Love & Other Carnivorous Plants
by Gonsalves, Florence

"Nineteen-year-old Danny returns home after a disastrous first semester of college as a pre-med student and struggles with first love, grief, identity, and self-destructive behavior"-

Florence Gonsalves graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015, and after numerous jobs and internships, she finally decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an author. Love & Other Carnivorous Plants was her debut novel, and she is also the author of Dear Universe. She invites you to visit her online at

*Starred Review* Danny and Sara had a plan-best friends forever, stretching from kindergarten to old age, with a stint at college in between. But when Danny gets into Harvard, the plan derails, and so does the girls' joined-at-the-hip status. However, this is only part of the reason Danny can't tell Sara the truth about her freshman year: struggling with classes, developing an eating disorder, and going through a treatment program that introduced her to the girl she just can't get out of her head-and who seems to pop up when she's least expected. Gonsalves' debut is a pitch-perfect take on what happens when the future you imagined doesn't live up to expectations, and every misstep seems to unravel the person you thought you'd become. A heartbreaking twist raises the stakes of Danny's transformative personal journey, but the struggle of holding on to an old friendship while discovering a new version of yourself should resonate with any reader. This genuinely funny novel about some harrowing topics manages to balance humor and pathos perfectly. Readers who connected with J. J. Johnson's Believarexic (2015) or Sam J. Miller's The Art of Starving (2017) will want this book, as will the many John Green fans who crave intelligent stories that occupy both shadow and light. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

When the life plan she'd laid out implodes, a college freshman finds herself having to regroup.On the surface, snarky protagonist/narrator Dandelion "Danny" Berkowitz seems destined to succeed: The attractive, upper-middle-class high school valedictorian has returned home from Harvard for the summer, ready to reconnect with her popular, equally overachieving, tennis-obsessed best friend, Sara. Unbeknownst to Sara or anyone else in their circle of friends, however, Danny spent second semester at a clinic undergoing in-patient treatment for an eating disorder and anxiety. Along with the internalized fear of failure both teens wrestle with privately, Sara has been saving face by keeping secrets of her own, spelling tragic consequences for their friendship. A turning point comes when Danny enters a romantic relationship with a mutual female friend without telling Sara, who then makes insensitive remarks about another girl who is a lesbian. Gonsalves juggles multiple serious adole scent challenges with operatic verve—eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual awakening and orientation, mental health, grief—and the resulting bildungsroman proves engaging and enlightening, particularly in her realistic depiction of compulsive behaviors related to food. All characters are assumed white. A feel-good debut sure to interest teens looking to feel better about not feeling so great. (author's note, resource list) (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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