Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

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Member Reviews

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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"Okay, calm down ya'll! I haven't even read this book. yet." said me who waited ENTIRELY too long to read this book. OMGoodnesssss!! I was hooked from the first page. I didn't want it to end. I hope there is a follow-up or at least another book set in the world of these characters. The beginning was unsettling, the middle was addictive, and the ending was OH SO SATISFYING!!! Loved every minute of it.
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A truly haunting story that stays with you long after the heart pounding conclusion. This YA thriller is filled with so many things that make up a satisfying read from distinctive characters, powerful themes and an unforgettable plot. 

The creepy cover truly gives you a hint of the creepy town this story is set in where women keep seeming to die or disappear, including three mothers two years earlier. Their teenage daughters continue living together in the town disturbed with how little was done to find their mothers and are plagued with worries about what happened to them. From Delilah desperately trying to hold them all together while dealing with her boyfriend, heartbroken Whitney also mourning her girlfriend, delicate Jude hiding a secret forbidden love to rage filled Jo who just knows someone in town knows something and is determined to find out. They each have secrets and set out in their own ways to live their lives but something sinister is keeping an eye on them.

If you love character driven thrillers this is a good pick with it's harrowing and heartbreaking scenes. Full of themes about complicated families, standing up for yourself, and the power of women this is a fantastic read.

Thanks to Netgalley and St Martins Press for access to the ARC for an honest review.
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An engaging YA horror/mystery about a group of girls in a cursed town. Interesting and very individual characters!
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*eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review 

Where Darkness Blooms lured me in with its hauntingly creepy cover.  How can I resist a cover featuring sunflower vines coming out of a girl’s face?!  The cover is sheer perfection. 😍  The book’s synopsis also got my attention since I love stories set in small, creepy towns.  The town of Bishop is definitely creepy.  Women go missing or end up dead, the men don’t seem to care, and there’s something going on with the sunflowers.  It’s an all around creepy af town.  I was excited to read this book, but it ended up being a little underwhelming.  It was more of a teenage drama with supernatural elements, and I was hoping for more horror.

The main characters in this book are Delilah, Bo, and twins Whitney and Jude.  Each chapter is told by one of the girls’ perspectives.  I think the multiple perspectives got to be too much and it broke up the flow of the story.  I also couldn’t stand many of the characters, especially the side characters.  The teenage boys were horrible.  Also, Delilah got on my nerves with her endless pining for her boyfriend.  There were some creepy parts in the book, but there was too much teenage drama for my liking.

3/5 stars
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Talk about the right book for the right mood.  I wanted something eerie, spooky, a little different and meaningful too. This definitely covered all of that.  It's dark too in some spots and that fit the overall tone well.

I haven't read this author before but want to look up other books now. Loved the writing and the entire feel of this one.  This would make a perfect Spooktober read and one I highly recommend for those TBRs.

I sincerely appreciate Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Actual rating: 4.5
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This had Erin Craig vibes and I did enjoy it. I’m a big details person though- I either need none or lots. This book had a medium amount which frustrated me. How did the girls get food? How did the town get food? Did no one ever leave? Go to college? What time period is it? One of the moms works tech support and mentions the cloud but do they not have social media? 

Anyway, these details- or lack of- bugged me but I did enjoy the book! It would make a good screen adaptation. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read!
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My thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday books for providing me with a digital copy for review. 

Overall I liked this book but there were times where the pacing was off and everything fell into place just a little too easily. I liked the differences in the characters. I thought the plot was somewhat unique, if nothing jaw dropping. This would make a great summer read. Younger fans or horror, or those who like just a splash of horror will enjoy this.
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Four girls are left in the strange town they grew up in when their mothers vanish one night. Bishop is known for disappearing women. Delilah, Jude, Whitney, and Bo are not okay with letting their mothers' disappearances go as accidents. Too many strange things have happened, and they want answers. The wind seems to be calling to them as well as the sunflowers that are everywhere in the town. Creepy sunflowers. This was an entrancing and very creepy story that part of me wanted to put down, but the other part of me couldn't. 4 stars. Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC.
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This had all the makings of a spooky, weird YA horror… and I don’t think it was bad book by any means, but I struggled to connect with the perspectives & the writing style didn’t work for me personally.  That being said, I’m sure it will work for lots of readers!

Thank you so much Netgalley & Wednesday books.
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this book was REALLY good i feel like it starts off fine but it takes a little bit to truly get into the minds of all the girls as this book has 4 povs but once you're there, i feel like you're there. this book was really good at giving me. for lack of better words. the ick. and i felt the blend of real life issues women face in society paired with the sort of supernatural horror works REALLY well and just the atmosphere is there and the dramatic irony works incredibly well SINCE you're in everyone's head when one girl is discovering clues that fit to another girl's findings you're left there connecting the dots (this not only happens for clues but when certain actions happen to certain people and it's like a horror movie where you're screaming at the protagonist to run..well they finally do!) it really allows for the investment in the story. i feel like the last third of the book is good but you know. a tiny suspension of disbelief must occur. (nothing wrong with that! i will happily do so but ik thats like a dealbreaker for some)

overall i um. cried but im blaming that on the atmosphere i read it in SOLID book i enjoyed and i love love love the cover never stop with the flower horror <3
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I really wanted to love this, I mean just look at that gorgeous cover! The synopsis is what hooked me as I am a sucker for a good mystery and thriller but unfortunately this just didn't hook me. There are a lot of themes this book tries to cover, and some they do successfully while others just fall flat. There are four characters and each chapter is a different POV but all the characters seem to have the same voice,  sometimes I just lost track of who was narrating. This would have benefitted with one (or two if absolutely needed) main character and the others being side characters. I think it would have helped focus the story more and make it more cohesive. 

There's not too much I can say without giving away the plot, but there were a lot of things that didn't seem to make sense and a lot of plot holes. Maybe Hannah needed to split the book and make it a bit longer as the author seemed to want to add so much but only had a limited amount to do it. There are also a lot of unanswered questions I was left with. Where Darkness Blooms took me longer to read than I would like as I kept stopping and almost didn't finish it but I was really hoping this would get better. 

Overall, not for me but it might be for you.
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Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a chance to read Where Darkness Blooms.

I would highly recommend it to fans of young adult fantasy and horror.  The writing style was pretty unique and pulled the reader into the story and builds the atmosphere really well, it reminds me of other thrilling books I've read that at the end catch you with "Wow", I didn't expect that.   

So definitely a book I would recommend!!!
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"The land had always been parched but its thirst for blood was learned."

Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah follows the story of four young women whose mothers have disappeared under mysterious circumstances from their small town of Bishop, Kansas. Best friends Indigo, Cori, and Ava were single parents who decided to pool their resources and move in together to raise their daughters. Two years have passed since the three women disappeared one day without a trace. Their daughters, Delilah, Bo, and twins Whitney and Jude have tried to move forward with their lives, but the pain of not knowing what happened weighs on them. Now, the town has decided to build a memorial for the missing woman. With the dedication ceremony looming, the girls are more determined than ever to find out what happened that day. Because it is not just their mothers, but countless women who have either disappeared or died under unusual circumstances since the founding of the town. 

This young adult thriller's creepy atmosphere with supernatural elements kept me hooked. The relationship between the four main characters is complex (they are teenage girls after all), but full of love. The dense fields of sunflowers that surround the town and its near-constant thunderstorms are dread-inducing supporting characters that provide clues to the secrets of Bishop. While the book started off a little slow, it picked up about mid-way through with a satisfying ending.
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I didn’t love this, but I didn’t hate it either. I listened to the audiobook from my library and I put it down so many times only to give it more time. I’m glad I finished it because I definitely didn’t predict the way things ended.
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3.5 stars
TW: mention of rape/sexual assault, betrayal, blood, murder, abandonment, sexism, misogyny & implied suicide.

A very strong start with this book. It had an excellent eerie prologue, and I genuinely loved the character-driven element of this horrific plot (I mean the compliment). A town that is thirsty for blood, and every six months, a person (a woman)is killed to satisfy the thirst.
It added the fear that men would do anything but sacrifice their own gender to survive. That women are just objects to use, and it's for a 'bigger picture'/ It is sickening but sadly true for the mindset of some men in the world.

Three things let me down in this book:
1) Jude as a character. I could not stand her because she chose a boy over her friend, her sister's safety & then having the NERVE to hesitate when she found out the truth about her lover boy.
2) Whitney's weird instant love with the nursing home nurse. Her girlfriend died six months ago, and she really had no connection with this new love interest, Alma, the nurse, yet they were in love??
3) Whitney & Jude are black??? 

I will note the ending surprised me like I didn't expect that reveal!
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"Bishop has always been a strange town. But what the girls don’t know is that Bishop was founded on blood—and now it craves theirs."

Well crafted and creepy, this definitely deserves to be added to your 'creepy books with stuff growing out of people's faces on the cover' shelf. What? You don't have one of those? Work on it.

Much more character than twist-driven which was a nice change of pace from other small town horror-adjacent novels.
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Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for an e-arc of this book.

The atmosphere in this one is phenomenal! I love the sunflowers and the winds and the creepy town. The cover is absolutely gorgeous!
This one took me a second to get into to the point I actually set aside the ebook and waited for it to come out as an audio. But once I got the audio I enjoyed this one a lot!

CW: sexual assault/rape, murder, kidnapping
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Trigger warning: This book mentions sexual assault by name on the page. It is not shown.

So this is a ya horror that I had a bit of time following. There are four characters that we follow and for most of the book, I couldn’t tell all of them apart. There’s one that’s really angry and has been fighting, physically, with other boys most of her life. A set of twins and then the oldest (at least in how she acts) girl who oversaw all the girls.

Their mothers had all lived with them in the same house and it had been a lovely enough home for them. Although the town, Bishop, was creepy. Arid, dry, and surrounded by sunflowers. Miles deep it seemed.

One day, all three women went missing. And this wasn’t an odd occurrence. Women and girls go missing and dye regularly in Bishop. If you’re female presenting, or born, guess what, Bishop will end you.

The book started rather quickly but it still felt like it was dragging. Two girls (maybe three? Like I said I couldn’t really tell them apart.) were into the same boy. A boy named Bennet. Delilah the oldest girl, is dating him. Jude, one of the twins, is into him.

The previous summer, the one that just ended, he was sleeping with her. Then the next day he was dating Delilah. One of his friends, Caleb is who the angry one was always fighting with.

At the beginning of the story, there’s going to be a memorial for the girls’ mothers. But it goes awry when the wind picks up. Bishop has wild winds and storms. It’s just a part of it, along with the sunflowers.

It’s a dark story with the constant loss of women and girls and no one doing anything about it. One of the twins is gay and her girlfriend was one of the girls who died which drives her to wanting to find out what really happened.

Then she meets the girl who works at the nursing home and is instantly “falling in love”. Literally there’s a line in the book where it says “her heart remembered what falling in love felt like”. And this is before anything intense happens that could force two people to form a strong bond faster than expected.

When it comes to the characters, one of them is Latin although I’m not sure where her family derives from. The others are white. Then there’s a girl, the one the gay twin is falling for, who is Black. And we don’t get a description of her at all. Not until after the text blatantly saying “She’s Black.”

The book has some pacing issues, at least for me. It also threw in other sort of esoteric things. And the Black girl, Alma is her name. And suddenly, she’s pulling out a pack of Oracle cards to help the gay twin reach her dead girlfriend. It reeks of the mystic negro trope and that’s just vile. It’s 2023. Even if the author didn’t mean it, this is why you need sensitivity readers.

A Black character who has seemingly mystic abilities and is there to serve the purposes of the white character? No. Gross. Then the instalove oh and of course we get the cop trying to arrest her and the white character going “But she’s Black, that’s not safe.”

Something about it rubbed me the wrong way.

While there are interesting elements to this book, I just didn’t enjoy it. Also the way the rape of a character was handled by the other characters when she finally told them. It was a quick hug and then…that was it? I don’t know, just not my thing.

I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I’m giving this book 2 stars. Only because of the interesting worldbuilding. I wouldn’t really recommend it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.
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This book had one of the best prologues I've ever read, but then the rest was so slow and so boring and it had no payoff. I wasn't intrigued, I didn't want to keep reading, there was nothing holding me captivated to this book. The ending did not make me feel anything other than annoyed. I won't spoil anything but this book just had no substance and I wasn't creeped out like I was told I would be.
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