Thursday, September 9, 2010
Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
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.
Amy Brecount White wrote a lovely story about dealing with grief after the loss of a loved one and growing stronger as an individual. Although the story kept me interested, I found that there were times that it dragged and I was kept waiting for something, anything to happen. In the beginning all Laurel seems to care about is whether a certain boy likes her, she becomes lost in her quest to garner his attention, but soon she realizes that what's more important are her friends and family. I enjoyed watching Laurel learn from her mistakes that she made with her friends and her willingness to work for their forgiveness. After the death of her mother Laurel decides to attend the same private school her mother and grandmother went to, once there she discovers that she has a magical gift when it comes to flowers, she can "speak" to them and her magic brings out the feelings in others that they might otherwise be too shy to voice. Things get out of control as word of Laurel's magical flowers spreads around campus, and Laurel finds herself practicing a magic that she truly has no control over. At a loss of how to control her gift Laurel turns to a teacher who is also blessed with the ability to "flowerspeak". Laurel wants to turn to her grief stricken grandmother but she has turned her back on life after the loss of her daughter, Laurel's mother, forgetting anyone and anything to do with her old life. With persistence, Laurel is able to free her grandmother of her all consuming grief, and together they learn that although Laurel's mother is gone, she will always be with them as they practice their gift of "flowerspeaking".