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NOT A BOOK: The Madness Blooms

2.93  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 24th 2020 by Flatiron Books
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Mackenzi Not yet! Just fall 2019--stay tuned for more specifics!
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Average rating 2.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  68 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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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. ...more
Caidyn (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’
✨    jay   ✨
Dec 08, 2017 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
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jun 06, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
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 :
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
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.
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)
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as not-with-a-ten-foot-pole
misgendering isn’t a good look
Sarah Ames-Foley
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as nah
There are 1000 Twitter threads covering why I don't feel like reading this. ...more
Aug 25, 2016 added it
Historical Fiction? Gender Identity? Dutch Tulipomania?
First Tulip Fever with Alicia Vikander and now this?
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
Lucien Welsh
Jun 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nope
2020.08.19 -- And update from the author's goodreads: Hey gang--this one's not coming out anymore. (ha. pun.) Timing and contracts and legal stuff and lots of conversations have delayed me saying that officially, but it needs to be out there because I'm afraid silence has read as apathy, and for that I'm so sorry. And oh my god I'm so sorry for my mistakes with this book and the hurt I caused. I'm doing what I can to repair the damage and minimize the harm from here on out

I'm really pleased abou
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
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.
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. 🤭
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as nope
This review has firmly cemented my big, loud NOPE that is this book…

Even before reading this review ^^^ I already had strong suspicion based on blurb/copy (which will supposedly be edited 😒) that ML would rely on harmful tropes and, oh look there, sounds like that is the case. Is anyone surprised? Cuz I sure ain’t…
Jun 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
mackienzi lee is doing the lords work here
Sep 21, 2019 marked it as to-read
Huh I wonder why this has been postponed until 2021...well despite the complaints I will still be reading it.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, lgbtq
Deliberating between 4 and 4.5☆, I think I'm closer to give this book a 4.5☆.
Really interesting read, very different from The Gentleman's Guide..., more serious and deeper, quite eye-opening but no less good. Tulip-mania set up is really unique, character's development is on point (although I wish there would be something to close up the situation between Lena and Bas and a punishment for a certain character), and Lena's story made me feel sorry for her and for others, who really had to go thr
Lulu (the library leopard)
New review 6/17/19: So I was *very* excited about this back when I thought it was a story about lesbians, but it turns out the story is actually about a transgender guy & it makes me pretty uncomfortable that 1) the marketing made it SEEM like it was about lesbians (i.e. used the word "girl," used she/her pronouns, referred to the narrator by a female name in the blurb) and 2) that a presumably cisgender author is getting to write one of (the?) first YA historical books featuring a transgender g ...more
Jun 18, 2019 marked it as never-fucking-ever
I own the Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue, but I've never read it. I will eventually get to it.

But everything surrounding the author has been such a big pile of yikes. Something has been off-putting about her to me for a while and I never could put my finger on it.

She keeps fucking up. She keeps not apologizing.

Can cis authors write trans characters? Yes.

Will I trust cis authors to write trans characters competently? Not really.

With this book and the Loki one (two genders anybody?), I don'
Jun 20, 2019 marked it as will-never-read
Note to self: Will not read due to forced outing if a trans person, and gay characters being sexual assaulted and murdered. See this review for more info. ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Not down for this transphobic mess. I don't think it CAN be rewritten so it's fixed. This is not a story a cis person should write.

Also, don't throw your trans sensitivity readers under the bus when you get caught out, hm?
Jun 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star, nope, read-in-2019
trans men are men. period.

stop using the wrong pronouns and repeatedly deadnaming your own character and marketing as a f/f book goddamnit
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