Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.
When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.
Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.
Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca was sent to me by Sky Horse Publishing in exchange for an honest review. When I first read the summary for this book I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. This book is a paranormal thriller, and definitely did not disappoint.
The main character, Ella, was quite likeable. She was a caring and kind character, sometimes almost too much so. There were times when I found myself thinking that nobody could be that nice all the time, and I do wish that she had been a little bit more… stronger. Well stronger might not be the right word, but stronger of character as I found her to be a bit bland. But nonetheless I did like her, and couldn’t help but be engrossed in her story and cheer for her.
There were a ton of other really great characters in this book too. Ella’s mom was one of my favorites; she was a well-rounded and very realistic character. Ella’s step brother, Blake, was another favorite of mine. I loved how Blake and Ella really got along, as that doesn’t happen often in YA stories between step siblings! Gavin, the love interest, and Grace, the best friend, were also really great well-rounded characters. I loved the storyline between Grace and Ella in particular, as they start to drift apart throughout the story –which is something that I think everyone can relate to.
One of the major themes in this book is trust, and Ventresca did a brilliant job in executing this theme. The idea of who to trust, and if you can trust someone, is present throughout the whole novel, and no character is safe from mistrust –not even the main character herself. Ella, and the reader, can’t trust a single character in the book –not even herself. Ventresca purposely lays conflicting clues and evidence for the reader, and includes so many twists and turns, that in the end I truly didn’t know what to believe.
The plot itself started off slowly, which I quite liked. I’m not a huge fan of books that jump head first into a heavy plot, so I really enjoyed the fact that Ventresca took some time to build up the characters and plot before really diving in. The plot itself was fast paced and full of twists. A couple of the twists were predictable, but a lot of them were not which was great. My only major complaint about this book is that the ending really left the reader hanging. To me it felt like there wasn’t nearly as much detail in the end as there was throughout the rest of the book, and the ending felt a bit rushed to me.
Overall I really enjoyed this one, and would definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for something spooky and fast paced that will keep you on your toes. I wanted to give this one five stars, however because of the ending I just couldn’t. I’m giving this one 4/5 stars.