Author: Amy Brecount White
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-06-167298-9/Greenwillow (part of Harper Collins)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult
Fourteen year old Laurel is understandably grieving her mother's death from cancer and leaves home to attend a boarding school called Avondale. It just so happens that Avondale is the school that many of the females on her maternal side attended. And the family history with the school seems to involve the magical powers they have with flowers.
Here at Avondale, Laurel starts off as the loner student, but things quickly change after she does a report on Victorian flower lore for her English class. The bouquets she made (better known as tussie-mussies) seem to have a magical affect on the people she gives it to. First she gives one to her fave English teacher to find love and when others notice the specialness of Laurel's flowers everyone wants them.
Laurel uses The Language of Flowers book to look up meanings of flowers and to arrange them in tussie mussies. Then when she says her special mantra for the flowers and their recipients, the magic seems to happen. Poor Laurel uses her special abilities to help the girls in her school get dates, to avoid boys, and even for their schoolwork. But is she truly understanding the gift that she has and what happens when the flowers get in the hands of the wrong people? Who will help guide Laurel?
I've been wanting to read this book since I saw it around the blogosphere on other peoples Waiting on Wednesday memes. The cover is just beautiful and has this beautiful feel to it. And I have to say...it really is a beautiful and sweet story.
This novel just isn't about flowers. We also get the fun (and sometimes not so much fun) high school life. The high school dramas of dating, school work, and sports tryouts are in here. It's interesting to read how Laurel will use her powers to work into the high school lifestyle and how she can use it to the advantage for teenagers. But I do need to say that Laurel had a few "diva" like moments that did get annoying. However, when I really thought about it, every girl has these moments in high school and it made it a little bit more realistic and relatable.
This is such a sweet book and the idea of flowers and their meanings really stayed with me days after reading this novel. Laurel also references a few of my favorite childhood books (Anne of Green Gables is just one) and I love it when book characters reference such great books.
I totally want to go out and buy some flowers and make my own floral arrangements ASAP. I recommend this book to everyone...it is a great read and I'll even buy my own copy soon.
All of us have gifts we are meant to share, but you have to discover what yours are. Nurture your gifts, because only then will you bloom fully. Share your gifts, and love will flower like a meadow around you. page 33
What is a ghost but the presence of a strong memory? page 254
No one we truly love ever leaves us completely. page 254
Anybody can be a bitch. That takes no skill at all It's all about self-control. Do you have any idea how many times a day I hold my tongue? It's not easy. page 336
(This book is part of the International Book Tours).