Cover Image: Where Darkness Blooms

Where Darkness Blooms

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Member Reviews

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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"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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