Hothouse Flower by Krista & Becca Ritchie | Rating: ★★★★★
“You’re a hothouse flower,” I tell her. “You
can’t grow under natural conditions. You need adventure. And security
and love in order to stay alive.”
Is anyone completely addicted to Addicted and The Calloway Sisters? It's relatively new territory to me because I
find it so difficult to get attached to most new adult releases. I guess it's something of a rule for me but if one series were to be the biggest exception, it's Addicted. I can't remember the last time I was so attached to the characters and their mental health and relationships, but I'm very invested in how things end up for all the characters we meet.
There’s something about Krista and Becca Ritchie’s world of characters
that draws you in from the get-go. Perhaps this is because, unlike a lot
of novels in its genre, the characters are fully fleshed out and flawed
to high degree but still remain as something to be admired. In Hothouse
Flower, the second of The Calloway Sisters spin-off series, we follow the lives of fan-favorites Daisy Calloway and Ryke Meadows; their feelings for one another is at the forefront of the plotline as these two wild cards remain entangled in the lives of Lily, Lo, Connor and Rose. Elements of love, addiction, mental illness, pregnancy, family and risk fill the pages in a way that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
Like the installments before it, there are a lot of moments in which your blood grows chilled or you feel as if you need a cold shower. You know, immediately. For every steamy moment there are ones you'll find yourself soaring from sweetness or tearing up from the past. Ritchie Squared (I'm calling them this, I'm sorry) know what they're doing. From the minds of addicts, to self proclaimed daredevils, to someone who has night terrors, to what it's like to live with loving someone so severely, to the bonds of a family... everything is so on point with all that weave through our hearts and souls.
What I liked about this one most was getting to know Daisy Calloway as every last thing she is. She is just a girl. She is adventurous. She is wise beyond her years. She has a painful past that she keeps to herself. She was thrust in the spotlight without much of a choice. We learn who Daisy is, who she may be and who she is not. We learn who Daisy loves and what she feels and all those night terrors that haunt her. It was painful learning why she has night terrors and all her struggling is something that will resonate with readers. I loved that it isn't sugar coated.
It all ties her in with her sisters--Lily and Rose. Everything we learn about her is a gift that can be warm and fuzzy but just as easily, it can induce readers to tears. I can't explain what it is about Daisy that draws me in, beyond me having the issue of night terrors, but the more I learn about her, the more I love her. Daisy Calloway is a triumph and joins her sisters in that category. How strong are these characters?!
I also enjoyed getting to know Ryke, more. I loved seeing the struggle her has with himself over his feelings for Daisy--that's a sticky situation. I never, ever thought I would feel sympathetic for the feelings and at the end of the day, hope for a happy ending for the two. Raisy deserves everything. This is another thing I need to stress: all the relationships are supremely flawed.
Ritchie Squared pulled this off incredibly. All the emotions and layers that come with characters and their relationships. More importantly, it goes beyond their connections to one another. Each character, each friendships or romance or sibling bond is developed in a way that puts all others in their genre to fucking shame. I cannot praise them enough (seriously) for how much they understand the human complexities that flood us all. Not many authors can do this. They fully and completely understand these characters--they breathe so much life into them that you love these kids as if they were real.
I also loved how we wrapped in so many plots from the previous installments and have developed them on a more intimate level. Everything is perfectly paced and drawn together in a way that is pleasant and surprising. I liked getting a look at these two and their minds, their budding relationships and all the in betweens. I thought the inclusion of their families was perfectly thought out, too, and couldn't get enough of it. I loved all the twists and turns and revelations and cannot wait to see what happens next.
And! The! Settings!
That being said, I loved so much about Hothouse Flower that I cannot tell you guys all without spoiling the details. One thing I know for certain, is that things keep getting better. From luxury, to accurate portrayals of all, to dramatic inclines, to elegant and dishy prose, to romantic scenes, this series has every little thing a person could hope for. Ritchie Squared and their extensive collection of work is something that cannot be missed. I never thought I could love another relationship like Lily/Lo and then Rose/Connor, but here we are.
Cause of death? Raisy.
So. What are you waiting for? Join me and live and love and feel for the Calloway sisters.