I love creepy things. Sure, my love of creepy things forces me to sleep with lights on, but I still love them. While I don’t really watch a lot of T.V. or movies (I used to, but I don’t really have time for them anymore. Plus I can’t stop watching nerdy shows like Stargate SG-1 and Doctor Who long enough to be bothered), but horror novels? Definitely. YA horror novels? Give me the book and don’t bother me.
So when I heard about Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca, I seriously couldn’t contain my excitement for this book. When I got my copy (a HUGE thank you to Sky Pony Press!), I dropped everything else I was doing (and the other book I was reading) to start this one.
First, let me tell you about the cover of this book. It’s freakin’ gorgeous, guys. The black and white cover, with the flowers, graveyard, and blood red text was like a horror fan’s dream come true. I’m pretty sure that this is my favorite cover of 2016, to be honest. It’s so darn stunning I could stare at this thing for hours.
The book started off amazingly, too – Ella, a teenage girl, lives with her mother. While she misses her father something awful, she hadn’t really known him – he died years ago. She still feels like he is such a part of her life though. So when her mother is planning on remarrying a guy that, while he seems really nice, Ella wants her mother to be happy, so she goes along with it, even though she wishes things could be different.
A chance encounter at the mall introduces Ella to a “beautiful boy” – one that she instantly developed an attraction to, only to later discover that this is her mother’s about-to-be-husband’s son. So…she’s a bit…grossed out, to say the least. But the two of them go on to create a friendship – helping each other pick out a gift for Ella’s mom for the wedding, talking about things, and when Ella’s mother and her new step-father go on their honeymoon, things start to get a little weird for Ella.
Ella has always gone to the graveyard where her father is buried and talks to him, but when weird things start to happen, she has to fight to stay in control. For example, when a picture of her father mysteriously turns up in a different location from where she had put it, or when a muddy hand print shows up on her bathroom mirror, much like the one she created on her father’s tombstone, she starts to freak out.
Things get a bit creepier from here, and Ella slowly begins to question her sanity as things start to seem completely unreal. Is it really her father, reaching out from beyond the grave, or is something entirely different – and dangerous – going on?
This book did creep me out a bit, don’t get me wrong. But at one point of this book, I honestly wanted to throw it across the room. I won’t say why, other than the fact that there was an animal and some violence, and at least the issue was resolved in the end, but still, there was a section that kind of made me want to throw up. Nothing bad ACTUALLY happened here, so it wasn’t that big of a deal, but violence of any kind toward animals really throws me off.
The characters in this book were pretty well rounded, especially Ella and her step-brother, who was simply strange as could be. Ella herself was an easy character to relate to, and her grief over her father combined with her belief in the paranormal molded her character and made the story believable. Everything was written exactly as it needed to be to make Ella’s story play out perfectly.
I did think that Ella’s boyfriend in the book was a little cookie-cutter, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad thing. Sometimes you spend a lot of time caring about ALL of the characters that the novel ends up being too character driven instead of plot driven, and you don’t get as much out of the story as you would have liked. That was the case here, and it worked out pretty well. The story was a fast-paced enjoyable plot that will have readers on the edge of their seats.
Anyway, the characters in the book were pretty interesting, and the book does boast a twist that will leave you shocked, but I did figure things out early on, but probably because I read so many thrillers that by now I’m usually able to guess about almost every one I read. Still, it was a really great read ad if you enjoy thrillers, mysteries, or books with really awesome covers and plots, I have to recommend this one!