Black Flowers, White Lies – A YA Thriller

Book Review : Black Flowers, White Lies 

By Yvonne Ventresca

Spoiler Alert!



Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be. (Courtesy of

Adult Point of View

One of the best things about a thriller is if the reader cannot predict the twists and the end. Since this is a YA novel there are not a lot of twists, but I was still surprised and had not predicted the ending until close to the very end. I also enjoyed how Ventresca entwined the supernatural, doubts of the supernatural and the psychological twists. It is one of the better YA novels that I have recently read.

I thought the main character, Ella Benton’s, attachment to cats added to the charm of the book. To keep the surprises in the book I’m keeping this review short, and sparse on detail. It is sufficient to recommend this book if you like a good mystery.

3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Michelle

If you liked this one you might like Prophecy, The Dragon King Chronicles by Ellen Oh, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones.

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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