Author Amy Brecount White has taken the whole "supernatural" theme to a girlier level with Forget-Her-Nots. Being a teen and possessing a specific power or ability is nothing new in today's YA fiction, however this one, with the main character of 14-year-old Laurel and her ability to use flowers to influence emotions, is certainly unique, and most definitely female oriented.
The setting, being a boarding school and all, will certainly help sell the story and the concept of supernatural mixed with a bit of appropriate romance and mystery will attract teens to the book. Flowers are a really cool focal point and Laurel having a gift to use them in ways that most cannot, is intriguing.
Laurel, however, was lacking quite a bit of personality. There were several scenes where she had the chance to be turned into a really likable, awesome main character, and instead she was just kinda "eh." Even the romance portion, where she develops (or should I say, instantly has) a crush on a boy from a neighboring school was really downplayed. We weren't given a true basis for why she even liked him in the first place...it was just all of a sudden, love.
The actual writing, as a whole, was good, but there were a lot portions of dialogue that I found myself wanting rewritten. Scenes with Justin and with Ms. Suarez often felt forced...like they were reading script, rather than speaking from their own minds. This was a pretty dialogue heavy book, so I would have liked to have seen it a little more refined.
Though I wasn't too keen on Laurel, I did really enjoy the whole floral theme. Definitely unique and something I doubt we'll see again. It was a really nice change from vampires, angels, werewolves, and fairies, as our YA shelves seem completely inundated with those subjects. Seeing a gift in an everyday girl, based on flowers of all things, was a lot of fun. A portion in the back of the book even gives a rundown of different flowers and their meanings, which would be handy to use when giving flowers to someone. Start wondering when someone gives you a bouquet of foxglove and basil!
Overall rating: 3 out of 5
Not a blockbuster, but entertaining for a beachy read.
Amy Brecount White
Review copy received from publisher
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