Author: Matthew Crow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Physical ARC (My thanks go out to Simon and Schuster)!
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
A poignant and unexpectedly funny novel about Francis - one of the best and bravest teenage boy narrators since Adrian Mole. This is an emotionally honest story about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad things can be.
Francis Wootton's first memory is of Kurt Cobain's death, and there have been other hardships closer to home since then. At fifteen years old he already knows all about loss and rejection - and to top it all off he has a permanently broke big brother, a grandma with selective memory (and very selective social graces) and a mum who's at best an acquired taste. Would-be poet, possible intellectual and definitely wasted in Tyne and Wear, Francis has grown used to figuring life out on his own.Lower Fifth is supposed to be his time, the start of an endless horizon towards whatever-comes-next. But when he is diagnosed with leukaemia that wide-open future suddenly narrows, and a whole new world of worry presents itself.There's the horror of being held back a year at school, the threat of imminent baldness, having to locate his best shirt in case a visiting princess or pop-star fancies him for a photo-op . . . But he hadn't reckoned on meeting Amber - fierce, tough, one-of-a-kind Amber - and finding a reason to tackle it all - the good, the bad and everything in between - head on.In Bloom is a bright, funny, painful and refreshing novel about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad it can be. It is a novel about how to live.
Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. I was highly anticipating this book and I thought it was going to be a very emotional contemporary book that would hit me right in the feels. I was wrong. I am actually going to do this review in a list format because I think it would be easier to put my thoughts together.
Why I Did Not Like This Book:
1. Pacing - This book had such strange pacing. It had SO many page breaks. I usually like page breaks but this one had so many it was getting a bit ridiculous. I thought the pacing was not well at all. It was almost moving too fast. The things that should have been explained more were just sort of skipped over to get to more boring parts which leads to my next reason.
2. Lack of explanation - There was little to no explanation in this book, it seemed. I am not too familiar with types of cancer and I feel like in a cancer book, there should be an explanation of the disease and some details about it. This book, nope. He is diagnosed with this cancer and there was no explanation about the disease. I could not connect or feel for his character at all and I am thinking the lack of explanation may have been causing that.
3. Reminded me of TFIOS.. Not in a good way - I felt like this author was trying to write the next TFIOS. It felt very similar to that book. I did enjoy TFIOS which was partly why I had an issue because it felt like the author was trying so hard for this book to be the next TFIOS, It also tried to have humorous parts to lighten the load of the cancer plot but I felt like the humor was too far reached. It was not really funny in my opinion. I did laugh one time but other than that, I was not impressed with the attempt at humor to lighten the story.
4. Not connecting with characters - This kind of connects with #2 but I could not connect to these characters. It seemed like they were not fleshed out as well as they should have been. I hate not feeling some sort of emotions for characters, especially in books like these. It just was not I book I could connect with.
5. So boring - I was so bored that at the end of the book, I started skimming. I didn't want to DNF but I did skim and I felt like nothing happened. I was just so bored that skimming was my only option left.
6. The summary - Yes, the summary. I obviously had read the summary before requesting this book. In my opinion, this is one of those spoilery summaries. It gave way too much information away. I was 200 pages in (there are less than 300 pages in this book) and I already knew everything that happened would happen, from the summary. Maybe this is just me and maybe the summary doesn't feel spoilery to others.
I am really disappointed that I did not love this book because I was really hoping I would. I thought the genre, cancer story, and beautiful cover would have made for an amazing book but sadly, that was not the reality for me. Who knows though, you may love this book! I personally would not recommend this book but if it sounds interesting to you, definitely give it a shot because it does have potential.
★ / 5 stars