Once Upon A Romance

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Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White


Cover art: Forget-Her-Nots Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: Forget-Her-Nots - 2nd in the Wondrous Strange series
Author: Amy Brecount White
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-167-298-9
Release Date: March 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 12 and Up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: Ages 12 and Up
Year/Setting: Present day, Avondale School, Charlottesville, Virginia
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle (Young Love/Stirrings)
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Amy's Website: www.amybrecountwhite.com

Dear Readers:

Laurel Whelan opens up her door to find a small bouquet of flowers tied with a silver ribbon. No note is attached to this mystery bouquet, and Laurel tries with all her might to determine whether this is a school prank, because she’s the new girl on campus, or if there is a secret admirer out there somewhere just waiting for her to notice him. As with all great stories, this book offered a lovely beginning.

Laurel is a young girl who has lost her mother to cancer. Her mother was one of those wonderful people who had a special gift – far more special than anything Laurel could comprehend. Her mother was a flowerspeaker; she came from a long line of women who could "read" the properties of flowers and be able to make bouquets for people that would help them, depending on their situation.

Laurel has to put together an essay for her class and she goes out among the spring gardens on campus and surrounds herself with snowdrops (that offer hope); pansies (which increase thought); and, of course, the ever-present rose which encourages love. When Laurel picks these flowers an electrifying sensation occurs beneath her flesh and a "fizzy" feeling sparks in her fingertips. In essence, the flowers "speak" to her. Since the beginning of time there have been people like Laurel. In fact, Kings, Queens, Shakespeare – even Greek Gods (remember Demeter and her daughter Persephone?) – have hired flowerspeakers to predict and change the outcomes of love, war, pestilence…everything you can think of.

As readers delve into this author’s world, we watch Laurel make new friends, help her teachers, solve her classmates’ deepest desires, discover a young man who sincerely finds her gifts more than appealing, and experience the "evil" side that appears when a "gift" is used incorrectly. The author not only gives us a true history lesson, but she also brings us into a family who has been broken by loss, and needs the "flower-power" to help them find their way back to each other.

My favorite line? A chapter in this book is titled Scents & Sensibility (anything with an ode to Jane Austen certainly works for me). In addition, this is literally the first book about teenagers that isn’t filled with IPods, emails, and the world of text-messaging. It was a really nice break. This is a perfect read that gives the sentence, "Say it with flowers," a whole new meaning. I can’t wait for the author’s next enchanting book.

Until next time, Amy

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