Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

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Member Reviews

Andrea Hannah has crafted a beautifully haunting, aching story about four teen girls and the curse that traps them. Bishop is a living, breathing character in it's own right, and the mystery Hannah weaves about this town and the choices that echo through generations will leave you breathless. It's a stunning, angry, brutal but ultimately hopeful novel, and it will stick with me for ages.
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I want to thank #Wednesdaybooks and #netgalley for letting me read the eArc of #WhereDarknessBlooms by #AndreaHannah

What do I say about a book like this one? The town of Bishop sinks it hooks into you from the very first page. The founder of Bishop acquired the land by blood shed. Not the kind you would think, Robert Dingal steps onto the parched land and the wind speaks to him begging him to stay to make it his home to build and create. So with that he puts an old weathervane in the ground to mark that land and that weathervane stays for decades. The wind tells him it must forge a bond one of blood with him. So he takes his unsuspecting wife and kills her letting her blood satisfy the parched land. With that the bond is made, the wind and the land will let the Dingal Family and descendants know whos blood it thirsts for and in order for what they have built to last the land must get what it wants or the wind will destroy everything.

Many, many years later in Bishop everyone feels as though something isn't quite right, but its not something that is spoken off. Women go missing often in Bishop more they assume than anywhere else. Its always said natural causes but why is it only the women who die of these natural causes? Sunflowers encase the town of Bishop, they are on every side beautiful and tall, its seems more and more pop up and some in the town of Bishop like Delilah, June, Bo and Whitney feels as though those sunflowers and the wind is more sentient than they should be. The girls lost their mothers 2 years prior, no trace of were they went the girls went to a party and when they all came home their mothers had vanished. The mayor declared them dead just that no bodies where found but none of the girls can make themselves believe that. They all feel as though there is something else going on and the sunflowers whisper to Delilah and Bo telling them to look.
Whitney had been in love and that love by the name of Eleanor had been taken from her by so called natural causes but Whitney is having trouble accepting this. She goes to a clearing in town where an old rusty weathervane sits, there she wraps her girlfriends bracelet around589 the weathervane and asks her what happened. She swears the wind whispers to her.
  In the same clearing after a disastrous memorial ceremony Bo find a trash bag buried in the ground and inside is a knife crusted with old dried blood, Delilah searches through her mothers art desk searching for balm and finds in the back brand new acrylic paints something her mom wouldn't have bought and just left. The receipt is dated the same day as her disappearance and has a number scrawled hastily at the bottom that says call me. Whitney goes the the nursing home and visits with Eleanor's mother who gives her a notebook Eleanor was always writing in towards the end. She tells Whitney about the wind and the sunflowers, about how most women in this town don't grow old enough to end up in a nursing home. June swears the wind speaks to her, its tells her how awful she is, that she will never amount to anything, and then there is Bennett, Delilah's boyfriend but before Bennett had Delilah he belonged to June and she still feels the pull towards him. 
The girls begin to wonder what is really happening in Bishop what really happened to their mothers and to all the other women of Bishop? Anytime it is spoken of, in hushed whispers or a conversation the wind kicks up until they stop speaking or until it has forced everyone into their homes. The sunflowers are seemingly sentient, bending into the windows, watching what the girls do. Warning them to watch, listen, look, run. 
Will the girls be able to find out what happened to their mothers and all the other women of Bishop? Are the descendants of Robert Dingal still thriving in this town following the commands of the wind and the land?
Will anyone ever escape Bishop?
This book is amazing in so many ways. I couldn't put it down once I started it. It is beautifully written and you can easily picture every moment in the book even ones you might not want too. The suspense is amazing, please read this book it is worth every moment that you give it.
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Let me start of by saying that this cover is genuinely one of the most stunning I've ever seen and the premise is so interesting. Four girls in a town where sunflowers watch their every move, surrounded by folk horror and magical realism. Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me. 

I understand that the author was trying to convey themes of generational trauma, the importance of finding our identity and the consequences of the overbearing patriarchy. But I feel like it wasn't executed properly and I ended with more questions than answers. We've got 4 POVs from our main characters and the girls felt basically the same, although I did manage to absolutely despise Jude until the very end. Her entire character is focused on the love of one trash boy and literally nothing else. The reasoning behind the disappearance of their mothers made no sense to me; I don't want to give away spoilers but there's such a thing as phones even in creepy small towns. The mothers themselves also felt like carbon copies of one another. It almost pains me to write this because I wanted to love this story so badly but overall this just wasn't for me. 

I'm giving it two stars because I feel like the sunflowers themselves should've been the main characters to be honest.
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Solid message, iffy structuring. 

“Where Darkness Blooms” sees a land hungry for blood and the selfish willing to feed its every desire even if that means at the expense of those they claim to love most. Generation after generation woman have been found dead or missing from Bishop and when wind whispers for Jude, Bo, Whitney and Delilah they must uncover the secrets in the soil and escape the sunflower fields before it’s too late. 

I’m a big big fan of this kind of ancient thirst and the lengths people will go to feed it even if means going against their morals and this book fits that perfectly. Offering a taste of magic as we speed through a horror we know so well the names and faces of missing or murdered women guide our heroines as they work through their own burdens and ultimately set their sights on the source of it all. 

My biggest struggle was the world itself. I have little to no real insight into what the town of Bishop has to offer I can let my imagination wander to great this little nest in the middle of Kansas but to tell you if there was a store, school or even a mailbox would take me a minute to flip through the book and check. There’s also an issue as to the why, again I can make assumptions and there is some sway with that kind of power but apart from the metaphor it is trying to make I didn’t really see a real reward to justify the bloodshed (but arguably I might have missed that given how quickly I was trying to solve it all). 

Not a bad book and as a novel it stands up pretty strong despite my bits of inconsistencies but definitely one I would recommend. 

**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for this ARC to review. 

I absolutely love this. The perfect book to join my bookshelf of creepy reads. Those that loved “Burn our Bodies”, “House of Hollow” and “Wilder Girls” will absolutely fall in love with this twisted tale. Keeping this author on my radar now!
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Loved the vibes from this story! Very mysterious and spooky. The relationship between Al of the girls and how they grow is fantastically written! You really get to see the development. 
The pacing was also very well done for a stand alone! It wasn’t too slow and felt very swift without being too fast.
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I enjoyed this book. The plot was paced well and the characters were well developed. I would recommend this book to others and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
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Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah is an atmospheric YA thriller about small towns and the secrets that are contained within. The story revolves around several young women, including Delilah, Whitney, Jude (Whitney's sister and who had an affair with Delilah's boyfriend), and Bo. They all live in the small town of Bishop. When women start going missing, is anyone in Bishop surprised? What secrets is the town hiding? Who will be the next woman to go missing and why?

Here is a creepy excerpt from the opening chapter:

"The land had always been parched but its thirst for blood was learned.
The people indigenous to the land could not stay as no crops would grow. Travelers exploring the west never stayed for longer than a fortnight. Frontiersmen swept through—first on horses and then by wagon. Each time they left behind only that which they no longer wished to carry. They left broken spindles and dried pinto beans and scuffed horseshoes, a trail of useless, forgotten things, in their wake.
Stay. A whisper in the dusty breeze. But they never heard the plea.
When the travelers attempted to pass through, the land called on the winds to lash their wagons and overturn their carriages.
Stay. Its yearning was laced into the wind."

Overall, Where Darkness Blooms is a blend of YA horror and thriller that will appeal to fans of Primal Animals or Dark and Shallow Lies. One highlight of this book is how much action there is. A lot of atmospheric YA thrillers depend on the setting to bring out a sense of horror. This book includes plenty of action, which is refreshing, and kept my interest throughout. I did take off 1 star, because I felt that there were too many characters, and it was hard to keep track of who was who. I'm sure many readers won't mind that though. Trigger warning: sexual assault. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of YA horror, I recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in February!
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I really liked the premise of this book, but the execution was disappointing.  The characters all fell flat and they might as well have been one character. It might have actually been better if it only followed one character. It was also annoying when sentences were repeated. If it only happened a couple of times it would have been fine, but it happened like once or twice almost every chapter.
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Where Darkness Blooms is a fantastic story of a group of girls living together in the town of Bishop. Their mothers disappeared some time ago, so they live together and try and look out for each other.  There is something messed up happening in the town where females disappear every so often.  The men of the town are definitely up to something, specifically the Harding family.  As the girls get closer to the truth, danger closes in tighter.  I really loved this story, it is one of those rare books that is comfortable, like putting on your favorite t-shirt or sipping hot chocolate on a cold day.  I loved the characters, each one brought something different to the story.  The atmosphere was perfect and at times became claustrophobic which really upped the creepy factor. I can't recommend this one enough.  It is really something special.
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Like many others, I was pulled into this book by the cover. Creepy sunflowers that see all? Sign me up. And as a new reader to horror, I hope I do this book justice with my review.

First things first, don't read this book if you want to be shocked and astounded - you very quickly know what is going on in this town. And while things aren't necessarily spelled out for you right away, I found it very easy to infer who was behind what, though not necessarily the 'why'. The prologue itself tells you a lot of what you need to know. At first, I thought that knowing ahead of time what was going on would ruin the experience for me. And I admit, I felt that way through most of the book. However, I really loved how the story went, and how the characters found out what was going on, even though the reader may have already figured it out. 

I loved most of the characters in this story. For some  reason, Delilah just bothered me in one of those 'I can't tell you why, but I just don't like you' ways. I still enjoyed her chapters, however, as I was able to glean info on the other girls and information on what was going on in Bishop through her, even if I didn't like her much. And don't get me wrong, I was still rooting for her the whole story, she just wasn't my favorite. 

Bo and Whitney grabbed me in the most. They felt like the most in depth of characters, each with their own reasons to want to unravel what's going on in the town aside from their missing mothers. I loved that Andrea Hannah succeeded in developing such different characters to tell this story with. Each perspective change brought about new ways for information to be dropped in unique ways, and I really appreciated that. 

I will say, the first bit of this story dragged on a bit, but I find that a bit common in some of the horror I read - it's more about setting up the scene than anything else. Once I got about 30% in, I was completely sucked in and finished the book in one sitting.
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The premise of this book was interesting, but the reader is given so much information about the town and the characters and everything that is going on up front, and that really kept there from being any sense of suspense or tension while reading. It was clear from the introduction what was going on and what was going to ultimately happen.
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Cursed towns? Whispering  sunflowers? Friends and sisters sharing a house? I love the uniqueness of this story. It does give off Wilder Girl vibes but almost more in a thriller sense. Some of the writing felt a little clunky to me in the middle but didn’t take away from wanting to continue the story.
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If you you want creepy YA without being too scary with strong female leads this is the book for you.  I really enjoy this story, there was a character for everyone.  Strong, angry, scared, smart and everyone had a combination of it all.  I’m not sure if this is a standalone or if there will be a sequel but I would like to see what happens in the future.  Thank you for giving me a chance to read this for an honest review.  5 stars!!
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Bishop is a small town in central Kansas haunted by misfortune – it’s common for women of all ages to go missing. Bo, Whitney, Jude, and Delilah live together on the outskirts of this town with their mothers, until their mothers disappear one day and don’t come back. Two years later, a memorial is held to honor their mothers at Bo’s insistence. Disaster strikes at the memorial, unearthing secrets and causing the girls to begin questioning everything they thought they knew about themselves and their town.

I was blown away by this work of magical realism. The author excelled at creating an immersive setting through her descriptions, making it come alive in an engaging and immersive way. I was able to lose myself completely in the book and felt like I was in Bishop with the girls. Similarly, tension was built slowly and incorporated well throughout the work. I never thought I would find sunflowers menacing until I started reading this! The imagery and language the author used were perfect for the story she wove together, creating a highly satisfying experience. 

The characters were excellently written. Despite following four girls of similar ages, it was easy to keep the characters separate. Their personalities, including strengths and flaws, were unique from each other and incorporated well to create realistic characters. I also enjoyed their relationships with each other, seeing the strength of their bonds and their emotional struggles as they try to navigate their investigation.

There were trigger warnings included at the beginning of the book, but the work itself did not contain any graphic scenes, though it did reference violence, rape, and abuse. There were a couple of errors, but they were few and relatively minor, so they didn’t detract much from my enjoyment of the work. I also felt like there was a little bit of a plot hole that was revealed at the end of the work, but again, this didn’t detract too much from it for me.

I highly recommend this tense and well-crafted work – I haven’t stayed up all night reading a book in years, but I just couldn’t put this down. 

I received a complimentary copy of this work through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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Where Darkness Blooms is a tale of four girls living in a stormy town where women often turn up dead or go missing, and those that are left behind find it impossible to leave, with a field of sunflowers watching not-so-silently over the inhabitants.  It is an engrossing story, and the circular style of chapters where it is laid out from the point of view of each of the four girls one after the other helps to keep it riveting.  The sort of bottled-up rage simmering just below the surface, the notion that the women are trapped and forced into horrible ends as though they are nothing more than dolls or inanimate objects, will resonate with women readers in a powerful way, whether they be cis or trans.  The descriptions, too, are so rich and vivid that the reader will certainly feel as though they are in the town of Bishop and following along as a spectator.  A great read indeed!

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Where Darkness Blooms is a book that is a bit hard to define, and I mean this in a good way! It is a story of a dusty small town in Kansas where four girls are trying to survive the wind, the storms, the men, and the sunflowers. The sunflowers whisper to the girls as they try to navigate being teenagers amongst their grief of losing their mothers and in the case of Whitney, her girlfriend. Girls go missing in Bishop, and nobody seems to care.

I loved this book, really. It is not quite a mystery, but it is a horror story. And it feels so real. Girls going missing and nobody being accountable is real, and the emotions and actions by the main four girls are just as raw and messy as you would expect from hurt teenagers. The setting is gorgeously described and so lush that I could feel the sunflowers tickling my cheeks as I read. The casual trans and queer representation was beautiful to see as well. 

Overall I highly recommend this book. It was raw and the trigger warnings are worth checking out, but it was beautiful and will stick with me for a long time. Will definitely always think of this book and the many strong, beautiful women in it whenever I see a sunflower.
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Where Darkness Blooms
I requested this ARC because I loved this cover. I’m so glad I was approved for it, because what is inside was just as good. 

Delilah, Bo, Jude, and Whitney lost their mothers two year ago. No bodies were found but the town of Bishop gave up on the search. The girls have always believed there is more to the story. After a memorial is erected to celebrate the lives of these women, events start to unfold that renews the girls’ hunger for answers. In Bishop, sunflowers bloom year-round and bad things happen to women. Will the girls be able to confirm their suspicions and keep themselves out of danger?

The mood of this book is so perfectly set. It’s ominous and intriguing from the start. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and seeing how the story played out. It is my first  book by the author but I am looking forward to reading more.

Thanks to Netgalley, Wednesday Books, and Andrea Hannah for the E-ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

This review is posted on Instagram and goodreads.
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Four girls, all of them with missing mothers, and a town known for sunflowers and missing women. Sounds wild right? Well, be prepared for a book that will get you hooked immediately. The story follows four girls: Delilah, Jude, Bo, and Whitney. Each has a missing mother and lives in the strange town of Bishop. Each girls  react differently to their loss. We follow along to figure out the truth of what is happening. What is going on in this old and creepy town? Does something sinister lurk? 

What I enjoyed:
- the first chapter already had me yanked in and intrigued. The writing is so beautifully done but also has creepy undertones. You will want to keep flipping pages to figure this one out. 
- Multiple POVs from all four girls. This keeps it  really interesting and helps with character development 
- Ah, man back to the creepy undertones. This book is definitely going to give you the creeps at times. The pacing was so fantastic. The suspense is done well! 
- The friendships between all four girls feels very real and honest.

There was a lot more than I really enjoyed! But I don’t want to spoil or reveal too much. I will say this is so well done for a YA thriller/mystery. Beautifully well written, great characters, and an interesting/unique plot. The author definitely knocked this one out of the park. 4 stars out of 5! Thank you so much to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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A weird, fun, exciting little book. 

The story is slow to start, but as it goes on, it really gets a hold on the reader. It’s unique. 

After the ending, a sequel wouldn’t be a bad idea.
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