Wow. Matthew Crow is an extremely funny writer and Francis Wootton is the best fictional teenager since Adrian Mole. Full of brilliant, bittersweet moments, full of all the love and pains and embarrassments and delusions of growing up. Read In Bloom right now. It will improve your life. (Matt Haig, author of The Humans)
Some writers are just born... Begin enjoying Matthew Crow now. (Jonathan Trigell, author of Boy A)
Matthew Crow writes brightly with verve and a great sense of fun ( Northern Echo)
Matthew Crow writes with so much heart that In Bloom practically beats as you read it… In Bloom floored me. It became my primary relationship, people faded around me, emails remained unwritten, shops literally flooded and no friend seemed quite as interesting or engaging as the characters in the book… Matthew Crow has created an original teenage hero to join the ranks of the great. Engaging, ridiculous and brilliant all at once. Whether you are 14 or 40, run to your nearest bookshop and treat yourself to a copy at once. (Tamara Tales on Moon Lane Bookshop)
This is an honest, sometimes very painful, often extremely funny and always uplifting novel that really touched my heart . . . I was completely under Matthew Crow's spell. This short novel is just perfectly brilliant and I will recommend In Bloom to all readers, young and old. (Anne Cater 'Random Things Through My Letterbox' blog)
A moving and wonderfully witty tale…There are certain possible joys in reading and one of them is finding a book that is genuinely – without labouring to be so – funny… This excellent book is worth anyone's time. ( Telegraph)
In Bloom is a compelling story with three-dimensional characters, a powerful dramatic momentum and a convincingly sad denouement. I hope that some imaginative cinema producer is already taking out his cheque book ( Books for Keeps)
Moving. ( The Sun)
Francis Wootton's first memory is of Kurt Cobain's death, and there have since been other hardships much closer to home.
At fifteen years old he already knows all about loss and rejection - and to top it all off he has a permanently broke big brother, a grandma with selective memory (and very selective social graces) and a mum who's at best an acquired taste. Would-be poet, possible intellectual, and definitely wasted in Tyne and Wear, Francis has grown used to figuring life out on his own.
Lower Fifth is supposed to be his time, the start of an endless horizon towards whatever-comes-next. But when he is diagnosed with leukaemia that wide-open future suddenly narrows, and a whole new world of worry presents itself.
There's the horror of being held back a year at school, the threat of imminent baldness, having to locate his best shirt in case a visiting princess or pop-star fancies him for a photo-op . . . But he hadn't reckoned on meeting Amber - fierce, tough, one-of-a-kind Amber - and finding a reason to tackle it all - the good, the bad, and everything in between - head on.
In Bloom is a bright, funny, painful, and refreshing novel about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad it can be. It is a novel about how to live.
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