Customer Reviews for

White Oleander

Average Rating 4.5
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(395)

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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 2 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Heartfelt, well written.

    This novel, White Olenader, tells the story of Ingrid, a poet who knows how to manipulate those around her, as well as the English language. Ingrid, much like the flower of the story, is beautiful but deadly. Overcome with passion one night, she murders her lover and ends up in prison. <BR/>This is when the real heart of the story takes over; her daughter Astrid, abandoned to a series of foster homes because of her mother's imprisonment, must learn the rules of each new household while trying to find her own way in the world. Each time she hopes to find a loving family and the nurturing she needs, but instead encounters circumstances that force her to become a toughened survivor, a person very different from her mother. <BR/>This is a beautifully written, heart-breaking novel that I recommend heartily to anyone who loves a good story and appreciates wonderfully poetic writing. Fitch uses all the elements of the Los Angeles setting to bring the despair of her characters to life. As readers, we yearn for Astrid to find happiness, but Fitch has a bleaker cast to her tale, which makes it all the more engrossing. This is the author's true strength; she can write about circumstances such as manipulation, torment, and estranged feelings between a daughter and her mother and make them absolutely riveting.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    poetic...

    This book is almost poetic in the way it's written. I loved it! Don't judge this book by it's movie. The book is so much better and in-depth. The things Astrid goes through just blew my mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2008

    Haunting

    This book's poetic language and character development set such a scene that I could not quit thinking about it at times when I had to put it down. It may be one of the only books I ever reread.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    White Oleander

    This book was really good there was so much more that happened in the book that they did not put in the movie.This book was well written you can't help but feel so much for this girl and everything she has gone through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2008

    white oleander

    I just finished reading this book and enjoyed it very much. I would recommend to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    Besides Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Road Less Traveled, this is the only other book I have read twice. I was entranced by the poetic descriptions and gripping story that read like a memoir rather than fiction. Although I read it several years ago, I am pleased to see by the reviews that it is still popular. Because I am a writer and a poet, I have my own story to tell about the reading of this great book. Whenever I read, I have a pencil close by so I can mark quotes that I want to enter into my quote collection when I¿m finished. When I first started reading White O, I made note of something on the first page and then again on the second page. At that point I put my pencil down and said to myself, ¿Forget marking them now. I will read this book again and take down quotes then.¿ Pretty weird that I somehow knew I would read a book again after getting into it only two pages! But I was right. I loved her writing so much that about two years later I bought the book in paperback. I went through it with a yellow marker, and when all was said and done, I had 8 pages of quotes! From those, I created three individual poems, each comprised only of phrases from White Oleander. When I did this, I had no idea that it was a legitimate art form in itself, but very soon after that I came across the term, ¿cento,¿ which is a literary work made up from parts of other literary works. I sent the poems to the publisher and asked that it be forwarded on to Janet. Never heard back. I should try again -- maybe now she has a web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Great book!!!

    WOW!!! This book was absolutely amazing... What a great story about a young girl going through life...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2008

    Excitingly Wonderful Book

    When I was looking for a book to read from the list my instructor gave us. I had no clue what to read I took my list to the bookstore with me to search for one that would keep my interest. I'm not a big reader and I needed a book that would keep my attention and keep me interested. This book was wonderful at doing that. There was a lot of emotional situations that I could also relate to in my own life. I would reccommend this book highly for those of you who like books that keep attention and make imagery come to life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2008

    Masterfully written and very moving

    I found this book on the bookshelf of my sister's house, and finished it in one day. The book is written from the perspective of a young girl who eventually matures as the novel progresses. Though disturbing at times, the glimpses that the readers get into Astrid's life are very real and inspiring. The language that Fitch uses to portray feelings and scenes is beautiful and very descriptive. Everyone should read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    Mother, Daughter and Self Discovery

    After reading this book, and yes I have seent he movie. I was inspired and amazed at how great the movie and book really are. I have the same realtionship with my mother as Astrid has with hers and even though we had different circumstances and different lives, I understand what she wantedf from her mom and what her mom wanted fro her. I felt the fear, love and displaced feelings between both of them throughout her whole ordeal. I am mesmerized by this novel it touches my heart and makes me what to call my mother and tell her thank you for putting up with me, I love you. This book is a awesome book.

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