Title: What The Flower Says Of Death
Author: Danielle Koste
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Violet Holt has already met Death once.
After a failed suicide attempt, she finds herself dumped by her callous mother on the doorstep of her family’s desolate oceanside estate. With only the company of her estranged grandmother, comatose grandfather, and the monsters in her head, at least there was no one to interfere with her plans to try again on her eighteenth birthday.
No one, except maybe Jack: a skeleton of a boy who says he’s there to rake her grandmother’s leaves, yet seems more experienced at stalking than grounds-keeping. She knows he’s keeping a secret behind his gentle smiles and aloofness, but it’s difficult for Violet to be put off by his untimely thin-air appearances when figuring out the mystery of his true identity makes for such a good distraction.
Violet’s trauma is deeper than the wound on her wrist though, and it cannot be simply whisked away in a whirlwind of guessing games and pleasant gestures. She struggles to reconnect with her grandmother, find forgiveness for her mother, and closure with her grandfather’s dire condition, all while battling the strain of it all on her family. Even with a flicker of something hopeful blossoming within herself, Violet knows her birthday plans must be inevitable.
Death wouldn’t be there for her if it wasn’t.
This book was slightly nerve wracking to read. Right after the death of my grandfather, this book didn’t seem like the best decision but there was something irresistible about the book.
Having read Danielle Koste’s previous book Pulse (Review)before, which FYI left me slightly shocked hahaha, I was looking forward to reading this book. I can now say that this book, What The Flower Says Of Death is beautiful.
Now, I understand that some people would consider the theme of this book rather morbid as it touches many taboo topics such a suicide, death, mental health but surprisingly Danielle Koste was able to write this book in such a way that It gave a lingering flicker of hope even in times of darkness.
Jack and Violet’s story is pure and beautiful. I admit, there were moments that were painful to read. But….Just like Death, there is something enticing and alluring about this book. And just like life, this book makes you want to fight for the living.
There is magic in Danielle Koste’s words. Her words though simple, is poetic. Each word a footprint into an overwhelming crescendo that leaves you heartbroken yet hopeful.
Honestly speaking, this book is tragic. Tragically beautiful. And in the end, What The Flower Says Of Death will leave you with a pleasant, almost bitter sweet ending.
I liked to think that since the last time I tried to kill myself, since coming to Newport, I had tamed the darkness inside of me. It was still there, I was pretty sure it had always been and always would be, but instead of a rabid dog, it was domesticated. I let it off its leash sometimes, I let it consume me, but only in the privacy of my room, late at night, when no one was watching. Then, in the morning, I put it back in its muzzle so it could follow me through my daily routine, like a well-trained pet. When I smiled, people barely noticed the ugly beast at my flank.
I was foolish, thinking maybe I could find a common ground with it. It behaved while I was feeding it, but the moment it got a chance to take over me again, it did. It was wild and ravenous, and in my weakness, I allowed it back into my heart, to tear with teeth and claws at the mended wounds on my soul.
The frost I sat in began to melt, seeping through my jeans and sending a bone-numbing chill through my body. I knew I should get up, but the beast sat on my shoulders, and my legs were barely strong enough to hold up my own weight, let alone its suffocating pressure pushing me down.
I should have known. I should have seen it coming. It was just a matter of time before the thoughts consumed me again. They would tear me apart and leave me with more scars, not just on my soul but on my body, like the one on my wrist. The question was, would they have the decency to finish me off this time?