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Love & Other Carnivorous Plants

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  376 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
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 w ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Lola
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
...more
ellie
This book features a character so self-destructive that she might as well come with a Danger! Object may combust under extreme stress sticker. Or in other words, it was everything about myself I try to not dwell on. Danny? She dwells. She makes stupid decisions, thinks the worst things, and is an all-around mess. But I think that’s what made her so real.

Mental illness makes you think - no, dwell - on the worst parts of yourself. And Danny reflects that. This is a book about a girl who tries to e
...more
alice (arctic books)
I’m so surprised with this novel! I picked LOVE & OTHER CARNIVOROUS PLANTS up on a whim, and I just finished reading this in one sitting. I’m definitely adding Florence Gonsalves to my auto-buy authors.

This novel follows Danny, who is a college student at Harvard but is struggling with an eating disorder, body image, her sexuality, and the recent death of a close friend. The plot was very fast-paced and I whipped through the pages faster than I thought was possible. Danny was so authentic an
...more
Corey
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 STARS

Oh gosh, I have such mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, there's a lot to like. The prose is beautiful, which is especially refreshing in a YA novel, as I often find that the writing in the genre ditches quality sentences in favor of what a lot of authors must see as "voice." Gonsalves sees no need to compromise though; the prose is crystalline and occasionally lyrical, and yet LOVE's protagonist, Danny, sounds exactly like a nineteen-year old. Her voice is pitch-perfect, an
...more
Dahlia
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
...more
PinkAmy loves  💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tori
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
VERY well-written, Love & Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves is a book that explores some extremely heavy topics: mental health, eating disorders, sexuality and sexual identity, grief and substance abuse.

It's hard for me to write a review for this one - this doesn't feel like the best space to try to grapple with what I've read or what I'm feeling after finishing. Just know that this book is not for the faint of heart. You want a fluffy, cute read? Go find a Kasie West book. Thi
...more
Kaylie
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer, mental-health
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
...more
Sierra
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ahhh, this book. It has my entire heart. The eating disorder rep is unparalleled.
Paige Green
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book through KidLitExchange and Little, Brown Books! Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3/5

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 16+ (sex, lgbt+, eating disorders, fixation, self-destructive tendencies. Please be aware there are some possible triggers for those who have eating disorders).

Pages: 352

Author Website

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny's life. She's failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best fri
...more
Dove
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was painful to finish. And I have no idea why. From the synopsis, it honestly seemed like the perfect book for me- it's exactly the genre that I always read and enjoy. But this was just different. It was so excessively long I got frustrated. So many things could have been condensed or summarized, but this book had so many filler chapters that literally did not advance the plot at all. My english teacher once gave me amazing advice, saying, "think about whether a particular detail or ev ...more
Jaye Ashryver
Nov 01, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: contemporary
Dropped at pg 75.

Despite this book having a shockingly low Goodreads rating average (3.39), I didn't go into this one hating it. I was curious sure, but I already owned it so I figured to try it out. Sometimes things are better left a mystery though. I just couldn't do it.

For some reason this book just... skipped everything important. It skipped on the before and during of this character's eating disorder and other issues that lead her into taking a break from college to go to a treatment center
...more
Sue (BeautyBookCorner)
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Abby
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Okay, so basically I got this book for free. When one gets a book for free that is nothing to sniff at. I almost drop kicked a few children to get my hands on it. Am I happy about that decision? I dunno. Would I do it again? Probably. Anyway, without further adieu, let's get to what I kind of liked about this book and what I absolutely hated.

Pros because I like to start positive: has a very real portrayal of eating disorders and mental illness, also the main character is in a same-sex relationsh
...more
Kareena
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a crazy journey. I loved all the twists and turns. Danny was such a great character because of how imperfect she is. She was such an incredible character, with so many issues that she was trying so hard to work through. Definitely a refreshing contemporary. Just wish her and Bugg ended differently...

Lesbian romance, a vague sex scene, underage drinking, as well as frank discussion of mental illness including eating disorders.
Mary
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5 stars
I liked this book, but it dragged a bit for me. I would have really liked the story that occurs before the main events of this book. Overall though, it was a good read and an interesting look at living your true self in life and facing your problems.
Melissa
Nov 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-read-books
DNF at page 139

Yikes.
Jacqueline Wheeler
Sep 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was VERY boring - I felt absolutely no sympathy for the characters.
Gabrielle
we're going to move on from this nightmare :)
Tonya Spencer
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emmi Rose  (emmirosereads)
*3.5*
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 im
...more
Natalie
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
When I got this book from the library, I was prepared to fall head-over-heels in love with it. I had seen someone in the booktube community give it high praise, and I was sure this meant I was going to adore the book. Sadly, this was not the case. Although there was plenty about this book that I enjoyed, it wasn't the five star read I was anticipating.

Summary: Danny's life is not going according to plan. She got accepted at Harvard as a pre-med student, but lost her second semester as she was f
...more
Simone
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, ya-novels
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
...more
Rimpy Toor
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: may-2018
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
...more
Teenreadsdotcom
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Danny and Sara have been best friends forever. Along with being best friends forever comes The Plan. The Plan is to go to college together, fall in love with brothers and raise their kids together. But when Danny is accepted to Harvard, The Plan goes haywire. As she goes to her first year of college, her life catches up to her. After studying pre-med for part of a year, Danny winds up in treatment for an eating disorder where she meets an older girl who understands what it feels like to be compl ...more
m
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
cw eating disorders, body image, alcohol
(+spoilers + a review that's mostly here for personal archival purposes)

To be perfectly honest, reading about Danny felt a lot like holding up a mirror to myself, though maybe a younger version. Which is probably why the whole thing felt too close and I probably identified too much even while recognizing (like in the thoughtful author's note!) that a lot of what Danny says and does is imperfect and even sometimes problematic.

That said, I can't personally i
...more
Liralen
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The front-cover soundbite says that it is for 'fans of Sarah Dessen', and I'm really not sure what they were thinking. I suspect that either 1) they didn't actually read Love & Other Carnivorous Plants or 2) they don't have a great understanding of what a Sarah Dessen book entails. Because this is nothing like a Sarah Dessen book—this is more like the sort of thing somebody reads when they've outgrown the books they read when they outgrew Sarah Dessen.

This is not criticism—not when it comes
...more
Ashley
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
“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
...more
Stephanie
I randomly picked this up at the library during LGBTQ Pride Month. I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't "my book." There were SO many adult issues going on in this book (thought it was published under Young Adult), and I just didn't relate to any of them. What I did enjoy was the authentic voice and experience that the characters had. They felt like real people, but dealing with things with which I couldn't empathize. In the author's note at the end, Gonsalves mentions that she wanted her protagonis ...more
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a hard book for me to read. I mean I was blowing through it quite quickly in comparison to other books I’d read recently, but I had to put it down at one point because after tragedy strikes, some things that Danny had seemingly under control, get thrown out the window. It might go without saying that this book could be triggering to some with regard to eating disorder behaviours, binge drinking, and other risky behaviours.

Sometimes though when you pick a book up again, the triggering n
...more
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“I went to college with a very clear idea about who I was. But then life went and bulldozed my entire plan, and now I'm standing in the dirt without a single slab of sorry cement under me. Do you know how scary that bulldozed place is? I have no foundation anymore.” 2 likes
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