Reader Reviewed In Bloom by Matthew Crow

In Bloom

Written by Matthew Crow

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

April 2014 Debut of the Month As funny as it is moving, this is wonderfully vibrant and life-affirming story as told by fifteen year old Francis Wotton. Still in the Lower Fifth, Francis should be doing nothing more than studying for his GCSEs, developing his style and sophistication and clashing with his mother. Instead, he is diagnosed with leukemia. Francis’s life takes off in an entirely different direction as he deals with his illness, how others react to it and, above all, meets Amber. Matthew Crow wittily brings all the complexities of adolescence living and loving sharply into focus adding the twist of uncertainty that haunts his loveable hero.

reader reviews

We invited a small number of our Lovereading members to review In Bloom. Here's a taster....'Any John Green fans will adore this - fresh, funny and real. In Bloom will have you laughing one moment and crying the next. I loved it!' - Erin Zammitt

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In Bloom by Matthew Crow

Francis Wootton is a fifteen year old poet manqué, and as far as he’s concerned his subtle genius is wasted on his family – and pretty much everyone else in his hometown of Tyne-and-Wear. His mum’s run off her feet, his dad’s just run off, his older brother Chris is permanently broke, and he isn’t even sure he likes his best friend Jacob. So Francis often stumbles over the obstacles of adolescence alone. Lower Fifth is supposed to be his time, the start of an endless horizon towards whatever-comes-next. But when he is diagnosed with leukemia, that wide-open future suddenly narrows, and a whole new world of worry presents itself. There’s the notion 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.


Teens love reading and we invited a small number of members and browsers to review In Bloom. You can read their reviews below.

Erin Zammitt, age 13 - 'Any John Green fans will adore this - fresh, funny and real. In Bloom will have you laughing one moment and crying the next. I loved it!' Click Here to read the full review.

Poppy Osborne, age 17 - 'Funny, lighthearted but at the same time poignant and gripping.' Click Here to read the full review.

Jade Craddock - 'Simply incredible! Surely one of the hits of the year that will leave you hungering for Crow’s next novel.' Click Here to read the full review.

Shannon-louise Masters, age 14 - 'overall I love this book and would recommend it.' Click Here to read the full review.

Danielle Wild aged 11 - 'at times it was very emotional, and you wondered what was happening next.' Click Here to read the full review.

Robin Johansson, age 15 - 'A thought-provoking, life-reflecting story about Francis, a 15 year old boy diagnosed with leukemia, and his drive to become a poet.' Click Here to read the full review.

Poppy, age 14 - 'I thought it had strong characters, and found it hard to put down. I think it has a good story line, and is well written, although I was not very comfortable with some of the content.' Click Here to read the full review.

Sarah Haywood, age 13 - 'In Bloom is a book that deals with the difficult topic of leukaemia. When Francis Wootton is diagnosed with leukaemia he has to face the difficulties of cancer and the good and bad.' Click Here to read the full review.

Lauren Coffman, age 14 - 'I enjoyed this book and found it exciting despite the tough subject. I would highly recommend it for readers aged 12-14.' Click Here to read the full review.

Rose Heathcote, age 14 - 'I really enjoyed reading this book, it was like reading a true story, it makes you realise that you should live every day like it's your last.' Click Here to read the full review.

Charlotte Thornalley, age 11 - 'This book is amazing for older children but I would not recommend this to younger children because it has some bad language in it...I would rate this book 5/5.' Click Here to read the full review.


‘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 Online

‘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 joint the ranks of the great. Engaging, ridiculous and brilliant all at once.’ Tales on Moon Lane Bookshop

‘The Fault in Our Stars meets Adrian Mole. Moving, funny and brilliantly narrated.’ Metro

‘Matthew Crow writes brightly with verve and a great sense of fun.’ Northern Echo

‘Moving.’ The Sun

‘The characters are refreshingly differet, and the story is incredibly honest and life affirming...highly recommended.’ The Bookbag

‘Some writers are just born...begin enjoying Matthew Crow now.’ Jonathan Trigell, author of Boy A

‘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

About the Author

Matthew Crow

Matthew Crow was born in 1987 and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. He has written two novels for adults. The second, My Dearest Jonah, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize. In Bloom is his first book for young adults.

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Book Info


240 pages


Matthew Crow
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Much-In-Little an imprint of Constable and Robinson

Publication date

20th March 2014




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