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In Bloom

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,894 ratings  ·  329 reviews
A poignant and unexpectedly funny novel about Francis - one of the best and bravest teenage boy narrators since Adrian Mole. This is an emotionally honest story about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad things can be.

Francis Wootton's first memory is of Kurt Cobain's death, and there have been other hardships closer to home since then. At
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 19th 2013 by Much-in-Little
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Lottie I thought this books was fantastic... I found it hilarious but was bawling my eyes out by the end (and I'm not one to easily cry).
I thought this books was fantastic... I found it hilarious but was bawling my eyes out by the end (and I'm not one to easily cry).

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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,894 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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enqi ☁️✨
Jun 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: standalones, 2018
The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise is marketed as the fault in our stars from the boy's point of view, but in truth, the only resemblance to tfios is its premise, and afterwards, the book falls short of its predecessor's standards.

the romance was a no-go for me. it was the worst case of instalove i've ever seen... it seemed like francis and amber had no choice because they were both dying of cancer and they were the most compatible in the whole ward. unlike most of my friends i'm not that av
Cora Tea Party Princess
North East Teenage Book Awards Nominee 2014

5 Words: Young-love, drugs, love, family, hope.

This was my first read of 2015 and it was amazing. And heart breaking. And it made me cry.

From the very first page, I knew this book would be special. I mean, it doesn't get more powerful that that first short page. That first page kind of stuns you, leaves you slightly breathless.

When I finished this book, I had tears streaming down my face. And I couldn't think straight. I still can't think straight, can'
Dec 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to Simon and Schuster for the ARC!

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. I was highly anticipating this book and I thought it was going to be a very emotional contemporary book that would hit me right in the feels. I was wrong. I am actually going to do this review in a list format because I think it would be easier to put my thoughts together.

Why I Did Not Like This Book:

1. Pacing - This book had such strange pacing. It had SO many page breaks. I usually like page breaks but this
An unsolicited Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Francis is sick with leukemia and being diagnosed changes his life as he knows it. With his mother and older brother, he gets through his treatments. Even when his two grumpy bed mates don't give him the time of day. In comes Amber, a girl like no other. One who speaks her mind, and does anything she wants. She's sick too.

This bright and bold cover really stood out to me and this is probably why I picked this up from th
Ashley Daviau
This book was a bit of a letdown for me if I’m being totally honest. The story was good and I did enjoy it but definitely not as much as I thought I would. If I’m reading a book like this I want it to make me cry and FEEL things but this one didn’t check those boxes for me sadly. It all felt a bit too predictable and stale for me, I saw what was coming from a mile away and it spoiled the effect for me.
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so here's the problem with this book. AMBER HAS NO DIMENSION AS A CHARACTER, she's just this shadow that the author couldn't figure out how to work magic on and make her come alive. She's flat, she and Francis have ZERO chemistry. You can't just say they're madly in love and then expect us to believe it. You have to actually take us behind the scenes and show us all those little tiny moments where they make awkward eye contact, and can't stop grinning at each other. Yes, Matthew Crow, I prom ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't a one star book. Just going in my on hold. It's a sweet book but just didn't capture me, I keep finding myself wanting to venture to other books. I'll come back to it though ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Grochowski
My goodness, I adore this novel so incredibly much. Yes, it's another cancer book about a teen falling in love with a fellow patient and discovering what it means to live while his body is dying, but here's the thing: this book is so much more than the familiar premise.

“He had to be nice to me at the moment because he had to be surrounded by people. This was because boys like him were, essentially, pasta. Everyone thought they loved him because they had never been forced to experience the true
Book Concierge
From the book jacket: Francis has plans to come into his own, forging his way in school and life, despite his loony, awkward, broken family … and noticeable lack of friends. Then he is diagnosed with leukemia. … In the hospital, Francis meets fellow patient Amber. Fierce, tough, one-of-a-kind Amber.

My reactions
I really liked the relationship that Francis had with his older brother. I never did figure out what was up with his Mom, but she grew on me by the end. (This was probably indicative of F
Rosanna Threakall
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-favourites
I love this with all my soul. Matthew Crow is a phenomenally underhyped writer. GET. ON. THIS.
Originally at Heart Full Of Books

(Warning: The blurb of this book is misleading.) On the back cover, this book is compared to ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. Normally, comparing a contemporary book with John Green is a risky business, as A LOT of people in the world love TFIOS. However, I’d say the only similarity with John Green’s most famous novel is that the two main characters have cancer. That’s like comparing Shadow and Bone with The Selection, because they both have a female protagonist!

Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review By Beth

In Bloom’s synopsis immediately had me thinking of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Is this just another cancer novel? Yes it’s an emotive topic but can it be overdone? Are there too many novels dealing with this topic at the moment? I don’t think so and I think In Bloom is brilliant and is at least The Fault in Our Stars’ equal. I would even say I prefer it over the huge American hit because it has a British-ness to it which makes it easier for me to relate to.
Crow’s protagon
I’m pretty conflicted about this book, I’ve gotta say. There were some things I really liked, and others I really hated. The family/friendship aspect of this book was amazing - I absolutely loved the relationship between Amber’s mom and Francis’ mom, the strong bond between Chris and Francis, and just the overall development of the characters that made up Francis’ family. But, unfortunately, Francis was kinda crap. He was immature, whiny and childish; he was always looking for pity from anyone w ...more
♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤the summertime and butterflies all belong to your creation❤

The saddest part is that this book didn't have anything specifically wrong with it. Sure, the main character was a bit of a dick, and the plot was a complete cliché, but I thought I could get a bit further through. It had promise- I liked the cover and the quote on the back of the book- but the book simply didn't interest me. It was boring. I didn't want to pick it up and read again, and I was only half reading it when I did- I never got lost in it.
I feel like it's hard to master
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t cry, but that’s ok. I really enjoy how Crow writes. I will have to pick up more of his books in the future.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before I begin this review I just have to let you know I’m listening to Whitney Houston’s greatest hits because this book has made me feel lots of different things and I need some good 80’s music to help me write this review. So, if there are accidental insertions of Whitney lyrics then I’m sorry.

I had never heard of this book until I did some fiddling around on Amazon looking for some good YA reads and this book kept popping up and because I like the name Matthew and because the cover looked p
Natalie (Never trust a duck)
Thank you Andye from for your Review My Books program!

If you've read the synopsis, you'll know that Francis, our main character, is diagnosed with leukemia. If you managed to read past that line in the summary, you'll find that he falls for a fellow patient. If you're like most literary analysts, you'll have made an immediate connection to The Fault in Our Stars. But let me be the 31st person to tell you: not every book that deals with cancer and love is automatically a copy of H
Megan Wynne
Jun 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not one to usually leave reviews but I felt very passionately about my one star for this book. First of all, the inside cover summary basically alludes to what happens to Amber at the end so the whole book you kind of know what's going to happen to her.. So no element of surprise at all. Also this book is about how Francis gets cancer- specifically Leukemia- and falls in love with Amber who is also sick. But the biggest thing that bothered me was how little the author did to actually write a ...more
- ̗̀  jess  ̖́-
Have I ever hated a main character so much? This kid had his head so far up his own ass he was talking out of his asshole but the sound came out his mouth. Look - I'm all for smart kids. What I can't take is the 'better than thou' attitude that Francis had throughout the whole book. He called himself a sophisticate, an intellectual, which is annoying, but then Matthew Crow would give him an "impressive array of literature" and make him like Romantic poets and then go ahead and put down Kelly and ...more
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It was good but extremely predictable. Today after the Fault In Our Stars everyone tries to make a cancer love story. Some succeed, others fail. This book was almost done right. The plot was well thought out but the main character was so cheesy about the romance that he almost creepily created. The ending was sad but almost a good sad because I feel like it closed the story on a good note. I would give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
ashley 🌈
It was bad. Just plain bad. I decided to stop reading about halfway through.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I really liked the family aspect of this story
Francis had a very strong support system throughout
his ordeal. However, I had a difficult time liking him,
at times in the story he came off as a self-righteous

This is a direct quote from the book of what
Francis thinksof his mother:

"Mum only completed half of her college entry exams before
before giving up and taking the first job she could get.
With a track record that never strayed beneath a B, I was
already her intellectual superior and didn
Brenda Zalegowski
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen a lot of comparisons to The Fault In Our Stars (most unfavorable) and I think that's just unfair. The only similarity is the fact that two kids with cancer fall in love. Well guess what, John Green does not have the market on kids with cancer stories. Lurlene McDaniel was writing stories about kids with serious illnesses decades ago so I'm sick of the TFIOS comparisons.

I actually enjoyed this book much more than TFIOS, mostly because of Francis. He was just so likable as were his mom
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow is an emotionally moving story about Francis. Francis, despite is awkwardness and broken family, has great plans for school and life. When he is diagnosed with leukemia, his plans seem to not be possible, but soon starts to see the positive side of his situation ; kindness is shown to him now that he is sick.
Amber, a resilient and one of a kind girl is Francis’ fellow patient. As both of them battle cancer together and develop feelings along
Marshal (thebookishhowler)
Actual rating: 3.5/5 stars

Review to come.
Smart Bookaholics Inc Bookstore
What an amazing book! Inspirational and real!
Jayne  Chen
This review can also be found on my blog: ! :)

Okay, first of all, I KNOW that you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover. Which I will not. But I WILL comment on just how BEAUTIFUL that cover is. The colors are gorgeous, and the font. You’d never be able to guess at what this book holds inside. Okay anyways, The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise. I liked this book. I really did. It was an easy read, a lovely Young Adult fiction piece that I’m sure would a
This book just touched my heart.
Jessica | Bookish Serendipity
Oh, I had such high hopes for this book. The cover! The premise! The characters! I desperately wanted to love it…but I didn’t.

The pacing at the beginning of the book really threw me off. We start with a lot of backstory about when Francis was 4 years old. We then skip forward to when Francis was 15 years old, which is when the majority of the book is set. A few pages later, the story jumps back a few years to when Francis first learned that he had cancer. There was a lot of back and forth at the
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​Matthew was born and raised in Newcastle and began freelancing for newspapers and magazines whilst still at school, writing about the arts and pop culture.

He has written four novels, Ashes and My Dearest Jonah - the second of which was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize for Literature - and one book for young adults, In Bloom, which was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and the North East Teen B

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9 likes · 1 comments
“He had to be nice to me at the moment because he had to be surrounded by people. This was because boys like him were, essentially, pasta. Everyone thought they loved him because they had never been forced to experience the true blandness of him on his own.” 8 likes
“Nothing's ever all bad if you think hard enough about it.” 7 likes
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