Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca

Black Flowers, White Lies
Title: Black Flowers, White Lies
Author:  Yvonne Ventresca
Publisher: Sky Pony Press 
Publishing Date: 
Pages: October 4th 2016
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone

Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Timesbestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home
I was drawn to this book by so many things. I just adore the cover, it's pretty and eye catching. The title was interesting and the synopsis, long, but intriguing. The publisher sent me this book and I started to read it. I enjoyed it. It was a great read for what I needed at the time. 

Ella lost her father before she was born but always thought she had a connection with him in death. When visiting the grave she senses that he is with her and on this particular day, she feels he is trying to communicate with her. This is the start of very strange things in Ella's life. Bloody handprints, questionable events and a few strangers that enter into her life. All of leads Ella to believe something is wrong but is it all in her head or a life full of lies and deception?

This book was good. At no fault of the book, it took me longer to get through than I had anticipated. It was hard to put it down at times but life really got in the way of this one. The beginning was a tiny bit slow for me but it didn't take too long to take off and I was hooked. This was a very fast-paced book once the crazy came out.  There were a few things I would have liked to see more of but all in all it was a good read. It kept me interested and involved. I was pretty unsure what was really happening until the very end when it was really revealed. 

The mystery was really good. This is what had me really hooked. At first, the book started as a supernatural that read like a contemporary but then it quickly changed into a mystery than a thriller. It flowed well, It didn't feel disconnected and didn't read like it was three different books. It slowly changed, morphed into what the author wanted and it really read well. 

I would have liked more connection the character. My main issue was just that it wasn't deep or well done in the character building department. I can say it didn't take away from my enjoyment but I think it would have been a bit more intense with a better connection to the main character. This may have been intentional for the unreliable narration part of the book but I think it would have helped a bit if I had felt the connection to the main character and the people in her life. I didn't feel it and I didn't feel the connection between the Ella and the others in her life. 

Ella wasn't a bad MC. She was sweet but sometimes a little whiny. She didn't stand up for herself and seemed to love those around her. She felt like a normal teenager and I just adored her quirkiness. She loved cats and loved cat tees. I kind of liked this. I did feel though in the emotional department she was a little flat. I would like to see more of her, see her open up and let others in. She didn't do this well. She seemed to be there for others more than allowing others to be there for her. Which was sweet but didn't help me get to know her mind. 

It felt much like the scary suspenseful movies I watched as a teen. It kept me guessing, I never knew what to expect, and it had me on the edge of my seat a bit. 

I did feel that there was an ending but it could be continued. I feel it was left open for more but if there isn't there was a conclusion. I would definitely read another book to continue this story. I was kind of a little sad at the end when there wasn't more. 

If you are looking for a fast paced psycholigcal mstery thriller. Pick this one up.

Yvonne Ventresca

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES was published by Sky Pony Press in October. Justine Magazine said "This one will keep you guessing" and according to BuzzFeed, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES "definitely won't disappoint."
Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. “This fast read will appeal to fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s LIFE AS WE KNEW IT," Booklist said.
Yvonne’s other works include the short story “Escape to Orange Blossom,” which was selected for the dystopian anthology PREP FOR DOOM, along with two nonfiction books, PUBLISHING (Careers for the 21st Century) and AVRIL LAVIGNE (People in the News). You can learn more about Yvonne and her books at Yvonne

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