**2.5-stars rounded up**
Where Darkness Blooms was an early-2023 release that I had been anticipating for months. The synopsis was intriguing and this cover called to me. I mean look at her…
Then I started seeing some reviews that made me pump the brakes a bit. They weren’t bad necessarily, just some of the things mentioned made me question whether or not this would be to my tastes.
I knew I’d pick it up eventually, it just didn’t end up making my priority list. Recently, the audiobook became available through my local library and I decided now was the time.
It’s finally September and if this cover doesn’t scream Autumnal, I don’t know what does.
Sadly, I just felt sort of meh about this one. I’ve waited almost two weeks before writing my review, because I didn’t want to come off as being too hard on it. I have a tendency to burn hot, even when I consider a book to be middle of the road, or even good.
Sorry for that, personality flaw, and the thing is, I know this is a solid story that a lot of Readers will love and connect with. The writing style, and overall story format though did not suit my tastes at all.
So, what’s it all about?
This story is set in a small-Midwestern ((I believe)) town called Bishop, which is known for it’s chronic windstorms, endless sunflower fields and disappearing women.
We follow four teen girls, who all live together, sans-adults. Whitney and Jude are twins and then there is Bo and Delilah. The girls are connected, besides by the regular bonds of friendship, by the fact that all of their moms disappeared on the same night, never to be seen again.
In the present timeline, while disappearances are still occurring, a much delayed memorial is planned for the moms and it causes the old tragedy to be dragged again to the surface, revealing new secrets in its wake.
The girls work together to dig into the town secrets, trying to get to the truth, all while navigating the basic trials and tribulations of teenage years.
We have a few things here that I do tend to enjoy, eerie small town vibes and long-buried secrets. Those elements did work for me somewhat. However, the way it was all presented sort of took the shine out of those two things.
Most critically, the way this one kicked off. By 25%, my overall feeling was confusion. I found the four girls difficult to distinguish from one another and didn’t enjoy just being dropped off in their chaotic lives without context.
Unfortunately, I never really ended up finding my footing, and frankly, just gave up after a bit. I could appreciate the concepts, but had to work really hard not to DNF it.
One book that I couldn’t help thinking about while reading this was, Burn Our Bodies Down, by Rory Power. I feel like there are quite a few similarities between the two books, and without being too harsh, I feel like Power did it better.
In spite of the fact that this didn’t really work for me, if you think the synopsis sounds intriguing, or are as enamored by the cover as I was, you should absolutely check it out. You could end up loving it.
There’s a Reader for every book and a book for every Reader. This one not being to my personal taste means absolutely nothing at the end of the day.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I always appreciate the opportunity!