A while ago I was sent Dead Cereus by Kira Seamon and I got around to reading it last week. This novel is full of whimsy and has a little bit of a mystery element to it, but overall it fell flat for me and I actually had quite a few issues with it. Read on for the synopsis and a highlight of my thoughts on it.
The novel follows college student Holly, who is studying botany and horticulture. She is not a favorite of the director of the program and her classmate Ivy is her enemy. Ivy also happens to be the daughter of the director. However, Holly’s boyfriend, William, is the program’s star grad student and practically like a son to the director so he’s able to take some of the heat off Holly at times.
As they all prepare for a special event with donors and alumni, Holly tries to make everything perfect to maintain her scholarship and hopefully get an internship with a famous chocolatier who started his career as a botanist. But on the night of the gala, Holly witnesses a murder and more dramatics ensure including a kidnapping. It is up to Holly (with the help of William) to solve the case.
The storyline wasn’t bad and something different, but half the time I wasn’t sure if the ridiculous things going on were cringy or supposed to be funny. First off, I couldn’t tell at first what time period this was, but then I figured out it’s present day because the characters were talking about Facebook and memes. But, what made me question the time period at first was the dialogue. They said things like “darn it” and “neat” like it was the 1960s. The other thing I didn’t understand was Holly and William’s reaction to the murder Holly witnessed. In these kinds of stories, it makes sense for the characters to want to try to solve the crime themselves so I was fine with that, but what didn’t make sense to me was that it wasn’t necessarily that they wanted to go after the killer on their own – they just were like oh let’s wait til tomorrow to call the police because we need to go to sleep. Um, what? There were more instances like this, but I don’t want to give away everything.
Lastly, I did not care for William. He treated Holly like a little kid and when she would screw up (which was often) he would chastise her like a child. Their relationship is actually another example of why I had to question what time period this was taking place because it didn’t seem like 2022. For example, William loved how beautiful Holly looked for the gala and when she was worried about whether she’d be offered the internship, William said that of course she would get it because of how good she looked that night…
Anyway, as you can see I did not love this book. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t finish it, but it just wasn’t good in my opinion. But there are some good reviews for it, so to each their own! If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, I’ve linked to it below!
*I was sent this book complimentary but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*