Customer Reviews for

White Oleander

Average Rating 4.5
( 575 )
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(392)

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(51)

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(15)

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(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

This book was so good!

This book was amazing! It was so much better than the movie! Compared to the book, the movie was absolutely horrible. The characters were pretty much the same. I loved Astrid's strength and bravery throughout the entire book. Even though her mother and other people kept...
This book was amazing! It was so much better than the movie! Compared to the book, the movie was absolutely horrible. The characters were pretty much the same. I loved Astrid's strength and bravery throughout the entire book. Even though her mother and other people kept putting her down, she got through it. I felt like I was Astrid the entire book and it made me sad and a little depressed. I wish things like what Astrid went through never happen. It's just not fair.

posted by MaggieMcKickButt on October 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Very good :)

The book was very lyrical and i loved the range of description as well. It's not the same as the book but it is worth reading for sure!

posted by Anonymous on February 19, 2012

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Page 3 of 29
  • Posted May 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book! Couldnt put it down.

    I started this book and couldn't stop reading. Loved it.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderfully written!

    So much poetic beauty. A book to be read again and again. Heartfelt and magical, substantial. Fills your mind and soul like a breath of fresh air. The movie is good, but this fills you so much fuller and is so much more satisfying!

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    wonderful

    highly recommend, see before movie

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    Deadly amazing.

    White Oleander was a heart-tugging story about a young girl as she struggles to grow and survive in a series of foster homes, after her mother murders her ex-boyfriend. Throughout the book Janet Fitch uses realistic situations in which a foster child might find themselves, giving deep insight into how horrid that kind of life could be. The girl, called Astrid, attempts to find herself among the endless sea of faces and acts she's put on for her different homes, all while secretly yearning for her controlling and manipulative mother. The story will sweep you away in a current that refuses to let you catch your footing, and make you think of life in a completely different way than you have ever seen it before.


    The author successfully used several literary devices in this book, making it enjoyable as well as a beautifully written tale. She especially seemed fond of foreshadowing, similes, and symbolism. Here are a few examples:
    "I was not surviving in the turquoise house. I was letting my sails crust up with salt." Pg. 114

    "You couldn't stop it, Mother. I didn't have to listen to you anymore." Pg. 84

    "I arranged my things in shopping bags and slid them under the metal frame of the old-fashioned bed, all my artifacts. All the people I had been. It was like a graveyard under there." Pg. 273
    The author uses these devices to deliver a poetic form of the story, and also to create vivid imagery. By using these devices, she was able to construct White Oleander into a literature-rich novel that will influence even amateur writers, and have readers on the edge of their seats eager for more!

    The best part about the book was the entire plot. Not a lot of people are aware of what goes on in a foster child's life, and this book offers insight into a rougher kind of life that a foster child might have to go through. Even though you may end up feeling sorry for Astrid,(I felt myself near tears a couple times!) you want to keep reading more, to find out if she ever reaches that happy ending. It's engrossing, surprising, and simply amazing. While White Oleander was a stunning piece of work, it has a worse part to it, like all books. The worst part would have to be the small chapters that describe Astrid's stay in a house full of working girls. It adds to the story and struggle she goes through, but there isn't much character development, and there isn't really reference to the chapters later in the story. It seems more like page fillers than something that needs to be in the book. All the other chapters flow and connect to one another quite neatly, though.

    I would definitely recommend this book to anyone I happen to know, friend or otherwise. This book is full of morals and lessons that will be helpful and enjoyable to any person that decides to sit down and read this novel, and will stick with them for years to come. Not only did I like White Oleander; I adored it. I'm sure others will, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    A Very PAWESOME book ;)

    This is a very awesome book. I read this book when i was 13. It showed me a lot about life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone ! it was the best ! :) ^.^

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  • Posted December 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a sad, realistic, but good book

    More than anything I appreciated how this book allowed me to look into the life and childhood of a girl in every way less fortunate than myself. She didn't have a loving mother or a stable home environment and that upbringing kept her from moving forward in life. It showed me the many ways that a person can be physically and emotionally abused and how that might affect them as adults. This book is capable of opening anyone's eyes to all the things they may take for granted about their family and their home life. I like that it had a positive message about how, despite a person's bad circumstances, they have the power to make their own future. At a certain point you have to forget the past, sever all negative connections, and forge a new path for yourself. In case you couldn't tell, this book is depressing, so if you're not up to reading something sad you should probably stay away.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Motherless Child in an Indifferent World

    White Oleander is an unforgettable story of young Astird's journey through what seems like an endless amount of foster homes; in search of finding somewhere to call her own. Each home she is bound to has its own set of rules, boundaries, and lessons to be learned. With understanding and determination, Astrid tackles the feelings of loneliness and minimal trust to learn what a motherless child can become.
    Astrid depends heavily upon the maternal care of her loving but self centered mother, Ingrid. Once Ingrid is sentenced to life in prison because of murdering the man see was seeing, Astrid fears their relationship will dissolve. Astrid and Ingrid's relationship is based upon separation while Astrid travels to different foster homes and the dominance Ingrid feels she needs to put over young Astrid's head. Throughout Astrid's foster homes; she makes visits to the jail to see her mother. She has seen to be changing in the eyes of her mother. Ingrid see's her shadow of a daughter, who has done nothing but follow in her footsteps; blossom into someone completely opposite. Ingrid makes sure to build up their relationship and keep her daughter in the mindset she wants, in hope of persuading Astrid to lie to the judge to get her out of jail.
    Another reoccurring theme in the novel is changing perceptions. Astrid is sent to 4 different foster homes; there she is opened up to many different lifestyles. This adds depth and point of view to the novel which makes it very appealing to all readers. Astrid, the narrator is particularly memorable; she tugged at my heart making me want to cry, but simultaneously made me want to laugh with happiness. This was such a good read I never wanted to put it down. I immediately fell in love with the characters and could relate almost every step of the way. This is my new favorite book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Read in 2 days!

    I found this book to be very interesting and I could not put it down. The characters were unique. Held my attention and I was left wanting more to read. I highly recommend this book, great summer read. Can't wait to rent the movie now!

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  • Posted May 1, 2010

    2 thumbs up!

    White Oleander is about a mother and a daughters relationship that goes downhill when the mother commits a murder to an ex-lover. The daughter ends up being sent to many different foster homes and is left to learn and do everything on her own. The daughter ends up realzing the true character of her mother and sees the control that she has had on her all these years. The mother end up learning the hardest lesson about having a child and that is simply letting go. Janet Fitch writes an amazing book and makes you one with the story. She makes you not want to put the book down and keeps you wanting more. It was an amazing book and i even recommend the movie!

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    My Favorite Of All Time!

    A must read. Finished it in less than a week cause I could not put it down.

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Just as goood if not better than the movie was.

    Janet Fitch did a great job of making the characters come to life in this book; they were so realistic that each character reminded me of someone I knew. She used a wide range of vocabulary words that had me grabbing my dictionary every few pages. Tbe book was melancholy and a bit touching through out. I would recommend this book to a friend or book club. It's also good to read on a rainy day.

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  • Posted November 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    White Oleander

    White Oleander is about a young girl and her mother relationship. And how murder turn their lives upside down. After Astrid mother got locked up in jail, she had to be put in Foster Care. This book was great, not only did it show how Ingrid and Astrid life was before. But it also shows her struggles, hurt, pain, and the memory of her mother.

    In life, and in White Oleander, there is no happily ever after, and there are always loose ends.

    I never read a book quite like this one and it was totally out of my element. And I enjoyed it very much, and I cant wait to watch the movie.

    This book was touching, ground breaking, mouth dropping and a page turner.

    Please read!!!

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful book:)

    I just finished reading the book and I loved it!!!!Its about a girl named "astrid" who's Intelligent yet some what crazy mother(Ingrid) is inprisoned for killing her boyfriend(Barry),and her struggles with foster care,All the Bad and good people she meet along the way and how they affect her life.This book made me laugh and cry and I would recommend any one with a good imagination to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2009

    southerngothic lover!

    this is my favorite book to this day! the story captures you. you can relate to it even if you have both parents in your life. as much as there is more thought than diolouge in this book the novel is still great. janet fitch can write a beautiful novel like this. white oleander makes you think about your life in many different ways. and some sort of way it helps you enjoy your own life. i recommand this to everyone! a great, amazing novel to read.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great reflective reading!

    As a parent this book made me reflect on parenting skills and the long term effect it can have on my offspring. So many times when life gives us 'lemons' we react without thinking about the consequences. When we become parents our children should always be in our plans. The world we create for them must be considered when we prefer to make the 'lemons disappear' than to make 'lemonade' instead.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I liked the idea of the book

    In some ways I liked the idea of this book more the book. The ideas are interesting and strong but sometimes the prose itself gets a little self-consciously poetic and purple. It is the story of a young girl's life after her mother is imprisoned. The idea of following this girl is one I enjoyed thoroughly but the life of narrator can, at times get bogged down by melodrama and the purple prose I mentioned. For a more fierce looked at a young girl's life (a girl with a messed up mother) check out Billie Livingston's "Going Down Swinging."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    Utterly Amazing! A MUST Read!

    White Oleander is incredible beyond belief. For those of you who have seen the movie, you must realize that this book trumps it. White Oleander tells such a sad, sad story. However, with Janet Fitchs' beautiful writing style, she makes Astrid's story come to life with such realistic plots. Astrid, and all the other main characters, are arguably the most original and well thought characters I have ever read before. This book will make you laugh, cry, and simply hope for the best. White Oleander is definitely a must read.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    relationships/family/drama

    I really enjoyed this story. Astrid is a character that everyone could relate to. She has had many struggles and she overcame them. It shows how drastic a person would go to feel loved and wanted.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    White Oleander

    This was a little bizarre, but entertaining.

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  • Posted January 21, 2009

    I loved this Book

    I think White Oleander is an excellent depiction of some of the horrors children and young adults in the foster care system have to go through. The main character, Astrid¿s mother gets put into jail after she murders an unfaithful lover. After this Astrid this bounced around from one house to another each ending worse than the next. When finally she finds a loving home it is ripped out from under her. She is tried in ways no girl should ever be tried. She forces herself to change with each new home so she can survive. And through it all she loses herself and becomes cold and hard to protect herself. While this makes her able to survive anything it also makes her unrecognizable even to herself. This book is an amazing journey of self discover and the challenges of one innocent girl and how she is forced to grow up to fast.

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