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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Review: Bloom - Delilah S. Dawson

Genre: Horror, Romance, Novella

Published: Titan Books, November 2023

My Rating: 1/5 stars

I haven’t been thís annoyed by a protagonist, whilst simultaneously being in awe of the abhorrent way in which they were written in a long time!. That’s about the only outstanding accomplishment this novella had to show for itself… I’m sorry to say, but this read like fanfiction of the worst kind otherwise…

The premise of a cottage-core, sapphic novella that takes a dark horror-turn along the way, sounded so promising, but unfortunately things begin to fall apart from the get-go. Let’s begin with the introduction of our main character Rosemary. Only she goes by “Ro”, because she’s not like other girls. She loves books instead of partying, references “quirky things” like Twilight and Studio Ghibbly wherever she can, and definitely isn’t into Adulting ™… Yes dear reader, we’ve got ourselves an unironic Manic Pixie Dream Girl protagonist...

When you introduce a protagonist to me in this cliché of a manner, I immediately lose al investment in them, and unfortunately, that was completely the case here too. Although Ro is definitely the worst offender, her fellow-characters don’t fare much better.

Then there’s the issue of the story (and its “twists) itself… I genuinely don’t understand the raving reviews from my fellow readers on here that praise the story for its surprising twist, as the exact thing that first popped into my mind upon reading the synopsis, actually was what passed for a “twist ending”.

I’ve seen many reviewers praise this book for its beautiful writing when it comes to setting and sensory descriptions. To me, that didn’t even partially make up for the utter cringe the writing was otherwise… If you’re tolerance for all of the above is higher than mine, you might want to sample this to see if it’s for you. Otherwise: I recommend you give this one a pass.


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