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The Madness Blooms

3.05  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  84 reviews
My brother Bastian was born in a tulip field, or so the story goes. The woman at the church orphanage boasted this proudly to the seed merchant who had chosen Bas as his apprentice. Lucky for me, he took us both.

When a single tulip bulb sold for the price of Amsterdam’s finest houses, the flower shop was supposed to be our future, our survival. But when our master died, th
304 pages
Published by Flatiron Books (first published November 24th 2020)
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Mackenzi Not yet! Just fall 2019--stay tuned for more specifics!

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Average rating 3.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Sep 06, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
Rumors of this book being postponed indefinitely have been greatly exaggerated. It’s coming. Release date TBD.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2017 marked it as no-thx
I'm changing my initial preview because there's no way I'm leaving it up when it was unintentionally misgendering the protagonist. But apparently this book's team has decided to deadname and misgender the character in the blurb although the protagonist is a trans guy. Idk man, seems shady and just uh, wrong.
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Mar 12, 2017 marked it as zzzzz-coverporn-etc
There has apparently been a conversation going on for several days about this book on Twitter, and as I am currently deactivated on Twitter (a story involving me jokingly threatening my best friend with death for a bad meme. no I'm not joking.) I have missed much of said conversation. However, I do feel that since I have quite literally been excited about this book for a year, I should say two things:

1) In the past, Mackenzi Lee has shown herself to be very dedicated to queer historical fiction
Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on my blog!

I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

CW: homophobia, transphobia, outing, deadnaming, gender dysphoria, unsupportive family, graphic sex scene, and possible alcohol abuse


First and foremost, I want to make some statements about this review upfront. A lot of you know me, but this review will be posted on Goodreads and Twitter and, obviously, this blog. I’
✨    jamieson   ✨
Jun 27, 2019 marked it as no-thanks
this book was initially announced and marketed as an f/f romance as far back as May of 2017. Since then, it has come out this is a book between a trans man and a girl. Most people reading the arc say it looks like Lee tried to write an f/f romance, pivoted and wrote a trans story instead, smushed it all together and didn't get ... great results.

Further, arc reviews have told me this book includes: (view spoiler)
prag ♻
Jun 18, 2019 marked it as nope
you're telling me.... a cis author marketed this as a sapphic romance to later reveal the protagonist is a trans man.... and deadnamed and misgendered the character in the synopsis

*more information here:
Jun 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Update: my original review was based on the original blurb, and there are now reviewers who have talked about the content of the book itself. Please make sure you seek out the reviews that are sensitive to the trans angle of this book.

I won't be reading this book; from the extracts shared and discussed by multiple reviewers it's clear that it is far too invalidating, problematic and triggering. Do ask yourself that if a book with trans rep is too painful or problematic for trans readers to safe
Carol (bookish_notes)
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as asshole-authors
I’m not interested in reading this book. Is the cover stunning? Yes.


It is deeply concerning that the author admits (in an IG post for the cover reveal) that they and the pub willingly misgenders one of the MCs. This book is not a f/f YA. One of the MCs is a trans man and purposely misgendered in the blurb.

It’s Pride Month and this is what a major pub decides to go with???

Recommend reading books by trans authors instead.

*EDIT 6/20/2019*

After reading one of the reviewers point out the very
☙ nemo ❧
Jul 02, 2019 marked it as tbr-unreleased
so i think all the DrAmA surrounding this book has actually led to some changes so i'm just gonna be lurking here like a book gremlin as the months go by spying on everyone's reviews
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
Fuck everything about this book. Fuck the transphobic mess that is deadnaming and misgendering the trans protagonist in the blurb for marketing reasons. Fuck making it seem like this was an f/f romance for months while the author well knew that's not what this book is at all and could have cleared that up right away. Fuck the homo- and transphobic tropes used in this book, the graphic violence against trans and gay men and just basically everything about this.

This is why cis authors should not b
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jun 21, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I was really disappointed to find out that there is a bunch of shady sh*t going on with misgendering the main character which is not okay. Especially from cis author. I can now only hope I don't end up getting an ARC (I had requested it before knowing about the issue) because if I do, I can't guarantee that I won't bash it to smithereens with one of my Scathing Reviews™

past tucker needs to think before he speaks oof

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˗ˏˋ janet ˊˎ˗
Jun 25, 2019 marked it as do-not-support
Not only does the author misgender the main character in the blurb but they also deadname & misgender them through out the whole book. It even has violent language against poc! There are so many scenes in here which are disgusting and can potentially harm a younger audience. How did this take 7 years of research and writing?!

Please look here for information :
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as never-in-a-million-years
i’m tentatively putting this back in my tbr list as Mackenzie is going to revise the book in light of all that has been pointed out. i’ll be looking for #ownvoices reviews once the book is ready for publication again to decide whether to read or not.
vatana 🦋
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as children-of-nopes-and-yikes
y’all ever read that *quite* recent article warning you not to eat molded bread even after you’ve torn off the molded parts? because by the time the mold shows, the bread has probably been thoroughly infested; most of the other mold spores are just too small for you to see.

the jacket is the mold that shows. the bread is this book.

i happened to find Taylor Brooke Barton’s thread where they detailed what the book is like on the inside and... the problem doesn’t stop with the awful jacket synopsi
So, I read it.

It is beautifully written and compelling, so there's that.

Otherwise, this was....not good.

I'm cis, so I won't go into lots of nitty gritty about places where even I could see that the trans rep was sloppy, but I will link to trans reviewers. Here's the first full analysis I've seen.

I went in thinking that this book would've saved itself a lot of trouble - and just been a lot less harmful - if it had simply been a cis f/f pairing. But, about 200 pages in, it became clear that that
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as nah
A basic requirement of me reading a book is feeling like an author can communicate basic ideas and concepts. Explaining your decision to misgender a trans character with “But. Yeah.” does not give me any confidence Lee has the ability to write a basic sentence much less a book. (I had already said I wasn’t going to read her stuff since I was told she can’t write POC but this didn’t help her case)
McKelle George
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read an early copy, and even then: all the stars, all the awards, all the accolades. I adore this book.
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as not-with-a-ten-foot-pole
misgendering isn’t a good look
Aug 25, 2016 marked it as to-read-later
Shelves: most-anticipated
Historical Fiction? Gender Identity? Dutch Tulipomania?
First Tulip Fever with Alicia Vikander and now this?
Sarah Ames-Foley
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as nah
There are 1000 Twitter threads covering why I don't feel like reading this.
faith ✨
Apr 20, 2020 marked it as z-not-interested
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
(7/3/19) I've removed my previous notes now that the author has announced that publication is being pushed back for more revision — I will wait for trans reviewers to weigh in on if the rep has improved, and then decide whether to put it on my tbr.

The story for anyone who hasn't followed it: the book's original blurb misgendered the trans male protagonist, using she/her pronouns and making the book sound like a lesbian romance, which it is not. Negative responses to this caused the publisher to
Levi van Zyl
Nov 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I'm usually not one to do this. Actually am never one to do this, but I have strong strong opinions about this book. As a reviewer, as a transman, as a bisexual person, this book rubs me the wrong damn way. When I first heard about this book, it was literally marketed, by the marketing team, as a F/F romance. Which is great! I love that so much! Little do I know, I've come to find out this book is using being trans as a shock value, and from the reviews, it's demeaning, using outdated and trau ...more
♠ Tabi ♠
I just noticed a new blurb here for this book and I approve of the change. It clears up the marketing confusion that was a huge part of some previous drama surrounding this book.


oof so much drama keeps appearing across my feed here. Now while I'm annoyed that yet again it's another marketing decision causing the tension here, does the new information (and maybe the fresh drama) about this story make me even more interested in it? Yes, yes it does.

Does that make me a weird person? Probably. Tb
Jul 30, 2017 marked it as to-read
Since I've unofficially declared Mackenzi Lee my new bae, I feel inclined to tell people HOW FUCKING AWESOME THIS SOUNDS TOO.

Gimme. Gimme it. Gimme now.
Jun 17, 2019 added it
Aug 27, 2017 marked it as to-be-released
dutch lesbians in the 17th century? with flowers?

Yasmin ✨
Jun 21, 2019 marked it as to-read
I know this cover is supposed to be cute and Dutch but it looks like cheap ‘art’ you would find in one of the thousand souvenir shops in Amsterdam. It’s pretty tacky. 🤭
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Tulipomania 1 38 Aug 03, 2016 12:23PM  

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Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Simmons College. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical fantasy novels THIS MONSTROUS THING, THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, which won a 2018 Stonewall Honor Award and the New England Book Award, and its sequel, THE LADY'S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY, which debuted at #3 ...more

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