Love & Other Carnivorous Plants
Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny's life. She's failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is.

Love & Other Carnivorous Plants Details

TitleLove & Other Carnivorous Plants
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 15th, 2018
PublisherLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Lgbt

Love & Other Carnivorous Plants Review

  • Lola Reviewer
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 25%. I see no point in reading this book. I already know that it’s not going to teach me something meaningful and I feel as though there is a part missing—the part before and where she is recovering. All we get is the *after* part, making it seem as though the story begun a long time ago and what we get is what the heroine cares to share. Speaking of the heroine, she is the non-stop sarcastic type. At first it was okay, and I even enjoyed her crazy thoughts or somewhat clever remarks, but DNF at 25%. I see no point in reading this book. I already know that it’s not going to teach me something meaningful and I feel as though there is a part missing—the part before and where she is recovering. All we get is the *after* part, making it seem as though the story begun a long time ago and what we get is what the heroine cares to share. Speaking of the heroine, she is the non-stop sarcastic type. At first it was okay, and I even enjoyed her crazy thoughts or somewhat clever remarks, but at some point I just realized that most of what the characters say makes no sense or is really plain weird—not the sort of things real teenagers would think or say to each other.Examples include:I can’t breathe—not because there’s not enough air in the room, but because I’m suddenly allergic to it.I’m sorry, what? Allergic?One. Two. Three. I exhale slowly. By the time I’m twenty-five they’ll have found a way to sell my own breath back to me.Who’s ‘‘they’’?? Also, didn’t you just say that you were allergic to it, so why do you want it back? You are not consistent, girl. ‘‘Come over tonight. I’ll make you dinner.’’I hesitate. But I can tell I’ve already begun to fall.‘‘Okay.’’ I hope my voice sounds more confident than I feel. ‘‘But I’m a vegan today.’’She gets up and pats my shoulder. ‘‘I was a vegan once too, until a piece of bacon saved my life.’’Right… Because vegans necessarily have health problems since they don’t eat meat. Ok thanks for explaining. Sike. I know many vegans, and I have to say that I, myself, eat meat maybe once a month and I’m feeling fine thank you very much. I don’t like characters that are trying to convert others to what they think is best.I was excited about the LGBT theme in the beginning but spoiler alert: it’s not romantic. She meets a girl, loses the girl, then sees her again—and once more we realize that we’ve missed a huge chunk of the story. I like to get the *before*, not simply the *after*. Is that so unreasonable?Anyway, moving on. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
    more
  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Think American Panda meets Paperweight , which sounds really great except it felt like I'd already read this, because I wouldn't say it does a ton on top of those things. (Especially because although she's in college, she's never in that setting for any portion of the book, so it differentiates itself even less from Paperweight .) From a queer perspective, I really liked this; I know readers will dislike Danny's refusal to self-label, and the author knows it, too, because there's an author's Think American Panda meets Paperweight , which sounds really great except it felt like I'd already read this, because I wouldn't say it does a ton on top of those things. (Especially because although she's in college, she's never in that setting for any portion of the book, so it differentiates itself even less from Paperweight .) From a queer perspective, I really liked this; I know readers will dislike Danny's refusal to self-label, and the author knows it, too, because there's an author's note that pre-emptively addresses what a lot of criticism of this book and its main character is gonna be. (More on that below.) But over and over again it's made clear that Danny's still questioning things, that maybe she's somewhere on the ace spectrum (no such words are used, but she says things repeatedly about not being sexual, and it's never clear to the reader or to her whether it's Bugg or girls that are the exception), and I thought it was nicely done and very believable for Danny. On the subject of that author's note...I did not love its inclusion. She's not wrong that people are going to hate the lack of labeling, or the main character eschewing medication for mental illness (content warning there - this is another of those "I hate the way it makes me feel" books that just leaves it at that), but those are the choices you make as an author and leave to the reader to react to. This feels like a "Can't criticize me because I explained!" move, vs. an author's note like in If I Was Your GirlIf I Was Your Girl, where the author's note genuinely felt in service of readers. And that's an easy way out, which, honestly, I felt like the book's ending was too. Not an easy way out for Danny, per se, but an easy way out for the author. It's hard to discuss without spoiling it, but it felt to me as if it was telling me Danny had had some sort of character arc that I just wasn't seeing. None of this is to say I think it's a bad book, and I'm sure there are readers who will find themselves in it; I just don't know that they'll feel good about that by the time they finish.Cw: Heavy eating disorder themes and depictions, mentions of suicide, above note re: mental illness meds
    more
  • Sue (BeautyBookCorner)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars. Okay, it's been a few days since I finished the book. I still stand by my 3.5 rating. The book starts off funny. I loved the sarcasm and dark humor of the main character. Danny is a highly-focused overachiever. She was valedictorian at her high school and is going to Harvard as a premed major. She and her best friend have always had a plan. They would go to college together, get married, become widows, and live the rest of their lives out together. Unfortunately, that plan becomes mes 3.5 Stars. Okay, it's been a few days since I finished the book. I still stand by my 3.5 rating. The book starts off funny. I loved the sarcasm and dark humor of the main character. Danny is a highly-focused overachiever. She was valedictorian at her high school and is going to Harvard as a premed major. She and her best friend have always had a plan. They would go to college together, get married, become widows, and live the rest of their lives out together. Unfortunately, that plan becomes messy as Danny ends up at Harvard. What we know right from the beginning is that Danny has developed an eating disorder as a way to cope with her OCD and anxiety. She feels constantly pressured by her environment. She ends up at a treatment center. The story begins as she is leaving the center. It's summer vacation and she is now back in her hometown. Her friendship with her friend is a little rocky, and she is well aware of her mental issues. I felt Danny was likable and relatable. I loved her matter-of-fact way of thinking. That being said she is a very flawed character. She is flippant in the way she thinks of her compulsion and mental health. She sees those around her dealing with substance abuse and while she is concerned, she does not do anything to help them. Somehow though, this didn't bother me as a reader. I felt for her because she was battling her own demons while trying to keep her mental breakdown from the previous semester a secret. Something tragic happens midway and the book turns a dark corner. Things get darker and angrier as she begins to relapse hard. Her dark humor is still there to bring some lightness to the overall angsty mood, but it's definitely angrier and more desperate. You can feel her grasping for any semblance of control while giving into her compulsions.Overall, I enjoyed the book and it got me out of a big reading slump. I think for those looking to read an book about mental health issues that isn't too intense, this is a great option. I ended the book rooting for Danny and sincerely hoping she gets better. One thing I'd like to mention is that Danny begins to form a romance with a girl she meets at treatment. However, this is not a coming-out story. I believe the girl was the first person she was really attracted to and with everything that she’s going through, trying to label herself as any specific sexual orientation is not a priority. The focus is much more her journey to a healthy mental state. Trigger warnings for eating disorders, alcohol abuse, depression, attempted suicide, grief, compulsion disorders, and anxiety.
    more
  • Emmi Rose (emmirosereads)
    January 1, 1970
    *3.75* If you know me then you know contemporary novels aren't my most favorite thing. I've read many that I've enjoyed and want to read a few but there aren't something I actively reach for or that capture me as much as a good fantasy does. I know though that I would have loved this so much more if I was really into the contemporary genre and might have even given it five stars. With all that being said I still enjoyed this book for the most part. It's a book that deals with a lot of hard but i *3.75* If you know me then you know contemporary novels aren't my most favorite thing. I've read many that I've enjoyed and want to read a few but there aren't something I actively reach for or that capture me as much as a good fantasy does. I know though that I would have loved this so much more if I was really into the contemporary genre and might have even given it five stars. With all that being said I still enjoyed this book for the most part. It's a book that deals with a lot of hard but important topics so there were many parts that just made me feel, and broke my heart. But equally there were many parts that made me laugh and smile. I think what I enjoyed most about this were the characters. I really enjoyed Danny, and her love interest. I especially loved her love interest. I thought she was a really cool character and I love her and Danny together. Sarah was really annoying to me, but I think that was a little bit of the point. I also felt like I could relate to Danny in the way she dealt with a lot of things. Humor is kind of a huge coping mechanism for her and I find that's really true for myself. I did feel like there was a bit of insta love between the two characters, which we all know I don't like insta love but it wasn't overly annoying while I was reading.I also really enjoyed the writing and narrative of this book and thought it was really well done! I usually don't like first person POV but this really fit the story and was well done so I did like it. I will say that the ending of this book honestly felt a little random and abrupt, and I'm not sure everything felt wrapped up nicely, but overall this was still a good book.
    more
  • Kaylie
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved Danny’s voice in this book. She made me laugh and feel her acute contradictions and the itchy realness of her suffering. She was a wonderful narrator of the show-don’t-tell variety, who fucks up and fucks up and lies to herself and lies to you and makes hyperbolic jokes all along the way.The story itself I didn’t love. Halfway through it takes a sudden sharp turn, and from there wavers along, no longer certain of its destination or goals. It doesn’t stick the landing because it ca I really loved Danny’s voice in this book. She made me laugh and feel her acute contradictions and the itchy realness of her suffering. She was a wonderful narrator of the show-don’t-tell variety, who fucks up and fucks up and lies to herself and lies to you and makes hyperbolic jokes all along the way.The story itself I didn’t love. Halfway through it takes a sudden sharp turn, and from there wavers along, no longer certain of its destination or goals. It doesn’t stick the landing because it can’t decide which way it’s even jumping. Eating disorders, recovery, queer discovery, girls helping girls, challenging your own expectations to live a genuine life, creative writing: all topics I love. I would recommend this book for stellar YA writing and voices, but not so much the actual plot.
    more
  • Simone
    January 1, 1970
    If you're looking for a sophisticated "adult" read, be prepared. This isn't for adults. The writing and the voice is way more amateur, but as a young adult novel this voice isn't meant for adults. This book in general isn't made for adults because while hitting on some serious adult themes, it's still made for teenagers.The only thing that really irked me about the book was the writing and the voice. However, I also took it with a grain of sand because Florence Gonsalves had a point in writing t If you're looking for a sophisticated "adult" read, be prepared. This isn't for adults. The writing and the voice is way more amateur, but as a young adult novel this voice isn't meant for adults. This book in general isn't made for adults because while hitting on some serious adult themes, it's still made for teenagers.The only thing that really irked me about the book was the writing and the voice. However, I also took it with a grain of sand because Florence Gonsalves had a point in writing this book with that particular voice.Aside from that, this was one randomly deep book. I picked this up because I wanted to read something light and simple. With the word "love" and a cute picture of a Venus Fly Trap, I thought that this would be one of those books. However, what I got was quite the opposite.The main character, Danny (short for Dandelion, which is kind of cringe-y for a name), is a young driven woman who during her first year at Harvard suffered from so much stress and disorder in her life that she was placed in a special hospital for her eating disorder. The story begins with her release from the hospital and trying to reconnect with her friends during summer break. She has until the end of the summer to decide if she wants to go back to Harvard after she's feeling better.During that time, she's faced with her best friend, Sarah, who has changed drastically within the ten months they were separated for school. She also meets a friend she met at the hospital, Bugg, who later becomes her love interest.I think that if you're a person who has ever had a best friend throughout your childhood and suddenly feel the strain of leaving each other for school, then this book will resonate with you. You may not be suffering from an eating disorder or even questioning your sexuality, but if you thought your friends would be friends forever and now it's not then this will ring in your ears like the bells of Notre Dame.I really liked this book because I resonated with that. Also, I resonated with some of the mental health issues Florence Gonsalves brings up. While I don't have an eating disorder, it's been considered that Bulimia and Anorexia both have underlying symptoms of OCD. The inability to control everything around them materializes in control over your own body and your food intake. It becomes an obsession with obsessive thoughts. For example, being able to look at a piece of food and not spiral out of control on what would happen if you ate that food. It was really difficult to read Danny's relationship with food. She's always wearing mu-mus because she's ashamed of the way her body looks. You find her vegan-ness to be more of a way to control her calorie intake than really anything to do with the harm of innocent creatures. You can see the symptoms in everything she says (lots of denial), her binge eating habits, her inability to tell the truth, etc.I think the only thing I felt was a little unbelievable was the levels of Hell she found herself in. Most people don't experience as much pain and loss as Danny does and somehow Danny gets through ALL of it before the end of the book. In the realism of the book, I had to ding it because it just doesn't seem feasible that she can have that much woe at one time. Perhaps it is and there are some people who experience everything at once. When it rains it pours.But in the end, I really liked this book and it kept my attention the entire time. Now I really need something a little bit more simple and fun.
    more
  • Rimpy Toor
    January 1, 1970
    First I'd like to mention that this novel contains mentions of suicide, eating disorders, and depression. Please understand this before deciding to pick this novel up. I wanted to love this novel so badly. I read the synopsis and automatically was intrigued with the plot and the characters we got to follow. Unfortunately, this novel fell a bit flat for me and I really couldn't get into it after the first 100 or so pages. After starting this novel I honestly thought it was going to be a new favou First I'd like to mention that this novel contains mentions of suicide, eating disorders, and depression. Please understand this before deciding to pick this novel up. I wanted to love this novel so badly. I read the synopsis and automatically was intrigued with the plot and the characters we got to follow. Unfortunately, this novel fell a bit flat for me and I really couldn't get into it after the first 100 or so pages. After starting this novel I honestly thought it was going to be a new favourite for me. The first 100 pages were so interesting and strong that I couldn't put the book down when I first picked it up, but despite that, I found myself becoming more and more disinterested as the book went on. CharactersThe characters in this novel all went through a lot. They had lives that were everything but easy, and they worked through these difficulties with a lot of strength, which was admirable. Unfortunately other than that strength, I didn't find much more about the characters to be entirely interesting. I found myself easily becoming annoyed with the characters and their choices and I found that I really didn't care what happened with them. I don't want to mention too much about the characters because I feel like that might be a bit spoiler-y but I do want to mention that these characters all definitely showed a lot of growth throughout the novel, but I found the growth to be expected and uninteresting. I feel horrible for saying that, but I honestly couldn't connect with these characters, so when anything of matter happened to them in this novel, I just didn't care. Writing + PlotThe writing in this novel was entirely ordinary. It wasn't horrible, but it also didn't amaze me. I found myself skimming a lot of the pages when I got near the end of the book, and I don't want to blame that on the writing as much as I want to blame it on the plot. I think the biggest issue I had with this novel was with how slow everything moved. Not only was the content of this novel something that had a slow burn, but on top of that, all the interesting plot points I actually liked, tended to just slow to a turtle like crawl and I found myself becoming disinteresting in them because I just didn't want to follow them that slowly. I don't know if it's because I'm someone who likes a novel that has a certain swiftness to it's plot, but I felt like this novel just dragged on for the second half of it.All in all, this novel is one that I know a lot of people are going to love. It has a great discussion in regards to mental health issues and also includes a F/F relationship that I personally loved. This novel was not for me at all, but I do think that if you're someone who likes a slow burn, this novel will probably be perfect for you!For all my Fantasy and Sci-Fi readers, maybe pass on this one, it's just not something that could compare to the swiftness of a high fantasy novel, so I don't know if it'd hit you like you'd want it to. 
    more
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    “She makes me feel like I’m not myself and more myself at the same time. She devours me in the best way and kills me in the worst way, but I’m happy to be killed by her because she’s heaven too.” I have mixed feelings about this book and writing this review is so difficult. It’s not that I didn’t like the book, because I did like it. I would even recommend reading it, because it talks about a lot of important things; such as eating disorders, mental illness, alcohol abuse, questioning your sexu “She makes me feel like I’m not myself and more myself at the same time. She devours me in the best way and kills me in the worst way, but I’m happy to be killed by her because she’s heaven too.” I have mixed feelings about this book and writing this review is so difficult. It’s not that I didn’t like the book, because I did like it. I would even recommend reading it, because it talks about a lot of important things; such as eating disorders, mental illness, alcohol abuse, questioning your sexuality, and a few other things as well. It’s jam packed with important things.As far as the characters go, I liked the characters. They were all going through something different. They were all struggling with something in their lives. Danny was really sarcastic a lot of the time and she tried to use humor to cope with some of the things happening in her life. I really liked her relationship with Bugg (the girl she meets in rehab). Bugg was a really cool character. Danny’s best friend, Sarah, I wasn’t the biggest fan of hers. But again, she was also going through a lot as well. I can see how it could change her.This tragic event that happens, I honestly wasn’t expecting it at all. I think that’s also where the book took a turn for me and where my mixed feelings about the story came into play. The pace of the book started to slow down. I was waiting for things to happen and they just weren’t happening or at a decent pace anymore. It was taking awhile to get there. I was also hoping for a little bit more with the ending and for certain things to go differently. Like the tragedy that happened, I personally felt like that didn’t need to happen. It’s hard to really talk about it without giving spoilers though.Overall, I liked Love and Other Carnivorous Plants. I thought it was a good story. It dealt with a lot of pretty important and tough things. For the most part they were handled pretty well. I liked Florence’s writing style and it was easy to read. I wish the pace didn’t change in the second half of the book, but it was still a good read. I would still recommend reading it.
    more
  • Emily Reed
    January 1, 1970
    Love and Other Carnivorous Plants is the story of a girl named Danny. Danny had a bright future ahead of her as she finished her first year at Harvard. She had it all, the dream school, a supportive family, and her best friend of fourteen years, Sara, waiting for her at home. At least that’s what she told people. Danny had a secret that threw off everything, or should I say threw up everything? Danny’s life soon became anything but bright. Danny was a very relatable person. If you’ve ever had an Love and Other Carnivorous Plants is the story of a girl named Danny. Danny had a bright future ahead of her as she finished her first year at Harvard. She had it all, the dream school, a supportive family, and her best friend of fourteen years, Sara, waiting for her at home. At least that’s what she told people. Danny had a secret that threw off everything, or should I say threw up everything? Danny’s life soon became anything but bright. Danny was a very relatable person. If you’ve ever had anything go wrong in your life it happened to Danny at some point throughout this story. It was easy to connect with the characters to a point. This book was able to highlight many of today’s struggles, but not in a helpful or productive manner. It wasn’t hard to relate to things Danny struggled with but it seemed to glorify addiction, which I found to be counterproductive. Love and Other Carnivorous Plants was based off an amazing idea however, I feel it wasn’t written to its fullest potential. The book itself wasn’t written as well as it could’ve been considering all the plot twists and depth of content. What it lacked in grammatical pizzazz it should have been able to make up for in plot however, it could not redeem itself due to its weak and inconclusive ending. I would not recommend this book especially not to anyone struggling with an eating disorder, depression, or addiction.
    more
  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    TW: eating disorder, attempted suicideWhile I enjoyed the writing voice, and many of the characters, at the end of the day this book was solidly good, but nothing ground breaking. I really enjoyed the queer representation - the questioning representation without feeling a need to self-label. At the same time, I felt like things were brought up, but never really explained or worked through.Writing: 3, Plot: 4, Characters: 4, World: 3
    more
  • Francesca
    January 1, 1970
    The plot was interesting, but the author dragged it on for the whole book. When books are written they have a beginning, middle, climax, and resolution. This one seemed to be all climax with a tiny intro and a tiny resolution that really didn't resolve much. It was just climax after climax after climax, and it soon became a little tiresome. I wouldn't recommend it, even though it dealt really well with eating disorders.
    more
  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    This book really captured me - I love Danny's voice, I love her flaws. The story is all about not knowing wtf you're doing, and that resonates. It covers hard topics but includes a great message from the author and list of resources at the end. A great read for the struggling overachiever, the person who takes jokes too far, the unsure, and the literary heart. Recommended.
    more
  • Kell
    January 1, 1970
    ehhhhh. i really wanted to like this, but i'm more than halfway through and still am not really into it. the plot is all over the place and feels unfocused, and i think the characters could be more well-rounded as well (some of them even feel like caricatures). disappointing, but since it's the author's debut novel, i will definitely try future ones and look for improvement!
    more
  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    I had to set this down for a second because I had to read a different book by a certain date, but once I was done with it I came right back to L&OCP. This was a quick, sweet read altogether. I couldn't wait to see what would happen, and I think it addresses the topic of mental health in an honest light. Full RTC!
    more
  • Alec
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What an incredible story - such heart, and a very authentic voice!
  • MrsFinberg
    January 1, 1970
    Funny, sharp, and aching.
  • Kristen Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    I had a lot of problems with this book. Could have been the manuscript I was reading. Maybe the editor fixed things in the process?
  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    Danny just got back home from a treatment center for troubled teens. And pretty sure her eating disorder is not healed at all. But she'd rather be home and reconnect with her best friend than go back there.I liked this book a lot. We are presented with Danny, a very funny sarcastic girl who uses humor as a coping mechanism. While reading, I found such amazing and funny quotes that are totally relatable that you wish you came up with. And as the story progresses who can't help but feel sorry for Danny just got back home from a treatment center for troubled teens. And pretty sure her eating disorder is not healed at all. But she'd rather be home and reconnect with her best friend than go back there.I liked this book a lot. We are presented with Danny, a very funny sarcastic girl who uses humor as a coping mechanism. While reading, I found such amazing and funny quotes that are totally relatable that you wish you came up with. And as the story progresses who can't help but feel sorry for her, at the same time cheer her on.Dark humor is definitely a key thing in this book, but also the things that Danny is going through. Her eating disorder plus her discovering her sexuality were such a roller coaster ride. It was just full of emotion and jam packed with honesty and strength of trying to move forward.I also like the other themes in this book. The it-doesn't-make-sense but perfect freindship of Danny and Sara is an amazing combination. It's so refreshing to see their difference but they compliment each other so well. Another theme is love. It's one of those wrong-place-wrong-time type of thing, but it was the perfect time actually.I did find myself having a slow start with the book. But as I move forward many things has happened that I just did not see coming.This was an amazing read for me, and I can definitely see myself reading the author's future books.* I won an ARC of this book
    more
Write a review