Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

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Member Reviews

Bishop has always been unusual with all the missing girls and unexplained murders. What is lurking in the sunflower fields and are they the ones call the girls to their deaths? Where Darkness Blooms tries to merge paranormal suspense with patriarchal criticism but falls short. The multi narratives of the women are not distinct enough to be separate and even the characters are  blend together. The twins, Jude and Whitney, often seem like the same person and are never really fleshed out. That goes for all the characters, which there are many.  They are all flat and one characteristic defining which only makes the plot predictable because there is no depth to the characters.
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Where to start, where to start? 
   This book is feminine rage times a thousand and for a good reason. The town of Bishop thrives off of the blood of women. When a group of them go missing, their daughters fight to survive. In their fight to survive, they uncover Bishop’s dark past. Only by coming together can they overcome it.
That’s all I can say about the description without giving too much away. 
   This book is angsty and angry. It’s full of unhealed traumas. It’s like watching an episode of Snapped. I felt triggered at times from all of the injustices committed against these women just for being women. I had a hard time putting it down, since I wanted one of the girls (Delilah, Bo, Whitney, or Jude) to raze that city to the ground. As a reader, it’s hard waiting for the characters to figure it all out when you already have. However, the author does a good job of throwing in twists and developing side stories in a way that enriches the main story. 
   I have to say this book was exactly what I expected it to be in the best way possible. It follows the current YA trend of women burning shit to the ground in unfair situations and I’m living for it. If you have read Exstasia, that’s what comes to mind when I think of similar books. So, if you enjoy watching women take down bullshit patriarchal systems of abuse, I highly recommend this one. 
Thank you St. Martin’s Press & NetGalley for this eARC! My review is live on Goodreads and will be posted to Bookstagram the week of 04/04.
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2.75 stars….

This was the second book that I’ve read in a year with ominous crops and a weird town. This one didn’t do it for me. I think it was the multiple pov’s that threw me for a loop. This book really could have only been from Delilah's and Jude's perspectives and it would have been so much more intense. I really get what the author was trying to do with this story but the suspense was lacking. The girls were so focused on their missing mother's and how they couldn't just be dead and missing that by half way through, I was just tired of that story line. Even when they started unraveling the knowledge that something more sinister was going on, they kept being like "but our mom's were too smart to be taken down by this". It just got repetitive and boring. AS the reader, you knew about the curse from the beginning so having the characters struggle to figure this out was just painful to read at points. 

I think I would try this author again, but I don't know if I would pick up horror from them again.
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Upon seeing the gorgeous cover- I was reminded of House of Hollow By Krystal Sutherland. I have been chasing that creepy YA fantasy intertwined with floral notes ever since reading it.

House of Hollow this was not. The story centers around a town named Bishop, where the terrifying winds were the least of their problems. Women disappear or die from seemingly natural causes every so often. Everyone in town just seems okay with it? Like it's just another Tuesday, "no I haven't seen Marge since Friday guess she disappeared". However, no one except men seem to be able to leave Bishop. Four girls whose mothers disappeared on the same day decide to move in together and look after each other. As the days drag on, they start to notice whispers of secrets the town would rather keep buried.

There were many plot points that were neither explored or discussed and ultimately, the story felt rushed. It definitely had a creepy vibe but the ending sort of fell apart. An interesting book, but took me a while to finish because of the pacing. If you've read it, what are your thoughts?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. This title is available now!
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I will start off by saying I think my students will love this book and I will definitely recommend it to those into mystery with an edge of thriller vibes.

I did not personally care for this story, the premise sounded interesting and while it definitely picked up around chapter 20, that was waaaaay too long for me to get invested. I found it slow and the characters were unlikable (and not in a good way if you know what I mean!)
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A good thriller, if a bit convoluted

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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The premise of this book kind of frustrated me. The reader knows at the start what is going on with the prologue. Men doing horrible things to women to keep power, but there never is any clear reason why anyone wants power in this tiny run-down Kansas town that is missing basic services. I think we are supposed to assume it is power for power sakes, but I wasn’t buying it. Points for including trans-women as women who get horrible things done to them and not treating gender entirely as a binary. However, I wanted more creepy and supernatural elements and less men being horrible. My ARC copy had a warning for one character being raped, and this occurs off screen but with reference to it throughout. I also didn’t buy the explanation given at the end for the mother’s choices so all in all, not my favorite.
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I was drawn in by the cover. Evil flowers, right up my alley. 
I did enjoy it, I just felt the beginning was a bit slow. 
I always love a book where women get their revenge. 
Men suck.
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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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