Violet Holt has already met Death once.
After a failed suicide attempt, she finds herself dumped by her callous mother on the doorstep of her family’s desolate oceanside estate. With only the company of her estranged grandmother, comatose grandfather, and the monsters in her head, at least there was no one to interfere with her plans to try again on her eighteenth birthday.
No one, except maybe Jack: a skeleton of a boy who says he’s there to rake her grandmother’s leaves, yet seems more experienced at stalking than grounds-keeping. She knows he’s keeping a secret behind his gentle smiles and aloofness, but it’s difficult for Violet to be put off by his untimely thin-air appearances when figuring out the mystery of his true identity makes for such a good distraction.
Violet’s trauma is deeper than the wound on her wrist though, and it cannot be simply whisked away in a whirlwind of guessing games and pleasant gestures. She struggles to reconnect with her grandmother, find forgiveness for her mother, and closure with her grandfather’s dire condition, all while battling the strain of it all on her family. Even with a flicker of something hopeful blossoming within herself, Violet knows her birthday plans must be inevitable.
Death wouldn’t be there for her if it wasn’t.
|Author||eARC||330||indie||YA (Paranormal)||September 25th, 2018|
*My thanks to Danielle for reaching out and offering to read What The Flower Says of Death in line with the blog tour. This has in no way impacted my review*
I’m done! I will now forever and perpetually read only this one book and nothing else. OK, I am being dramatic but just prepare yourself for another round of Liz does crazy in love with a book! There was lots and lots of crying in my soul and through my eyes.
!TW!: Theme of suicide, death, depression… If these are your triggers, then take care because you will witness death, there’s no two ways about it.
I was playing a dangerous game with my dark thoughts, my dangerous lover.
There are books that gradually grow on us and there are books that sate your soul into oblivion from the first page. What The Flower Says of Death is one of those latter kind for me… I knew from the very first few pages that this was going to knock my socks off and me into an incoherently mumbling mess… This book will take your emotions and rip them into teeny-tiny little pieces. Not in an entirely morbid kind of way, because there’s hope and love and forgiving and letting go and moving on. But in a way that just leaves you… in bits and maybe even a bit healed, but still maybe a bit frustrated, yet satisfied. Yeah, all of it! Ha!
Being in nature always helped me calm down. In the city, the brick walls seemed to close in on me like a cell. Sometimes all the noise helped; it drowned some things out, but more often than note, it just made the bad things even louder.
I love how the setting in this book is quite nature-centred. Raking leaves, walks in the forest, in the snow, looking for flowers- simply adore it! I love that it’s not set in the jungle of a high-school where girls have pissing contests around who’s prettiest, I love that this book is not set in a healthcare setting. Violet’s grandmother’s house and the aura surrounding it amplified the story tenfold!
As is typical of well-written, multi-layered stories, there isn’t much by way of plot I can really tell you that you didn’t already gather from the blurb ^^. But there are a few things I can tell you about…
Every single star is significant, because it’s each one that helps make the sky so overwhelmingly grand.
Without giving away any surprise moments, otherwise known as spoilers, I want to take my hat off to Danielle for tackling this serious and heavy topic of rejection, depression, suicide and death in a way that she has. There is no glamorizing, there is only the steady and persistent yet not an overbearing method of showing the beauty of life. Simple as that. Yes, there is love in this book, but it’s innocent and pure, supportive and engaging. So, as such, love does not heal as if by magic. It can only be with the support of love that there is a potential for a soul in pain to focus on other than only suffering, to see past the distractions to the root of the darkness. Danielle explored this specific dynamic beautifully.
The writing style. Lordy, lordy, lord! That prose! I knew I was going to love reading this book only a couple of pages in. The way all these words – from dialogue and people to places – were set in order, was like inky, precious gold to a bookworm’s delight. Well, for me anyway. I loved every word- I especially and truly enjoyed the descriptions of places and how emotions (sad and joyful) were put across. My Kindle copy of the book has about million highlights where I have notes the words ‘gasp’ or ‘ahh, my heart!’, or ‘beautiful!’… There were so many moments Danielle described in perfection which were breath-taking.
I stepped closed to the egde, leaning over to watch the dark waves crash against the rocks, violent lovers battering each other in their passion, the way my heart always pounded aganst my ribs until they were both bruised.
And then, there are the characters… Violet, her mother and grandmother, Violet’s grandfather, and Jack.
We get to know Violet- a 17 year old young woman who has been weighted down by years of selfish neglect by her petty mother. I instantly liked her. Even with her sadness, she felt strong to me. Yes, in a way, she had given up, but at the same time she showed me that she wasn’t completely blind to the things that matter in life and I loved Violet for it. Even with her intent to die clear, she still had spark in her! Her inner battle, for multiple reasons, became a constant, unwaivering undercurrent to this book but it was all the more powerful for it.
And then there’s Jack! The one that will make you want to grab the nearest person and hug them. Jack, who wears only black and looks like a tree branch with his skinny limbs and shaggy hair. Jack, who just injects so much light into the dark. Jack, a solid constant as he continues to surprise Violet with his special brand of encouragement and zero judgement. Jack, with a fantastic sense of humour… Jack who always offered insight in the most quintessential manner- never cheesy, never cringey. What a classy guy!
So, together Violet and Jack stand, against time… You’ll meet death like you’ve never imagined death to be.
To know how fleeting this moment is, it hurts in the most beautiful way.
A few final things of note….
Even though there is a considerable amount of toe-curling, cute love and intimate closeness in this book, there is NO sex! This made me happy, happy, happy!
The secondary story arc involving Violet, her mother and her grandmother was a very, very good character study with all 3 women are involved by an invisible string through generations. A very important aspect involving Violet’s journey here. She has a LOT to process in an already ‘filled up to the brim’ daily quota of revelations and truths and emotions.
There were some very important messages I picked up whilst reading this book… One: When already feeling down, it is easy to feed Depression with worries, anixeties even though we have no control over those thoughts. And before we notice it, we’re at the very bottom of the Pit of Misery. It is these times that a friend can help, to help pull us back up, to shoe that perhaps there is another angle… Two: Life will always be about sacrifices where beauty and pain alternate, where there is never the perfect scenario for everyone involved. It’s about making the best decision for our very selves sometimes, it is our right to be happy after all!
Reading this book made me thaw… After I witnessed all the pain, I was offered a dose of bittersweet-pretty in this book. And some light-hearted banter. And tons and tons of love! And a few kisses. It helped me reflect on the things that are beautiful in life, reminded me that I need to slow down and allow myself to feel just that extra bit more to grasp life to its fullest. Because even though there will always be pain, there will also always be joy.
Honestly? My words slightly fail me.. I read the book, and then I read it again. And yet, I am still unable to truly demonstrate the greatness of this story in all that it is. If you would like a more detailed review that cover all of the most important parts, please take a look at Stark’s Thoughts.
By now, you’re surely itching to experience What The Flower Says of Death yourself.. well… There’s a giveaway for a signed copy!!! 🙂 Check out the Rafflecopter link below and good luck 🙂
*Rafflecopter giveaway ends on the night of September 16th at midnight Eastern Time (meaning 00.00 on September 17th)
About the Author:
Danielle Koste is a born and raised Canadian, but currently lives with her significant other in the equally snowy and cold Stockholm, Sweden. While working a day job and learning the language of the locals, she spends her free time honing the craft she’s always had a passion for.
When procrastinating, Danielle likes to enjoy other forms of rich story-telling, besides the obvious abundance of novels filling up her apartment and Kindle. Movies, music, and video games are among her favorite time-wasters.