Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review: Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

*This review contains some very mild spoilers*

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom. (From Goodreads)

has been on my Debut Author Challenge list for quite some time. I couldn't wait to read it, but I was waiting for just the right time. That time came when I knew that I wanted a paranormal story with something more than vampires and werewolves.

Laurel has the ability to influence the emotions of people around her through flowers. This ability is shared with both her grandmother, and recently deceased mother. This gift, however, isn't one that comes easily. Laurel gets into quite a bit of trouble because she doesn't understand how powerful her abilities truly are. Of course, with numerous female classmates asking her to make them tussie-mussies, it's inevitable that emotions start running wild. What really made this book stand out was the use of the language of flowers, and creating a paranormal aspect to the story based on that language. In the Victorian era, flowers were used as a means of communication. When flowers were sent, they could convey love, friendship, gratitude, hatred, and more. So, I thought that tying this old custom into modern society, where flowers take a backseat to email, texts, and IM, was a really fresh idea.

While I didn't really connect with Laurel's grandmother, Cicely, there was a moment involving her that was particularly poignant. The reader finds out that Cicely having a hard time grieving for her daughter. In fact, she was so upset that she burned her entire garden to the ground. This was, for me, the most emotional part of the book. The reader doesn't even get to see it happen, but it was still heartbreaking.

I would have enjoyed a bit more interaction between Lauren and Justin. I had no problems with his character, but I really wanted to see their relationship develop more. I also wish that Laurel hand't fallen into the "ditching friends" category that's so common in YA literature. Yes, it does happen, but I didn't really think that it was necessary in the story.

Overall, it was a light, interesting read. No tired paranormal clich├ęs here!I'm happy to know a bit more about the true meanings of flowers. I actually used the guide in the back of the book, and on the author's website to help build a gratitude bouquet for my advisor before I graduated from college.

By Amy Brecount White
Published by Greenwillow Books
384 Pages
Rating: B


Tales of Whimsy said...

No tired pararnomal cliches? Nice! Great review btw :)

Emma said...

Great review! I love Amy. Planning on reading this one soon.

Jenny N. said...

Great reivew. I liked learning about the language of flowers too and its so cool that you made a bouquet for someone after reding the book.

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