Monday, May 10, 2010

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

Laurel’s mother was always really into flowers, but she’s recently died, leaving Laurel with tons of questions about her mysterious new “flower power”. At her new school, her bouquets have caused teachers to fall in love and helped her friends ace their tests – but Laurel doesn’t really know what she’s doing and the wrong flowers used at the wrong time could cause chaos…

Both my mother and grandmother were avid gardeners and tried to interest me in botany. It never took. After reading this novel, I’m breathing in the scent of raspberries (for regret), because I’ll never have the chance to discuss their love of flowers with them.

I guess I never realized how fascinating the whole language of flowers is. For example, in Victorian times, people used flowers to communicate their feelings for each other or to send other messages. It’s such a fun, fresh idea to take this language of flowers and create a heroine who can actually use flowers like magic.

It takes Laurel a while to figure out what’s behind her power. While I enjoyed the air of mystery, the narrative reasons why the “elders” in her life couldn’t fill her in sooner seemed too a bit forced. A teacher gives her cryptic clues but doesn’t tell her because “it’s not her place”. The grandmother is unreachable. Other characters may or may not know anything about it. I understand the need for Laurel to “blossom” on her own, and some of her early bumbling experiments have humorous outcomes, but more impatient readers might be frustrated by the slow build of the first half.

Patient readers, though, will be rewarded by an action-packed and magical second half. There are definitely some melancholic scenes throughout (after all, Laurel’s mother did die), but the narrative is so infused with love that the novel felt like a real affirmation of joy and life.

FORGET-HER-NOTS is available now in hardcover. Find out more about it on the author’s website.

16 comments:

Chachic said...

Great review! I've seen this book making the rounds in the blogosphere and I'm interested because of its unusual take on the language of flowers.

elizabeth said...

Thanks for the review! I have this book in my TBR pile. I am looking forward to reading it.

Zibilee said...

Not sure if this would be the book for me due to the slow build-up and sections that seem forced, but the cover is exquisitely beautiful!

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

This sounds like such an interesting and meaningful book. Great review :)

-Briana

Carla said...

I've seen this book on so many other blogs and never really been intruged enough to give this a shot. I think the cover makes it look nothing like a YA book, and more like something my nanna would read. I'm the same too, i've never really understood the whole fascination with gardening, because without the knowledge on the background and history of plants, iI find it so boring. This does sound quite interesting though and I like that she can use flowers like magic, which is such a good metaphor!

Staci said...

Loving that gorgeous color. I've always wanted to be a florist..something about flowers just hits me for some reason. I can be a patient reader when I know that I need to be!

Kay said...

I think this book has the most beautiful cover. I am such a cover junkie! It sounds interesting. Not a unique concept, but I've not seen a book about flower languge yet.

Milli said...

I've seen this book going around in reviews. It sounds good. I can't wait to get it!

bermudaonion said...

Sounds interesting! I love the title and the cover too.

The Reading Nomad said...

Would you say, you're satisfied with the romance part (main character) that's been intertwined into this book, Lenore?

p.s. how you comment back, i'd really like to know!

The Reading Nomad said...

DARN. What I meant was:
"Hope" you comment back, I'd really like to know.

(Pheww ... *wipesAwayLotsaSweat*)

Lenore said...

Reading Nomad - The romance part is satisfying, yes. It's not the focus, but it's a nice diversion :)

Insert Book Title said...

Good review! I really like the cover!

Amy said...

this looks really lovely to me! And the author has such a GREAT name! :)

Thao said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this book but I want to give it a try so much. Lovely cover btw ^^

Wrighty said...

I've been looking forward to this book but didn't know that much about it. Your excellent review filled in the blanks for me!