Lily Bloom (yes, that is her name) grew up in an abusive household, yet managed to create a better life for herself, following her dreams and starting her own business, setting up a successful flower shop in Boston. Everything seems to be going perfect with her new boyfriend, Ryle, but soon she realises things may not be heading in the way she hopes. In times of trouble she turns to recalling her childhood, and her relationship with Atlas Corrigan. Events end up taking a turn for the worst and Lily has to make a life changing decision, to decide which path she wants her future to take.
I think the most key positive thing about this book is the emotional connection it forges with the reader. I was emotionally a mess after finishing this book, it really was a rollercoaster ride of feelings. I think this is because of the way it makes you back Lily, whatever happens. This means that whenever she is impacted by feelings, this in turn impacts you. Also, the brutal honesty was heartbreaking, and the decisions Lily had to make made me consider how on earth I would deal with the situations she found herself in. Yet, this didn’t feel like it was trying to manipulate the reader into feeling this way, it more felt like it was just telling the truth. And that is what made it so moving.
It was also a page-turner. This book takes over your whole life, during the time I was reading it, my mind just kept drifting to it, contemplating it. Which is all part of what made it so good. A good book should always seep into real life and make it hard for you to concentrate on reality. Maybe this book managed it because of the fact it is based on something which sadly is a reality for lots of people, in which case I thank it for raising awareness of domestic abuse and what people go through.
The characters were also part of what made this book so great. Lily was a stunning character, so admirable yet also at the same time relatable. She wasn’t perfect, she didn’t always make the best decisions, or find it easy to choose the right route for herself. Yet I looked up to her immensely, she is a brilliant role model, and I’m glad to find characters like her being portrayed. Also, Atlas was so sweet and caring, and I was thankful for his appearance in the book, he provided some kindness in a book where negativity makes a lot of appearances. Finally, I would like to mention Alyssa. She provided some much needed female friendship and support for Lily, and a few times, but one point in particular, I had to put the book (well, phone) down and just smile for a minute at the advice she gives to Lily (you will probably know which part I’m talking about when you read it, which you should). She is a wonderful example of what friends are for, and this book would be lost without her.
I do have one (very minor) criticism, but you’ll be pleased to hear I don’t think it’s enough for me to dock a heart from my rating. And that is that it was a bit too predictable at times. I wouldn’t mention this if it was just some of the main events because I don’t see that it was in any way a problem for those. It was more the first quarter of the book which I had a problem with. There were just some really kind of cliche moments that weren’t really needed. We didn’t need all those little things to be made surprising because it ends up making it a bit cringey to be honest. I want to give an example, so MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD:
Did Ryle really have to be revealed as Alyssa’s brother? Like seriously, it would have been fine if Lily met Alyssa through Ryle or something. I don’t know. But I guessed it a mile off, and that whole reveal was a bit cringey. I liked the fact they were brother and sister, it was more the reveal that was meant to be surprising but really wasn’t.
Ok, so overall I think this book was nearly-flawless, portraying important issues, and this is one that I would recommend to everyone. It is an important book, a page-turner and an emotional rollercoaster. Lily is a pleasure to read about, she was an inspiration yet also relatable, not too perfect. The characters were all formed so well. I did have a problem with how predictable it was, mainly a few instances in the first quarter, but overall I think it is an outstanding book, and highly recommended.