Bloom (The Overthrow #1)

Kenneth Oppel. Knopf, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5247-7300-7
In the aftermath of a hard rain, everything changes for three teens living on small Salt Spring Island near Vancouver. Petra, allergic to water, discovers that her body does not react to the rain, while Anaya, usually allergic to nearly everything else, experiences alleviated symptoms. Meanwhile, unknown, fast-growing, nigh unkillable grass overruns the farm where newcomer Seth lives with his latest foster family. As strange quickly turns to horrifying and the black grass begins taking over the island and appearing globally, the teens begin undergoing physical changes that link them to the plants—and may make them the only ones capable of fighting back. Oppel (Inkling) steadily adds new horrors, potently escalating the story’s pace, stakes, and anxiety as the plants crowd out food crops, explosively release allergy-causing pollen, and begin exhibiting carnivorous tendencies. The teens’ alternating narration develops each character while continually reframing their relationship and the evolving crisis. While elements of the story will be familiar to fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Wilder Girls, the invading plants’ grim and efficient ways of challenging human dominance are effectively unsettling. Terrific momentum makes the abrupt ending jarring but should create anticipation for the sequel. Ages 10–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/02/2020
Release date: 03/10/2020
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4434-5033-1
Library Binding - 320 pages - 978-1-5247-7301-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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