Friday, July 17, 2020

Bloom by Kenneth Oppel - ESSENTIAL

Bloom (The Overthrow #1) by Kenneth Oppel,
312 pages. Alfred A. Knopf (Penguin Random House), 2020. $17 

Language: G (0 swears o 'f') Mature Content: G; Violence: PG



High School seniors Petra and Anaya used to be best friends, but had a falling out. Both of them struggle with allergies,  Petra is allergic to water - can't even drink it, while Anaya seems to be allergic to everything else.  One day, a big rainstorm hits and, strangely, the water doesn't hurt Petra, by morning spiky black plants are growing all over the island in Canada where they live. Growing quickly, and choking out the other vegetation, Anaya's dad gets involved - he is a biologist who studies weeds and he's stumped, they can't seem to kill them. When Seth's foster father tries to burn the plants the smoke is toxic and he is hospitalized. Then, when man-eating pit plants invade the school field and all three kids get sucked into them (but manage to escape) they realize that Petra, Anaya and Seth seem to be immune to the burning acid the plants excrete, as well as the noxious smell they send that disables their prey. Maybe these teens hold the key to where these plants came from and how to destroy them. 

I was caught up in this fantastic science fiction novel right from the beginning.It reminded me of "Little Shop of Horrors". It was action packed, full of danger, with the possibility of death by gross plants. The cover is cool, and the story is amazing - once word gets out, I won't be able to keep it on the shelves.

Lisa Librarian

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