BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES is a Creepy, Ghostly New Psychological Thriller

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Black Flowers White Lies

BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES by Yvonne Ventresca (Sky Pony Press) is a creepy, psychological thriller about a girl whose life is upheaved when she learns her mother may have lied about her father’s death – and life.

Despite the fact that her father died before she was born, Ella Benton always felt a connection with him. Deeper than their shared love of animals, she believes her father has been her guardian angel ever since a mysterious voice shouted her name as a child, saving her from stepping into what became a car wreck.

Now in high school, Ella’s mom is about to remarry. But Ella’s getting more than just a new stepdad. Her stepbrother, Blake, is handsome, charming, mysterious, and easy to talk to. It’s right when everything’s changing that Ella picks up on some unusual happenings she interprets as another warning from her father. However, Blake informs Ella of a secret; her father didn’t die in a car accident as she was told, he died in a mental hospital – and her mom’s been lying to her about his death for years.

Upon learning this new development, a series of bizarre incidents start occurring. From black flowers left at her father’s grave, to bloody handprints appearing on her bedroom wall, to voices no one else can hear, Ella worries there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Plus, with her friend Grace acting weird, Blake hiding a mysterious girlfriend, and an attractive new guy who seems eager to get to know her, Ella isn’t sure who to trust.

 

What I liked

  • This book was very atmospheric and creepy. I genuinely felt unsettled during some of the scenes – especially the one in the laundry room! So creepy.
  • I enjoyed Ella’s devotion to her cat, and I could relate to her passion for helping animals. It was cool to read about a vegan protagonist who volunteers at the animal shelter.
  • I love stories where almost every character has a secret.
  • This is a quick read that I finished in a day. The writing flowed really well.
  • I loved the paranormal twist in the very end!

What didn’t work for me

  • I guessed the major aspect of the big twist pretty early on – but others might not! My superpower is predicting twists. That being said, some elements of “the twist” felt a little unrealistic to me.
  • The first half of this book moved a bit slow. It picked up in the second half, when creepy things start occurring, but I wish this had come a little quicker.
  • The main character read much younger than her stated age. 
  • I wish it hadn’t ended so abruptly. I felt like I still had questions that needed answering and more clarity about where a certain person ended up.
  • Without going into detail to avoid spoilers, I felt like there was quite a bit of mental illness stereotyping / stigmatization going on.  

 

Trigger warning: Animal abuse.

 

This was a dark, creepy psychological thriller that I really liked. It should appeal to fans of Emiko Jean. I'd pick up another book by this author. I think readers will enjoy it! 

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0