by Kenneth Oppell
Knopf, publication 2020
BLOOM is the first book in a trilogy (book #2 HATCH and #3 THRIVE each to come a year after) laced with inventive science fiction elements but rooted in the present world.
With heart-stopping thrills (chainsaws, helicopter journeys, extraordinary dreams!), BLOOM introduces the world to a dangerous new plant species, and three brave kids who may be the only ones capable of fighting it. Anaya is pretty much allergic to the world. Pollen, trees, most foods, you name it. Her allergies leave her face puffy, her nose constantly filled with snot, and her eyes glued shut with gunk. Leave it to her ex-best friend Petra to develop an allergy to water yet remain beautiful and popular. But Petra, for her part, can’t bathe, can’t swim, can’t even step outside in the rain without breaking out in hives. After a mysterious new species of tall black grass invades their Canadian island town, neither Anaya nor Petra is affected by its strange side effects. Neither is Seth, a new boy at their school with secrets of his own. As the unlikely trio rushes to solve the mystery of these new plants before their effects become life-threatening to everyone around them, they soon discover that they may know less about this sinister infestation, and themselves, than they originally thought.
Ken’s signature fast-pace plotting, engaging characters, and high stakes come to life in this incredible new series – with some lessons in botany mixed in! This is Ken’s first trilogy since the hugely successful Airborn series (and Silverwing before that).