I really liked the ending and Whitney and Deliah as characters, but I feel like half of the mystery was taken away with the prologue and I really really didn't like Jude. Overall the the imagery was great and the overall story too, but I think there were one too many character pov, I was having hard time caring about all of them.
Perfect for fans of The Grace Year by Kim Liggett!
Creepy, mysterious, found family, everything is not what is seems in this little town where the sunflowers are watching your every move.
Yikes?? I can see what the author tried to do with the plot. It was just a huge miss I think. It lacked feeling. And well, it was just plain Ole wierd. I don't know how to describe it.
“Where Darkness Blooms” is an interesting horror novel with an amazing cover. The cover and description lured me in but I was overall not very impressed with the story. I feel like it’s very reminiscent of other novels and while that’s okay, there are better renditions of it. Despite that, I still had a decent time with the book and really liked the general idea.
Thank you to netgalley for an arc. First of all, the cover is stunning. It is honestly what made me even want to pick this up. This is a book told in multiple POV's. The book was definitely creepy but also a bit slow as well. Three women go missing in a town where women seem to frequently go missing. Their daughters set out to find out what happened.
I scooped this up for the cover. Of course pretty girls and plants will always get me.
The story itself not only felt like it was something I had read before or a Frankenstein or works I had read before, but one that was missing plot points, character motivation, and ultimately fell short. There are multiple POVs, but if you eliminated the names, I could have been convinced they were all 1-2 different characters as they were so lacking in distinct qualities.
However, I know this is more of a YA horror story, so that might have contributed towards the overall tone and cheapened retelling feeling.
CREEPY is an understatement I was really interested in this book because of the cover and I was not disappointed
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy (sorry I am so late reviewing). I really enjoyed this light horror novel. I love sunflowers, and it was fun to see them in such a sinister way. There were some great character dynamics in this story.
I wouldn’t say this is an original concept; but the writing is quite good. Most of our characters (of which we have quite a few) are well put together and have distinct personalities. We have a queer lesbian relationship; as well as couple straight ones. So Where Darkness Blooms checks off my queer representation box.
What is a bit odd here is the obvious men versus women dynamic. Make it a weird evil curse or presence on the land all you want; when the men are targeting only women it sends a message. This oddly skewed message is why I drop this rating down to four stars. I didn’t like that all the men were pretty awful and (seemingly) unredeemable. Whereas the women were given passes for doing some equally awful things. One could argue the girls did some of those things to save themselves; but it still sticks out to me as gender disparity.
One of the major points to the novel is one I want to see more authors tackle (especially in teen books). The idea that our caregivers, parents, important adults, etc in our lives are not perfect. They are going to make mistakes, and it’s vital that we allow forgiveness for these errors. I’m still personally struggling with this from my own childhood. At 40 years old there are still moments i begrudge adults for; even when I know how hard it was at the time and how difficult a situation we were all in. And yet, somehow it feels easy to blame the adults of our childhood doesn’t it?
Andrea Hannah doesn’t go super deep into this idea; but she does graze it at the end and it just reinforced for me how much we need more literature that focuses on this concept. We must allow for errors as we are all human.
Overall this is a decent read. Certainly teens are likely to enjoy it and most adult readers of YA. If you’re hoping for ground breaking horror you are likely to be disappointed; but it’s grim enough that I wouldn’t remove the horror tag for Where Darkness Blooms. I’d definitely be game to read more by Andrea Hannah in the future.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
I was absolutely obsessed with the concept of this book and the execution fell extremely flat for me. The girls mothers went missing three years prior to the events in the story, yet somehow all the "clues" about what happened three years ago are still just sitting around and nobody noticed them for that long. There's just so many small things that don't make sense and yes, I know the story is like fantasy thriller, but still I need a sense of realism in a fantasy world. The fact that no one in this town questioned the way the sunflowers move or the weird storms, the strangeness with the hospital and certain families, it was all just too much. It shouldn't have taken four teenage girls to finally realize something isn't right.
And speaking of said girls, I feel like their voices weren't unique enough for each one to have their own POV. My logic is always I shouldn't need the author to tell me who is speaking - your characters should be unique enough that I can tell who is narrating now on my own, but with this story I needed the names in the chapters to tell who was talking.
It was an interesting story, but I feel like the end result just wasn't quite as enticing as I expected it to be.
This was a cover pick for me. The stunning imagery with the sunflowers just sucked me in. That being said, it felt like something I had already read. The story was lacking and delivery was poor but the author nailed the atmosphere. Honestly, that's probably what saved it for me.
Andrea Hannah really delivers an atmospheric YA thriller that was a wild ride to read. The setting, the characters, and the story were all well-developed and entertaining.
I will never look at a sunflower the same way again!
Fans of YA horror/psychological thrillers will love this one.
I found myself really excited by the cover and the synopsis, but I was a little disappointed when I actually got to the meat of the novel. It didn't really bring anything new and there were just a lot of plot holes that I couldn't not see.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
The cover drew me in first. It's absolutely beautiful.
The story was not mind blowing, but I see where the author was going with this.
The prologue was better than the execution
The premise sounded great and the first few chapters even sucked me in pretty quick, but after finishing this I felt like there too many plot holes and unanswered questions for me to truly have loved this.
Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. I usually don't read very many young adult books nowadays because I have grown out of the genre for the most part. However, the cover of this one grabbed my attention, and did not let go. Killer sunflowers?! Sign me up! Unfortunately, this book did not deliver on all the aspects I wanted it to and the end left me very underwhelmed and a bit confused. I am willing to let plot holes be plot holes for the sake of a young adult audience and I understand what this book was trying to do but the messages at the end are muddled by the actions of the characters. The writing was fine and I would perhaps read something else by this author but as far as the plot goes it was very much a letdown in the end. I can get over the fact that this was much more a mystery (with some magical realism) than it was a horror, but the evil for the sake of being evil thing never works for me and this is how the bad guys felt in this one. The central four characters in this one were very interesting in the beginning but as the story grew and the plot developed, I cared less and less about them. I will say that this book is marketed as young adult and does feel like it was written for young adults which is always a good thing. Overall, 2.5 stars rounding up to 3 for GoodReads. I wanted to like this one but in the end, there was just too much I would've changed at the end to give it a higher rating.
I sometimes have trouble with books where there are more than 1-2 main "focal" characters, and I was a little worried about that going into this - but I didn't need to be at all. All 4 girls in this were incredibly fleshed out and very well done in terms of describing their different personalities and struggles, and I absolutely loved the vibe of the dusty little Kansas setting the girls are in. This was a little different from what I expected but overall I really enjoyed it!
This was a perfect blend of creepy, horror, and beauty. I absolutely love when we play with the dichotomy of beauty and spooky, especially mixed with nature. This book was so fun!
Welcome to Bishop, which is a super eerie town where you will find the sunflowers whispering secrets and the land having a hunger for blood. However, it is known too for the constant windstorms and the sunflower fields stretch so far that you cannot see the begin to end. But, the biggest thing that occurs in Bishop is the women who end up going missing and it never surprises the towns community when they find out more women go missing. In this story, there are three women who go missing on a stormy night and Where Darkness Blooms follow their daughters. Meet Delilah (she wants to move on with her boyfriend, but she cannot stand his touch) , Whitney (she has lost her mother, but has also lost her girlfriend), Eleanor (she only finds peace with the whispers of the old weathervane). and Jude (she is the twin of Whitney and prefers to ignore everything that goes on, but that does not mean she has no secrets-she just may have had a summer affair with Delilah's boyfriend). Secrets will spill as the girls find that Bishop was founded on blood.
This was one of the 2023 releases I was looking forward to since I do somewhat enjoy supernatural thrillers. Plus, the covers with girls with flowers on it is very captivating and eye catching.
I will admit I struggled on and off with this book since it felt like there was a lot of things going on and I kept forgetting who was who. To me, it felt like it was trying to echo other books with similar themes, but did follow its potential all the way and skimmed the surface with the issues it was trying to convey.
The things that Where Darkness Blooms does well are: found family and the empowering and strength of women.
It ended up feeling like an okay read to where I definitely did not dislike it, but I did like it and would recommend it to others. This was close to a 4 star read though, but where I struggled with remembering who was who and finding a few of the characters to be a little annoying is the reasons on the why I settled on a 3.5 star rating.
Where Darkness Blooms shows a ton of potential and I believe Andrea Hannah as an author too has much potential, so I look forward to reading more of Andrea's books to see how she grows with her storytelling and writing.
Decent, started off great, then kinda fell flat. Some things weren't really explained and didn't feel right. Other than that it was well written and enjoyable.