Customer Reviews for

Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir

Average Rating 4
( 88 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(51)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

A Life-changing and inspiring read

Bloom is a beautiful, emotional, and powerfully honest journey through Kelle Hampton's first year with her daughter Nella, who is unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. Kelle is a skilled writer, and she has a keen ability to make you cry your eyes out or laugh hysterica...
Bloom is a beautiful, emotional, and powerfully honest journey through Kelle Hampton's first year with her daughter Nella, who is unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. Kelle is a skilled writer, and she has a keen ability to make you cry your eyes out or laugh hysterically with the turn of a sentence. I walked away from this book with a newfound, positive perspective on handling life's challenges, along with an urge to make a difference in the lives of those who are labeled "different" by our society.

And while the book is a great read, it's also full-color throughout with stunning photos and one of the most gorgeous designs I've ever seen. This is definitely an object you'll want to have on your coffee table--you'll continue looking through the photographs days after you've finished the book and will want to share them with others.

I noticed that the book has received some 1-star reviews here, which seemed unbelievable until I actually read them. If you're not a follower of Kelle's blog, you're probably not aware that her optimism and zest for life--coupled with her success in the blogosphere--has sadly earned her a small following of "haters." I imagine that they're the ones lurking here, and I do hope that Barnes and Noble monitors their website reviews.

Personal rants about Kelle and her blog do not constitute book reviews and I doubt that those people even read the book. If they did, they would find themselves moved to be kinder people who are more accepting of others.

posted by JMcGregor on April 8, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Losing faith in the Hampton family

I fell in love with Nella and the Hampton family after discovering their blog a year ago. I longed to find THAT family and THAT story in this book. They were honest, vulnerable, and raw. They were beautiful and relatable. However, like the blog of late, this book has ta...
I fell in love with Nella and the Hampton family after discovering their blog a year ago. I longed to find THAT family and THAT story in this book. They were honest, vulnerable, and raw. They were beautiful and relatable. However, like the blog of late, this book has taken a different and unfortunate path. It feels like cotton candy -- full of gorgeous photography, but saccharin sweet in content. It was fun for the moment, but I don't walk away with much substance. Further, Hampton's writing is frustrating at times; even with an editor, it can read like an overly poetic stream of consciousness. I still adore Nella and her family, but I feel like the depth of the story has been lost. Their experience is now a business, and that "image marketing" comes across clearly in this book.

posted by 2478746 on April 5, 2012

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    A Life-changing and inspiring read

    Bloom is a beautiful, emotional, and powerfully honest journey through Kelle Hampton's first year with her daughter Nella, who is unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. Kelle is a skilled writer, and she has a keen ability to make you cry your eyes out or laugh hysterically with the turn of a sentence. I walked away from this book with a newfound, positive perspective on handling life's challenges, along with an urge to make a difference in the lives of those who are labeled "different" by our society.

    And while the book is a great read, it's also full-color throughout with stunning photos and one of the most gorgeous designs I've ever seen. This is definitely an object you'll want to have on your coffee table--you'll continue looking through the photographs days after you've finished the book and will want to share them with others.

    I noticed that the book has received some 1-star reviews here, which seemed unbelievable until I actually read them. If you're not a follower of Kelle's blog, you're probably not aware that her optimism and zest for life--coupled with her success in the blogosphere--has sadly earned her a small following of "haters." I imagine that they're the ones lurking here, and I do hope that Barnes and Noble monitors their website reviews.

    Personal rants about Kelle and her blog do not constitute book reviews and I doubt that those people even read the book. If they did, they would find themselves moved to be kinder people who are more accepting of others.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    Losing faith in the Hampton family

    I fell in love with Nella and the Hampton family after discovering their blog a year ago. I longed to find THAT family and THAT story in this book. They were honest, vulnerable, and raw. They were beautiful and relatable. However, like the blog of late, this book has taken a different and unfortunate path. It feels like cotton candy -- full of gorgeous photography, but saccharin sweet in content. It was fun for the moment, but I don't walk away with much substance. Further, Hampton's writing is frustrating at times; even with an editor, it can read like an overly poetic stream of consciousness. I still adore Nella and her family, but I feel like the depth of the story has been lost. Their experience is now a business, and that "image marketing" comes across clearly in this book.

    10 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2012

    This book is a must read for everyone. It chronicles the first y

    This book is a must read for everyone. It chronicles the first year of Kelle's life with daughter Nella , but anyone dealing with something unexpected can take something from the well written text and beautiful pictures. Kelle's words and pictures make you feel like you are right their experiencing everything right along with her.

    I do not understand how the majority of review are very favorable and just a few ( all anonymous) are so low. Were these low reviewers reading the same book!!

    Read the book , you will not be disappointed!!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    beautiful story of heartache, love, transformation, and friendsh

    beautiful story of heartache, love, transformation, and friendship. Couldn't put it down. Kelle is such a beautiful writer. Favorite book Ive ever read.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2012

    An incredible book

    Kelle Hampton had me captivated from the very first page and I could not put this book (and my box of Kleenex!) down. I can't remember the last time I was actually sad to get to the end of a book because it meant that the experience was over. An inspiring debut and a must-read for anyone in need of some encouragement. Thank you, Kelle, for sharing your beautiful story.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    The writing in this book is stunning. So emotional and vulnerab

    The writing in this book is stunning. So emotional and vulnerable. I could not put it down. Kelle is a controversial blogger because people are constantly attacking her for painting the picture of a "perfect" family. What they are missing is that Kelle's whole philosophy is to "look for the good." This is what she does, and it is inspirational, not fake or forced. The negative commenters are completely missing the point. She makes me want to be a better mother and a better person. Thank you Kelle.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This is a beautifully written memoir about the power love and acceptance. The writing is honest, vulnerable and raw. I felt an immediate connection with Kelle's emotions and cried and laughed with her story. One of the things that I loved more about Bloom is that shows society with its gorgeous photography that raising a child with Down syndrome is a beautiful and enriching experience, that "finding beauty in the unexpected" is possible. After reading this book, I'm feeling inspired to accept all individuals for who they are and to be more kind and compassionate towards others.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    Couldn't put it down!

    Although redundant at times, it was a great read that brought out a lot of feelings for my in many different areas of my life. I could see myself in the story as well as certain aspects of others around me. Even though the situation Kelle and her family faced and the challenges may be different, I recommend this book to anyone who may be having self doubt and need just a bit of healing in their soul. I read this book straight through and it was well worth the time. The author has a very enjoyable writing style that worked well for me.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Without the photos, its just pretty generic. Have read MUCH bet

    Without the photos, its just pretty generic. Have read MUCH better memoirs about raising a special needs child. Doesn't have enough depth, truth, realness and seasoned writer with more years of experience in the trenches. She's a marketers dream because she and her family have the "right look" which is why she's so popular with the "mainstream public" but with the special needs parents public? She's not really relatable. If you like looking at photos and being "inspired a la Hallmark" this is totally your thing. I wish her all the best, but it just doesn't do it for me. I actually live in the "real world" and it resembles nothing of hers. God bless, but I'm so "over" society's obsession with appearing perfect.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    I am 20 years older than Kelle Hampton with grown children and y

    I am 20 years older than Kelle Hampton with grown children and young grandchildren. I have learned more from reading Kelle's blog and book Bloom about what is important in life, raising and loving children, expressing emotions and standing up for the things that are important to me regardless of the perceptions of the world at large than I ever expected to experience. Bloom is an incredible, brutally honest and beautiful story of life. It has changed the way that I look at people with special abilities. Don't miss this life changing journey!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    I could not put the book down. I commend Kelle for having the h

    I could not put the book down. I commend Kelle for having the humility and courage to step out and share her heartache with millions. Not many of us would do this! Thank you Kelle, for your honesty and how you have changed your image of outward perfection to inward perfection. In a media world that is so ugly, thank you for being a light

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2012

    a book that anyone can connect with.

    I have followed Kelle's blog for 2 years and have been waiting patiently for this book to be released. The wait was well worth it. I know that on her blog she has a few people who are very hard on her because come on let's face it...she is beautiful (inside and out), she lives a good life and she is extremely talented..and I can see from some reviews that these people have left reviews. At this point I have purchased 10 Bloom books intended for a reading club I am hosting in the summer. In the meantime I have given out 6 books as gifts...they have been given to a wide spectrum of people..ages are all different..some follow the blog and some do not. The thing that I am most wanting to share is that every. single. person that I have shared this book with comes to the same conclusion...Kelle can write a book that we connect with. Life is not perfect, unexpected and sometimes just plain painful but if you face your reality (if it be infertily, DS, cancer) and be determined you will find beauty...you will find support...you will find peace. So to the unkind anonymous reviewers..well maybe you need to find the beauty in this book and in life. The fact is this book is a good. good. book and I am hoping that anyone using these reviews as a gauge to buying it will not be swayed to miss out on this beautiful story by a few who have always been jealous and cruel when in fact the woman they are attacking would give them the shirt off of her back and probably a hug..because you need it.

    Sincerely,
    Joy
    ( I think Anonymous is a cowardly way of attacking so I put my name here..proudly)

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Very disappointed in this book

    Having followed Kelle's blog and having long admired her perspective on life even in the face of great challenges, I was very much looking forward to buying and reading this book. There are moments of raw emotion where her writing truly takes off and shines. No where was this more moving than in her account of her parents' divorce. But, while the story of a mother's heartbreak in the unexpected and her journey through dark hours to subsequent growth are worthy of committing to paper, her story as written in Bloom is terribly redundant and honeyed. The cloying manner in which she writes in Bloom does not allow the reader to be fully transported into the depth of emotion we so long to feel with her in her extended written account of becoming a mother to a beautiful child with Down Syndrome. The connection to the human experience that is ever present in her blog writing is absent from Bloom. And, that is truly disappointing.

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2012

    I am an avid reader of memoirs and also the mother of a child wi

    I am an avid reader of memoirs and also the mother of a child with Down Syndrome. While I could identify with some of the basic tenets of what the author experienced with regard to her grieving process and could appreciate the amount of soul-bearing involved to share some of that, to a large extent it felt over the top. I don't know if it was the fact that the writing was just so bad or if it was some sort of reflection on the author and where she is at on a maturity level. There was way too much drama, way too many long-winded introductions of various friends who were part of her "net", too little in the way making any sort of real spiritual or emotional conclusions as to how this child changed her, too many beer and "dude" references... and way to much of what another reviewer aptly called "The Kelle Show." It just felt narcissistic to me. I was looking for what I found in "Roadmap to Holland" and "Expecting Adam." It just wasn't there. I think this author has much growing up to do in terms of life living, emotional maturity and thinking outside of herself before she can write a decent memoir that draws the reader in, leaves them with some piece of insight. This read like the diary of a 9th grade girl, which was disappointing, particularly given what was supposed to be the subject matter. It was long winded, redundant, sophomoric and clearly terribly edited.

    The photography is spectacular. I will say that.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Perfect for anyone in any situation

    Touching and uplifting for everyone

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    This is an amazing story of Kelle's journey as a mom learning to

    This is an amazing story of Kelle's journey as a mom learning to love unconditionally and find beauty in all sorts of circumstances. It is inspiring. It is encouraging to watch her take even what could be considered "nitty gritty" and not only remain positive, but thrive. A truly, amazing read for any glass-half-full kind of person. Bitter people, beware: this book is NOT for you! :)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    I came across Kelle's blog when I was pregnant with my daughter.

    I came across Kelle's blog when I was pregnant with my daughter. My daughter was diagnosed with Spina Bifida, and although it's not the same thing as down sydrome, I was so very grateful for her words. The emotions that she described are, in my opinion, pretty universal when it comes to children with special needs. The pain and the loss that you feel at first, and then to realize that you truly are blessed.

    I loved this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Too Sweet

    I really wish I had bought another book. This reads like a teenagers journal . Too flowery and not very real for such a serious subject.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Could have been written in ten pages

    This was a waste of money.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    Uplifting, beautifully real

    This was a great book! I couldn't put it down. I loved that she was so real with her feelings. I'm sure almost anyone would have felt the exact same way but not not a lot of people would be brave enough to share it like Kelle did. I don't know if i would have had the courage to admit my feelings like she did if i was in that situation. I really admire her. I wish nothing but happiness for kelle and her beautiful family!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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