Book Reviews

Review: Love & Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

Love & Other Carnivorous Plants has a genuine writing voice and a constantly twisting plot. But at the end of the day, it was solidly enjoyable without surpassing it.


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 when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is.


book review Love & Other carnivorous plants by florence gonsalvesTW: eating disorder, attempted suicide

While I enjoyed the writing voice, and many of the characters, at the end of the day this book was solidly good, but nothing ground breaking. I really enjoyed the queer representation – the questioning representation without feeling a need to self-label.  At the same time, I felt like things were brought up, but never really explained or worked through. For example, her eating disorder and what not felt shallow. I did appreciate how this didn’t fall into some tropes – especially regarding the ending. But it was not dealt with with enough detail and care. Ultimately this book takes a dark turn around the middle of the book – so just be prepared.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t recommend this book. This is a solidly enjoyable book and I think some people will really enjoy it – I just wasn’t blown away by it. Ultimately Love & Other Carnivorous Plants tackles many different issues – I just wish there was more depth in some of them. You can find the book on Goodreads.


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2 thoughts on “Review: Love & Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

  1. It’s purely my opinion but (speaking as an ex-anorexic/bulemic) the issues that surround eating disorders and other self-destructive patterns are so complex that unless they are explored in-depth then they shouldn’t be included at all. To gloss over or simply mention them in passing takes no account of the untold damage, both physically and mentally, to the person directly involved and the family, friends and other loved ones.

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