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Forget-Her-Nots

( 14 )

Overview

Something—some power—is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.

Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.

Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School,...

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Forget-Her-Nots

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Overview

Something—some power—is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.

Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.

Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School, where her mother had also boarded as a student. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day? Or will she set the stage for the most lovestruck, infamous prom in the history of the school?

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Nicole Jacques
Filled with drama, Forget-Her-Nots incorporates intimacy with magic to create an irresistible plot line for young romance lovers. Each character is portrayed in a realistic light. Based on an intriguing subject, the story is never monotonous yet offers little substantial material to contemplate. The ending is satisfying but also slightly predictable. Any female teenager looking for a quick and eventful read should consider this novel prime choice. Reviewer: Nicole Jacques, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Marla K. Unruh
A tingly dizziness courses through Laurel as she inhales the fragrance of a small nosegay left by her dorm room door. Stunned by the effect of the flowers and mystified by the lack of a note with them, she rushes on with a larger bouquet she has prepared for her report on the Victorian symbolism of flowers. This is the day that a class from a nearby boys' school will visit her class in the all-girl Avondale School. After Laurel explains the language of flowers for sending messages of love, students vie for her bouquet, but she hands it to "Spinster" Spencer, her teacher. Miss Spencer is married soon after, and Laurel is besieged with requests for "tussie-mussies," or message bouquets. As Laurel explores her inherited magic in using flowers, she finds herself wanting to help and to retaliate. Authentic teen dialogue and lovely sensory images are among the strengths of this novel, and weaving in the historic symbolism of flowers adds a refreshing charm. Teens will relate to Laurel's struggles to make friends in a new school while coping with the death of her mother. The abundance of imagery slows down the pace, however, and the effects of Laurel's flowers and herbs on others stretch credulity just a bit. Recommend this book to younger teenagers wanting a lighter read. Reviewer: Marla K. Unruh
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
At the garden-bright boarding school attended by her deceased mother, Laurel begins to discover a latent power: flower power. Love, hatred and strength all bloom when Laurel brings together plants such as gardenias, basil and cedar. But when a rare, potent orchid is stolen from the conservatory, Laurel must track down and return its blossom before it can intoxicate the entire prom—and mess with the guy she likes. Mystery, magic, flower lore and a conservatory ghost all come together in this beguiling bouquet of a novel by Amy Brecount White. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
Publishers Weekly
The mysteries of Victorian flower lore pervade White’s debut, in which 14-year-old Laurel strives to shape a new life after her mother’s death from cancer. Hoping a change of locale will help her grief, Laurel enrolls in the boarding school her mother attended. Once at Avondale, she discovers a bewildering ability to stir up emotions by creating floral bouquets, and she’s soon in demand by students with a variety of motives. Following the definitions in a serendipitously found book, The Language of Flowers, and reciting her mantra (“Bright cut flowers, leaves of green, bring about what I have seen”), Laurel tries to understand and properly use her gift, while coping with typical teenage dilemmas and uncovering her family’s flower-related history. White aptly renders big and small dramas against the backdrop of Laurel’s struggles with her “flower power,” and deftly walks the line between reality and fantasy without crossing it. A delicate sense of magical possibility and reverence for the natural world help elevate White’s story from a typical prep-school drama into something more memorable. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Freshman Laurel, who is grieving her mother's recent death, has flower power. As she explains at the beginning of the book, each flower has a different meaning, and young men and ladies used to communicate via small bouquets. Thanks to her expertise, Laurel gains a reputation as a florist to the lovelorn-but there's more to it than that. Not realizing the full potential of her talents, she sends the student body into a frenzy of lustful crushes. With the guidance of a teacher, Laurel learns that she is a Flowerspeaker, one of a long line of women who have special talents with flowers. Her Flowerspeaker talents bring Laurel closer to her estranged grandmother and help in healing the loss she and her father both feel. The boarding-school setting and strong thematic ties to the Victorian era give this book a gothic feeling. Laurel is an admirable heroine, always supportive of her friends but never a pushover. A unique twist on romantic paranormal mystery, this is sure to appeal to girls who have outgrown fairy princesses but aren't ready for sexy vampires. (Supernatural. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Laurel, 14, is a new student at her recently deceased mother's alma mater, a Virginia girls' boarding school. She prepares a presentation on the Victorian language of flowers for her English class and finds that she has a special affinity for the subject. Strong flower scents, some of them undetectable to anyone else, suddenly make her feel "spinny, dizzy, and tingly." If she recites a little verse her mother used to say, "Bright cut flowers, leaves of green, bring about what I have seen," the flowers seem to actualize the sentiments they are meant to symbolize. This is a fine thing when the tussie-mussie Laurel makes for her class presentation apparently causes her teacher, known to the students as Spinster Spenser, to fall in love and marry, but not quite so benign when the bouquets she makes for classmates fall into the wrong hands and attract or repel unintended recipients. Sylvia Suarez, a science teacher, keeper of the school conservatory, and Laurel's mother's onetime classmate, gradually informs the teen that they are both part of a society of "Flowerspeakers," a group that also included Laurel's mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. For centuries, these women have possessed powers similar to Laurel's and will now help her learn to use her own gift. Although the fantasy elements of this novel are not convincing or successful, the book will appeal to fans of boarding-school stories and gentle teen romances.—Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061672989
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 374
  • Sales rank: 800,543
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Brecount White has taught English literature and writing to middle school and high school students. She has written numerous articles and essays for publications such as the Washington Post, but Forget-Her-Nots is her first novel. She can often be found in her garden and gives flowers to her friends and family whenever she can, though none have had magical effects—yet.

Amy Brecount White lives with her family in Arlington, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 4, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    Wow. From the description I thought this book was going to be too out there for me - boy was I wrong, dead wrong. I purchased because she was going to be coming to my local indie bookstore and I had seen earlier that her signings were eventful with flowers and more than your normal author visit. I am more than glad that I grabbed this one.

    A young girl who has recently lost her mom and is now trying to figure out where she goes from there. I will not spoil this one because I want everyone to stop what they are doing and go grab this one. Throughout this book, she is learning the language of flowers and just for that reason this book is whimsical and romantic. I definitely know what flowers I want included in my bridal bouquet and what ones to send to my mom to make her feel loved.

    A book for young and old, mothers and daughters - each will enjoy this read for a different and unique reason. I will be passing this one off to my mom. A short and sweet review for a short and sweet book.

    Check out the blog tomorrow for my visit to One More Page to see Amy Brecount White and her tussie-mussies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Let Down

    When I first heard about this book I was extremely excited about reading it. Right away I tried to put it on hold only to find out that the library did not own a copy. A couple of months later I saw the book again. It was at the library which suprised me. In a happy way. With no hesitation I checked out the book. However the book did not deliver on what it said it would. The book drags. Many people say how they could not get past chapter three. Well I was able to get to chapter six and I can honestly say that it felt like the prologue still. Laurell was "figuring" out what her mother was trying to tell her but to me it felt forced. She gets one letter and because it happens to have a flower attached to it that must mean that she can harrness the power of plants. Also it felt as if there were only two characters: Laurell and everyone else because every characters had the same voice and they were all interchangeable. The last thing that really bugged me about the book was how the author tried to make the reader feel bad for Laurell by making everyone be grade A brats to her. She was just as rude to the people around her and I felt nothing for her or any of the other characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Forget the name, but not the smell

    Don't be fooled by the simplistic cover - there is a lot going on in Forget-Her-Nots that will keep you turning the pages to see what exactly is going on with Laurel and the flowers. From the jacket summary (different from the synopsis above), I completely did not pick up on the "magical" vibe - I just figured that the flowers were more like the coffee drinks in The Espressologist and the matchmaking went from there. How far from the truth was I! I'm not sure if enough time was spent on the Laurel's relationships with the other characters. There were brief glimpses, but nothing that I felt really solid. Perhaps that is indicative of Laurel's introverted nature, but the other characters seemed to have more story to them - and it would have been interesting to catch more than a glimpse! Especially Laurel's grandmother. Forget-Her-Nots would probably be good if you are looking for a cozy read to curl under the blankets with, but not if you're expected a page-turning action-packed magical mayhem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The power of flower

    Forget-her-Nots really introduced me to the world of flowers, it has such a unique plot, I have to be honest, I was loosing my interest after the first 3 chapters, the plot seems to drag plus I am a not girly, so flowers does not really appeal to me. But the magic that the Flowerspeaking girl named Laurel Whelan promised me a unique ride and I kept reading.

    I like Laurel she was this girl who stood in front of the class and told an amazingly ridiculous story from the Victorian era about the language that flowers bring. I love the fact that she really had no idea about her gift until she reached that first part of womanhood. The traumatic event of losing her mother seems to appeal to me too, she seems stronger and full of life and wonderful memories about her mom and her garden makes me imagine her as a lost angel. She got so much potential, I even cheered when she said... "sorry, I thought you know how to catch" to Tara when she smack her with the frisbee, after a snarky comment. Yet there were parts in the book where she lets people push her around. It's annoying when heroines don't fight back, I was hoping for more snark (and no, the basil incident does not count).

    Over all the story was enticing. The flower meanings, the Tussie Mussies, and the vibrant colors and emotions they bring made this book work. It's like a fairy tale that Disney forgot to write. I'm happy for Amy White and may this book be a success.

    Join Laurel and her humble beginnings as she join the world of Flower Speakers. Is this going to be a series? I'd love to find out more about Laurel's secret world and how she plays her part in it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    This book os awesome!!!!

    A realistic love story involving an ancient lore with a modern twist. Five stars!!!!!!

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    sweet and charming

    In doing research for a project on the Victorian Era, Laurel comes across a book about the language of flowers. As she researching. she recalls memories of her mother's love for flowers. Each flower has a meaning, a language most people realize it exists. Laurel presents on a unique day, when the boys are visiting campus.

    She learns more and more about flowers while giving them to other girls to help them fall in love, remember facts for tests, and keep love on course. Laurel finds herself finally gaining a friend at the boarding school, but all the pressure and judgment starts catching up with her.

    There's something dark going on with Laurel. Something's eating her up inside. She struggles to understand her mother's death and the connection with flowers, dealing with school and social pressures, and finding a way to reach her grandmother. Can she figure out what it is before it's too late?

    A great romantic tale about a girl struggling to find herself after her mother's death and learning she's inherited a special gift. I loved reading about the different meaning of flowers and how Laurel uses them to help others, including herself in the romance department. I'm hoping this story will continue.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com

    Laurel is starting over at a new school after her mom's death. She's attending her mom's alma mater, Avondale Prep School, and she's finding that the school holds more and more keys to her past.

    It all starts with a speech on the language of flowers in her English class. When Laurel gives the bouquet she made to her English teacher and soon after Ms. Spenser finds love, Laurel starts to discover she has a gift with flowers. When rumors start to fly about Laurel's gift, all the girls want them, especially before prom.

    Being a matchmaker isn't easy, and Laurel has a lot to discover about the language of flowers.

    FORGET-HER-NOTS is a light, refreshing read. It incorporates magic without being over the top, and I finished the book believing in the language of flowers. I know I won't be looking at flowers the same way!

    The story takes a bit to pick up, but once it does, it's a fun read. Laurel and her friends are fun to read about - Avondale Prep School sounds like such a fun place, I wish I could visit. Some of the characters weren't completely fleshed out - I had a hard time keeping track of the numerous girls that were mentioned. But Laurel and her teachers were great to read about, and I loved that Laurel got along with her teachers and had great relationships with them.

    FORGET-HER-NOTS does a great job of giving a nod to classics such as ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and THE SECRET GARDEN. This story has the same warm fuzzy feel of those books, and Laurel is definitely a kindred spirit.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    A fresh, original plot

    My thoughts...I really enjoyed this story. Amy B. White takes readers on a romantic and magical journey into a world where flowers can enhance feelings and reactions. This story is very unique and offers a refreshing change to fans of young adult/middle grade literature. While the story is geared to younger readers, it would be enjoyable to readers of all ages, especially those who enjoy flowers. Beyond the flowers, the story has several strong themes. The story uncovers first loves, true loves and love desired. While readers are not smothered with romantic themes, it is tastefully woven into the plot. The heroine also deals with the loss of her mother and her father's struggles to lead his own life. The story also focuses on morals and making choices. In the heroine, Laurel's case, not all of those choices were the right ones.

    The read an interview with the author and she described the book as "inter-generational". I think this is a perfect way to describe the characters in the story. This is a YA title, so our heroine, Lauren, and her peers are young. I think a few of them are old souls, like her cousin Rose. To me, Rose was the voice of reason and I liked her character because of it. Some of the choices Lauren made had me wringing my hands. She faced many of the struggles teens face-acceptance, self-esteem, the opposite sex, family stress, and academic pressures. I did see significant character growth in Lauren by the end of the novel. Readers get a chance to see Lauren's interaction with several of her teachers. One particularly, Mrs. Suarez, really seemed to influence Laurel and take on the mother role. Lastly, Laurel's grandmother, while absent, played a big role in the story, especially the mysterious aspects of the plot.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I love the section at the end of the book with the flower meanings. I found myself referring it on several occasions. I even checked some flower names on the web and was pleased to see they were the same as the book. The story is very unique and creative and I would definitely recommend it to fans of YA lit, young and old.

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    Posted August 20, 2010

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