I've been starting with YA horror stories and working my way up to books with higher intensities). One of my favorite books from last year was actually "House of Hollow" by Krystal Sutherland, a YA horror novel, and I think I may have set my expectations a bit too high because "Where Darkness Blooms" fell a bit flat for me. I understood what it was trying to accomplish, but I wish the execution was done better overall. While I would still recommend it to others - especially to those who, like myself, are just getting started with this genre - I found that there were some plot holes a bit too glaring for me to ignore, as well as some character motivations/decisions that didn't make sense (again, all imo).
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🌻Book Review:
Title: Where Darkness Blooms 
Author: Andrea Hannah 
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/ stars 
My favorite flower has been a sunflower since I was a teeny tiny gal, so the cover and plot of this book intrigued me. The whole idea was creepy and terrifying, but I don't feel like it was used to the extent of horror like it could have been. The idea of the sunflowers wanting blood was extremely eerie and gave me Children Of the Corn vibes. Overall, not too shabby. I just wish it had a little more creep to it 🫣.

The town of Bishop is no normal small town. This town has devastating windstorms, sunflowers that seem to whisper, many missing women, and rumored to have been founded on blood. Four young girls decide to find out what exactly is going on in Bishop when each of their mothers just up and disappear. The sunflowers give me chills!
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This is YA book about small town mystery where three woman go missing and their daughters trying to figure out what’s happened.
It has creepy vibes and small corrupt town atmosphere. It started slow, but eventually the story pace got better. Overall enjoyable read.
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This book has lots of good oooky-spooy vibes and the characters are all complex. The sunflowers from this book still live in my hear rent free a few months after finishing it.
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**Thank you, NetGalley, for this free ARC. This review is my opinion**

WOW!! I have no read such a creepy book in a long while! How have I not gotten into this genre sooner!? Andrea Hannah did an amazing job in laying the groundwork for this mysterious novel. I mean, look at the cover! Our lovely setting is a town called Bishop, which is known for missing women. Something is taking these women, and it isn't what you expect. The characters were so dimensional, even when I disliked one of them sometimes. I tore through this book in no time, but just forgot to put up this review. Also, I love that there is some rep for mental illness. As someone who has bipolar disorder, it feels good to see characters I can relate to in books.
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A slow burn, Andrea Hannah did a great job of building tension through shared trauma and unexplained events, leaving the reader questioning relentlessly. I was pulled into the store more by this relentless questioning than I was by the story, but it kept me reading nonetheless.

Where Darkness Blooms tells the story of missing mothers and the daughters that are left behind. It's haunting in such a way that the town itself becomes a character. Bishop isn't just any small town, it's a town where the sunflowers hold secrets that fierce winds stir to life.

Points for queer representation and for some seriously eerie scenes. Fans of Rory Power's "Burn Our Bodies Down" will enjoy this read.
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First, the novel’s concept was quite compelling and made me want to read it, along with the cover. Second, I’m all for feminism and women helping women, but this novel fell flat. There were too many plot holes and boring motivations for what was going on. Finally, the prologue was the strongest part of the novel, while the rest was quite dull.

Delilah, Whitney, Jude, and Bo (Whitney and Jude are twins) are the four perspectives of the novel. For the most part, I kept getting each of the girls mixed up with one another. Out of the three characters, Bo is the most fleshed out. Unfortunately, going back and forth between their perspectives made it much more confusing (and annoying) than it needed to be.

The explanation for why all three mothers left was a huge letdown. I get that they realized they were next on the hit list, but you can’t grab your children before leaving. Then the sunflowers wouldn’t let them back in to rescue their daughters. It was also weak and annoying when the daughters forgave their mothers in only a few minutes.

The fact that the men in the town had magical capabilities, which is why they could get away with this for so long, was just odd. It feels a bit yucky, too, as one, men sexually assault or commit violence against women without magic, and two, removing a woman’s autonomy is too much. The ending with the youngest of the men, Delilah’s boyfriend, Bennett, giving his blood to the flowers before leaving was odd. Is he going to catch up to them? Is the town dead now? Will the flowers try to enact revenge? I’m thoroughly confused! And as far as I know, this isn’t a series.

Speaking of the sunflowers, I still don’t understand the point of them. It’s been weeks since I read the book, and I thought I was missing something, but I don’t think I am. The sunflowers encapsulate the town, and by the end, we find out that the sunflowers represent the women the men killed to keep the town alive. But if that’s the case, why do the sunflowers crave more blood from women?! Is it supposed to represent the theme of white feminism or women not standing up for other women? If so, it gravely missed the mark.

I also felt let down by Eleanor’s character. Before the novel opens, someone kills Eleanor, and yet most people forget about her. Why should I be surprised since Eleanor is a black girl and the mothers are all white? By the end, the book felt like a white-women-rage kind of feminism than true inclusive feminism. Especially when we all know that more Black and Indigenous girls and women go missing or are murdered than White women and girls, yet the primary victims focused on in this book are all white. It’s a bit of a flaw for me. And yes, Hannah is white herself, and I’m not saying she cannot write white characters, but she should give Black characters better due in this book. Or at least recognize that Black and Indigenous women and girls go missing (are murdered) more often than White women and girls. I don’t know the proper protocol here, and I don’t want to speak out of turn as a white person.

There were some good themes that the author is trying to explore here, but this novel definitely needs more rounds of edits and rewrites.
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Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah, is a YA supernatural thriller about an eerie midwestern small town. With a long history of women disappearing. It follows four girls who live together after their mothers go missing. I loved the prologue to this book. It was everything I hoped for in this book. It was creepy, eerie, very unsettling but unfortunately, those feelings didn’t last. After the prologue, the rest of the book didn’t hold up to that feeling I had in the beginning. I didn’t like most of the characters. They fell flat and did not have much development much like the plot with its many issues and I found the motivations of some characters unrealistic and made no sense to what was going on. Again I loved the prologue but after it fell flat, check it out if you like small-town supernatural mysteries, you might enjoy this book more than I did.
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I've never thought of sunflowers as creepy, but after reading Where Darkness Blooms, my opinion has definitely been altered. Bishop, Kansas is a town surrounded by sunflower fields and plagued by awful wind storms and... missing and dead women. Delilah, Whitney, Bo, and Jude lived with their mothers together in a lovely home, until one night when all three women disappeared, missing presumed dead. Two years later, a memorial is planned, bringing up many unanswered questions about the disappearances, as well as the unexplained deaths of seemingly healthy girls like Whitney's first love, Eleanor. This group of chosen sisters isn't content to just sit by anymore. But the wind rises when questions are asked, and the sunflowers seem to whisper. What is going on in Bishop? Will the girls be able to solve the mystery? Or will they be the next to fall to Bishop's curse? Pick up this tantalizing YA horror novel and find out. 

This one easily pulled me in. The setting of Bishop is perfectly eerie. The deepening mystery keeps you invested. Each protagonist has a distinct character. They had to overcome different obstacles and each fight back in their own way, adding to the depth of the story. I loved the sisterly bond they shared. Together, these girls can do anything. The ending ties everything up well. I would recommend this to fans of YA horror who enjoy stories of girls fighting the patriarchy.
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This book is so hard to describe without spoilers... honestly don't even read the blurb, go in blind! Women are disappearing,  the townsfolk know more than they're saying,  everyone has secrets, creepy sunflowers...
If you like a twisty creepy ya novel with a touch of the supernatural,  this book is for you! I love the cover btw, it's what drew me to this arc in the first place.  Thank you for the chance to read it!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! All opinions contained within are my own.

There’s something about a thriller/horror that’s set in a small, closed off location that really speaks to my soul. The eeriness, the isolation, the struggle all combine into what I consider my favorite kind of horror. The kind that stays with you long after the book is read or the movie is watched. That’s why when I read the synopsis of Where Darkness Blooms and realized that it took place in a small town in Kansas, I was immediately drawn to reading it.

This story follows four young women who live in the small town of Bishop, Kansas. Delilah, Bo, Whitney, and Jude are four young women who also share something: their mothers have all gone missing. They try their best to continue living their lives and holding themselves together. When tragedies start to stack up, however, they all begin to question why so many women in Bishop end up dead or missing. And they won’t like what they discover.

Y’all, this book took all the elements that I love about an isolated horror and made them shine! The eeriness of this story practically oozes off the pages. It’s one of those books that made me anxious because I could feel how alone and frightened all four of our main characters felt. The writing has moments that felt a little repetitive, I will admit, but it was still atmospheric and creepy and had me eating this book up. I enjoyed that we got to see the story from each of the four main young women, as well. It made for a more nuanced and intriguing story, in my opinion. I coulda done without the epilogue, if I’m being honest, but it does wrap things up in a decent way.

As for the characters, though I think they were incredibly well-written, something about all of them left me feeling a little bit wanting. I think it was the fact that their characterization felt a little nebulous, like it would shift with the wind. Like certain decisions that were made in the middle book didn’t fit with how the character acted at the beginning of the book and then it would happen again near the end of the book. I can get behind characters not being consistent with their decision-making, but these changes left me feeling a little whiplashed, not gonna lie. Still, in the end, I found I couldn’t look away from any of them, that I really cared about what was happening to them, and that’s always a sign of a great character in my book.

Overall, this book had a lot of the elements I love in a horror or supernatural thriller. The atmosphere was top-notch and I loved how well the author draws you into to the town of Bishop. The characters were compelling if, at times, a bit flimsy. The tension, the multiple POVs, and the slow reveal of devastating secrets kept me hooked into this story until the very end! And I definitely want to check out whatever this author writes next.
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I asked for this read for the slow gothic-horror ambience promised in the description of the story. I will say it achieved what I wanted, though I do feel some information about world building was given too fast in the prologue. However, the tone of this story was CHOICE! Exactly what I wanted and expected. I love the sapphic arc, the magical realism, and the sunflowers that were always watching.
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3.5 stars!!!

This was a fun and creepy YA horror! The minor paranormal aspects did leave me wanting more but overall I was happy with it. Who the overarching villian was surprised me, I thought of everything but what it actually was. I also loved that there were queer relationships that weren't a big deal, they just existed! That's exactly what I want when it comes to representation. The whole "us against the world" trope is something that I don't always love, but I think the author did a good job making it more realistic. I also think the teenagers in this are realistic, they talk like teens and they think like teens and it was really refreshing to see. I'm looking forward to reading more horror from this author!
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Holy moly. Not only is the cover stunning and eye catching but the story will capture the reader until the very last page. Well written and thought out plot that will leave you wishing for more.
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Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is probably closer to a 2.5 star book? I was excited for the promise of plant horror, and I do think the book did a beautiful job of setting up the feel of Bishop and the paranoia and desperation in the town. The winds and the sunflowers were always so perfectly described, and interwoven into the book in a way that showed how much they were burned into the character's psyches.

However, the character voices in this all felt super same-y, which.... isn't great when you have a book with four different pov characters! I wish they had felt a little more distinct, because it was so hard to get into this book when they all kind of blurred together. 

Anyway, once I got into it it was a cute little creepy read, but not one I would super rec to other people
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A beautiful and haunting read with elements of dark magical realism. Many characters to keep track of, but all with distinct personalities and relationships. Lyrical writing.
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I was first drawn in by the beautiful cover illustration and stayed for the incredible creepy atmosphere and mystery and wonderful strong characters. I definitely will be recommending in readers advisory, although will recommend not reading the entire synopsis since I think going in blind is the best way to enjoy this work!
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