Cascading Petals

Cascading Petals

by Jane C Brady


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781775067634
Publisher: Huntson Press Inc.
Publication date: 12/13/2017
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jane lives life to the full because she doesn't want to wake up twenty years from now regretting all the things she didn't do. She's an avid traveler who also loves throwing elaborate dinner parties where she wows her guests with gourmet meals. Jane has a passion for writing, interior design, history, movies, board games, and fitness. In her quest for an exciting life, however, she now draws the line at zip-lining, which she experienced in Costa Rica. Never again!

Jane comes from a family of six sisters and lived in a Tennessee plantation house for several years while growing up. She now lives in Western Canada but dreams of owning a vacation home in South Carolina. She lives with her husband (her high school sweetheart), two teenagers, and two dogs. When she grows up, she'd like to be her brilliant sixteen-year-old daughter (minus the mood swings).

Cascading Petals is her first novel.

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Cascading Petals 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
Sarah81095 More than 1 year ago
An easy five stars, Cascading Petals by Jane C. Brady is a young adult novel that follows the story of the lovely Jewel Hart. Throughout her young life, Jewel finds herself the victim of bullying by many people around her. From mean girls to neglectful educators, Jewel perseveres by using her own inner strength to carry on. However, a tragedy in her life sends shockwaves through her already difficult existence at York Mills High School, and she begins to find a new solace in the new guy named Kaiden. As Jewel’s journey unfolds, she explores her suspicions that certain people may not be what they appear. Do not discount this novel as just another teen romance with a unattainable heroine. Jewel’s experience is described in such a way that is both understandable at any age, while at the same time brings about nostalgia for the experiences we all face as a teenager. While we all have faced bullies and oppressors in our lives, Jewel’s trials in this narrative relate on a personal level because they permeate into other realities of life. Brady captures this perfectly in Cascading Petals. The imagery of this novel is superb as well. The way the descriptors are so simple yet effective helps readers immerse themselves into Jewel Hart’s world. It is the little detailing that helps enhance the book overall. It’s easy and reads like a conversation, making it perfect for anyone to unwind with. If you are obsessed with classic Russian literature, this book is possibly not for you, but if you love romantic comedies, coming-of-age books, and other feel-good experiences: get ready for a good time! A fantastic read for anyone heartfelt narratives, Jane C. Brady’s new novel is a perfect book for a day at the beach or an evening curled up on the couch. So wrap up, and get ready for a lovely reading experience!
BookPrincessSF More than 1 year ago
woah, what a journey. From the description summary I was a little confused just what to expect, but I just dove on in. Well I was hooked almost from the very beginning, and was captivated not only at the level of detailed and imaginative character development across the board (mainly w/ Jewel, Kaiden, Lexi), and watching them grow and change, but also the sheer amount of twists and turns that were in store for us …I tend to lose interest in books rather easily (I have a short attention span unfortunately) But I think that “Cascading Petals” by Jane C. Brady is one of the more well thought-out and heartfelt books I’ve read in a while, even though the subject matter is on the harsher side at times. I liked how she writes very descriptively what the characters are feeling and experiencing and with great insight and detailing. I kept wondering how it would all wrap up, and if it would work out… and while I was happy with some things, I was disappointed and saddened with others. But that’s what made it so good I guess. Note, this has sensitive scenes and adult language Not gratuitous at all, but definitely intense. Just a fair warning. Recommend.
JTHACK More than 1 year ago
There is much to be said about a novel that reads well. I've mentioned this before in other reviews I’ve written, but a book that keeps you reading long after you plan on putting it down ranks high for me. Not only is it thought-provoking and engaging, but you look forward to getting back into the book each and every time you pick it up, if you have the self-control to ever put it down. That is what reading this book by Jane C. Brady has done for me. Typical of many issue-driven books I’ve read, “Cascading Petals” does a solid job of breaking down the ‘façade’ and getting to the nitty-gritty of problems people face (despite a seemingly ‘charmed’ exterior)…. and remains inventive and profoundly ‘true to life’. The plot moved quickly and even though sometimes the narration did more of the plot work than the dialogue, it wasn’t overkill and in fact probably gave a deeper dimension to emotional states which are key to the character development in this story. There are some sensitive scenes and coarse language and a few minor typos. But really nothing that hindered my enjoyment any. Jane has a way with drawing unforgettable characters who have important stories to tell. A very strong effort worthy of being read again. 4 1/2 stars
RepoManJM More than 1 year ago
"Cascading Petals” by Jane C. Brady is truly a great piece of storytelling, and any YA/NA and character drama fan should go and read this with the caveat that there is some tough subject matter and scenes here, and the author holds nothing back so be prepared to feel and really experience it. There are several familiar arch types and tropes that border on cliché, but Brady manages to just avoid it with compelling backstory and genuine character development with the believable relationships that develop amongst the characters especially with Jewel and Kaiden. While they are clearly the main figures in this novel, they’re backed up with a strong supporting cast. I think that despite a few stylistic quirks that are not to my personal liking (heavy narrative and multiple POV), Brady’s writing is terrific. However, the strongest part of this book for me is how she does a great job of fleshing out these characters so as not to be the stock cut-outs or even the caricatures they could so easily be due to their situations. It gets close at times, but they are flawed enough and real enough to maintain a sense of believability and gets better as the book progresses. Great descriptions and character intrigue pulls us into the world, and complex personal drama and true-to-life issues that are relatable and emotional keep us there. Some adult scenes and language, but carries an important message about suicide, self-harm, depression, and apathy that teens will certainly benefit from.
DarleneCupp More than 1 year ago
There are few things I enjoy more than curling up with a good book and getting lost for hours on end, and “Cascading Petals” by Jane C. Brady did a great job of keeping me hostage night after night! It’s fascinating young-adult character drama that in a way is very fitting of the genre with familiar issues (bullying, suicide) but also feels very original at the same time. The circumstances and situations Ms. Brady puts her characters in are common, but not totally run-of the-mill, and still maintain a sense of believability. These things DO happen and unfortunately affect more people, especially young adults, then we realize. But it’s not all messy, edgy drama, there is also the softer, emotional side that was appealing, and some profound messages throughout. I liked the characters and thought the dialogue seemed natural and helped to move the story forward nicely. Some bouts of ‘telling’, but mostly a fast paced read. An engaging and important book that will surely appeal to fans of Teen/YA drama.
AprilDawn More than 1 year ago
I was surprised with how much I ended up liking this book by the time it was over. In the beginning I thought it felt a little to whiny and angsty for my tastes But as I kept reading I began to understand the characters better (Jewel and Kaiden) and saw where it was going. I like the fact that “Cascading Petals” is a fully-realized character-driven novel with a clear message/takeaway and didn’t have the problems that usually turn me off in YA literary novels (excessive descriptions, purple prose, meandering dialogue that goes nowhere…). Jane C. Brady fills us in as we go without getting bogged down in describing every last thing. The story moves forward and you can't help but get sucked into her strong narrative. And I haven't even begun to talk about the characters, which were amazing once I got to know them better, and heartbreaking. Kai and Jewel are good, although they both struggle with their problems and their past, while trying to rectify their present with each other and others. But some other characters have problems too and handle them is destructive, sometimes fatal ways that really drives home the problems of bullying and suicide and fragile emotions. I enjoyed watching their relationships with the other characters develop over the course of the action, especially with Jewel and Kai. Some similar themes and motifs found in typical YA lit-fiction, but Brady does a nice job of putting her own unique spin on them. I appreciate how her characters’ stories don’t just get wrapped up with a neat little bow and the cliché ‘happy ever after’ at the end, but feel real and more like ‘real life’. My only real complaint was that a few key events felt ‘summed up’ in the narration, and some pivotal scenes happens ‘off stage’ and we don’t actually get to experience it but are told about it (this only happens a few times). Just misses out on the opportunity for more emotional impact, in my opinion. But still a surprisingly good read and I’m looking forward to more from Ms. Brady.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite Bullying is never okay! That is what they always say in schools all over the world, but is it just a platitude that those in authority spout, without truly adhering to? In Cascading Petals, by Jane C Brady, we face bullying head-on, not in an abstract manner, but in a deeply personal and realistic way. Jewel Hart has spent most of her school days as the subject of intense bullying; bullying that has lowered her self-esteem and led her to question her place in the world, whether she even belongs here. In this her final year, a senior now, she hopes and prays that things will be different and the year will fly by until she is released to be an adult, to go to college and to escape the remorseless taunting and pain. When Jewel meets Kaiden Carter, she believes she has finally found a kindred spirit, someone she can believe in and trust. Maybe this final year will be a good one after all, she consoles herself. For Jewel and her new friends, the final year of high school will bring the subjects of bullying and teen suicide to a dramatic head, teaching them all something important about themselves and the world. Cascading Petals is very much a teen romance story and one that is beautifully told by author Jane C Brady, but it is very much more than that. The author uses the story to explore dark and often hitherto hidden places where teenage minds and angst can reside, especially when faced with the hurtful taunts and lies of not only their peers, but even some of their teachers. The ulterior motive of this book was clearly to shine a light into areas that we, as adults, are often afraid to go and to show just how incredibly debilitating systematic and concerted bullying can be, not just to those being bullied, but often to the perpetrators themselves. Brady tells the story in a no-holds-barred narrative and yet maintains a sensitivity and a compassion that we wish were present inside of those who choose to relieve their own inner pain at the expense of others. The characters are real and perhaps not even your typical target of bullies, but I’m sure that was the intent of the author also; to show that it is not only the overweight, or the acne ridden, or the socially awkward teenagers who can be the butt of these young people’s anger and hurt. This is one of the best books on the subject I’ve read and Brady is to be congratulated for telling this difficult story without resorting to clichés and over-emotional responses. A great job.
MegKing More than 1 year ago
"Cascading Petals” by Jane Brady was unexpectedly good for me. In the beginning, I was a little worried I thought it was a little slow with no real discernable ‘grab’ until later on. But I kept reading and before long I became more familiar with the set-up, the characters and their problems, and it became more and more intriguing----almost addicting. There are interesting, dynamic characters across the board, and I like that each one (of the main characters, at least) has distinct personalities that really stand out from each other, which is good when shifting perspectives. I recently read another book that rotated character POV like that, but they all sounded exactly the same and I hated it! Here, we really feel the distinction between each speaker/character and truly feel like we are inside their minds when we are with them. The prose is very strong and descriptive, and I think Jane writes with energy and passion that is contagious. I know that it is the theme of the book, but some parts did feel a little maudlin, and I had a hard time believing that some adults would act/react to situations the way they did. Felt a little contrived for the sake of the storyline, but it’s ok – I get it. But the way it all comes together in the end is terrific --- if not a little sad-- all the elements were definitely handled to my satisfaction. No cliffhanger or open threads. Thankfully and ends on an upbeat note. Recommend for mature teens and older.
SBEACHER More than 1 year ago
a beautifully written and richly evocative examination of life, love, loss, and the ravages and cruelty of people, and the different ways people react to unthinkable situations – sometimes with deadly results. This story is equally packed with character development and emotion, and is sure to please all but the pickiest of literary readers. I felt a great connection with the characters, especially Jewel, and thought the narrative was clean and crisp, descriptive, but not overdone which can sometimes happen in Young Adult fiction. Great writing and a bold attempt at capturing many important elements made “Cascading Petals” a hit for me. I think that this book would make an excellent book club choice as there are just so many topics we can talk about and dissect deeper…There are so many different angles and subjects to talk about, not even getting to the wonderful characters who bring the book to life. I liked how Jane utilized multiple points of view so we are able to experience the different characters worlds and be really inside their heads. Not an easy book to stomach at times, but worth it in my opinion. A great find… I enjoy discovering new authors, and Jane C. Brady will certainly be one to watch. Hope she continues writing these types of books because she certainly has a knack for it.
cvasquez More than 1 year ago
this is the first novel I’ve read by Jane C. Brady, and while I had some issues with the way a few of the characters are portrayed (too stereotypical for my liking), the story itself was fantastic! Ms. Brady has such a great way of capturing slices of real life over pivotal experiences with astute personal details and eyebrow-raising drama. But what I liked most about the novel was the relationship between the various characters and especially what they do in moments of great challenge or adversity. What is truly important to us, and are we doing the right thing? How do you survive the aftermath of a traumatic childhood or bullying or depression? What resources are there? Ms. Brady explores these questions with probing finesse and great heart. She does a great job with characterizations, but I thought that Jewel was a little too ‘perfect’ for my liking, and a few others felt like the typical YA cliché roles. But Lexi and Amy were particularly well-crafted and Kaiden was really good too. A recommended read for young adult fans of edgy drama.
JesseThomas More than 1 year ago
for me, author voice is almost everything, and it will make or break a novel and my enjoyment of it. I need to hear originality and know that the author is not trying to sound or write like someone else, but is telling HER story in a whole new way, whatever that story may be. I feel like I can smell a fake a mile away, and believe me I’ve read my fair share of books from authors who are ‘trying’ to emulate better, more accomplished authors in their genre or just ‘retell’ a popular book. What impressed me the most here was that I thought that Jane C. Brady’s writing has the confidence, depth and complexity, and skillful narrative of a seasoned pro… I was pretty surprised to see that this looks like her first (and only?) novel so far. The dramatic, profound and emotionally-charged interweaving plotlines had that elusive ‘flavor’ that only comes when they are fully developed in a realistic way, something that is not easily done, especially in a novel of this depth and magnitude of complex, deep issues. I’m not easily impressed, especially by indie authors. But I was here. This is the type of book that I want my daughter to read, and her friends. In fact, I’m sending it to her now. Recommend.
Coreeez More than 1 year ago
I thought “Cascading Petals” by Jane C. Brady was simply marvelous and had many of my favorite themes and elements of my favorite types of novels, plus some powerful, highly emotional situations I haven’t really didn’t expect. Great combination of everything from family, abuse, healing, social issues and personal struggles, friends, love, enemies, finding strength and overcoming obstacles and more….. sometimes I found myself skipping ahead at some places, but there was so much going on, I was never bored, just anxious to move faster to where more action was happening and less introspection (if that makes any sense). This is more character-driven than action-driven, but there are some wild things that go down, especially at the end. There was a nice balance with narrative and dialogue, and I was happy with how the characters were the ones to pull the story forward… Occasionally I didn’t like the feeling of how the story felt a bit ‘spoon fed’ to us instead of letting us figure it out on our own But for the most part I was really invested mentally and emotionally in Jewel’s and Kai’s lives the whole time and experiencing it in real time through the different characters’ eyes, for better or worse. I felt a real connection to this amazing, tragic, treacherous world the author created and to the unforgettable characters, and aside from the occasional slow pace and eye-popping moments, I thought it was a wonderful read that I will remember for some time. The next book “Echoes in the Streets” looks really good too.
BenjisMom More than 1 year ago
there were things I loved about this book, “Cascading Petals” by Jane Brady and a few things that I didn’t so much love. First, the writing itself and storyline was great, which is VERY important to me. I read a lot of indie authors and nothing makes me more bonkers than reading the same derivative, tired plot over and over again. This one felt wholly unique and the tone of the book felt authentic for a ‘realistic’ life teen character drama. The pacing was mostly solid – a bit on the slower side at times, and could have used more action other times, but the characters felt real and three dimensional. The world & character-building was inspired and picturesque, and described in vivid and creative way. What I didn’t like, however, was the fact that I felt the real conflict took too long to really get started, and that a good portion of the beginning feels like things were too ‘ordinary’. Took too long to feel the real tension or high stakes, like where I felt I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. We meet Jewel and her brother, and then her friends and Kaiden enters the scene… we see how their life is (and it ain’t great). But in a way the most riveting parts seem to come way later, and if I wasn’t the type of person who MUST finish a book once I start, I’m not sure I would have continued on because I couldn’t get very invested for awhile. And while some characters are very well done, a few seemed to get lost in the mix. But does pack a solid emotional punch and has a whole lot of engrossing story in these pages, and is a very memorable experience. A good message and one that is important for teens and adults alike.
MaxG456 More than 1 year ago
I don’t really know how to best describe or sum up “Cascading Petals” by Jane C. Brady because I have a lot of conflicting impressions about it. Some parts I thought were simply amazing and perfectly executed, beautifully written and profoundly emotional and insightful—surprisingly so. But sometimes I felt that the story seemed to lose focus and wandered all over the place—like the focus of the book was always changing. There was a dark, human nature element that was powerful, and spoke to me more than just a run-of-the-mill teen drama/coming of age/literary novel. Some of the characters felt too ‘typical’ of what we see and I thought a few things were pretty predictable. It just didn’t feel like it brought anything really groundbreaking or new in a way that we haven’t seen or read somewhere else before, yet at the same time the storyline always felt very organic and like it had a higher purpose…it definitely makes you think outside your comfort zone and realize just how people’s lives can be affected by abuse/words/actions and that there needs to be groups and support systems available for everyone. When I was done, I will say that I enjoyed the experience and I would be interested in read more books by her for sure. The writing is easy to read and the characters are good – I particularly liked Kai. So like I said, mixed feelings – not bad, not mind-blowing. Some language but nothing too terrible. Suitable for teens on up.
JeanOJO More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I knew by the 20% mark that I would really love this book and it would go on my “favorites” shelf, and I was right! I admit I had no real expectations when starting it, seeing as how I’d never read the author before and the description felt a bit “generic” to me (outcast girl meets hot new guy and life changes). Wondered if she’d deliver something memorable and worthy of being read, and I truly believe she did! Much to my surprise I quickly became immersed in this book and was impressed with the level of detailing on almost every single aspect. A lesser author would have glossed over some of these delicate situations that Jane Brady carefully and masterfully brought to life in a memorable, deeply emotional way. This is a provocative book with some upsetting situations, but nothing teens can handle. It is very intense and reveals the troubled, dark side of human nature that some might be uncomfortable with, but it is also a powerful reflection of our selves and our society and our youth. Will definitely be looking for the next one from Brady. Recommend.
-Cale-Owens- More than 1 year ago
I personally thought “Cascading Petals” by Jane Brady was really good and this is not usually the type of book I usually read. And in the beginning, I admit that I really wasn’t sure where the story was going, but once I was about a quarter of the way in I was totally hooked and didn’t want to stop until I’d reached the end. I would describe this as a drama, but there is lots of character development, some truths that are hidden… and revealed…. Emotional action and unexpected twists – shocking and sad and you will definitely stay interested. And I like how Jane writes in a way that you can totally picture everything the character are doing, but you also feel like you are in their shoes. It’s told in 1st person (mostly) but jumps around from character to character so we see a lot of perspectives which is cool, even though the head-hopping was a bit confusing at times--I think for the most part it worked well. Very happy with the ending as well, even if it’s not exactly a “happily ever after”. Would like to read more from Jane in the future!
JhonniP More than 1 year ago
oh my, where to begin…seriously, this is a super hard book to just sum up my feelings in a few sentences. Well, I read it in one night if that’s any indicator. But who needs sleep? Ha. I enjoyed the narrative voice and tone of the author, Jane C. Brady. She writes in such a way that we just get pulled in and lost in the story right away, and see everything unfold around us. It’s a slow building crescendo of unpredictable (and unfortunate) events and compelling characters who are believable, yet act in unbelievable ways at times. If I only have one gripe it’s that it seemed weirdly anticlimactic to me for some reason, like the emotion was sucked out of the ending even though it was the most dramatic. Like it was delivering it’s message in a predetermined way (like the characters’ fates happened to ‘teach’ people things) The narrative is very good, as is the dialogue for the most part. This is a book that when you are done reading it you feel different... it almost changes you, how you feel and think. But in a good way. I like a book that challenges me outside my normal comfort zone and “Cascading Petals” did it in spades. I for one am ready for more from this talented author soon! Recommend for ages 14+
ElizaBEB More than 1 year ago
"Cascading Petals was an engrossing, shocking, and totally addicting story that kept me reading for hours on end! This book was creative, well-written, and fast-paced. Loved the characters of Jewel and Kaiden, and thought almost all the different characters’’ storylines each brings to light many real issues in life. I like how Jane writes in a way that we really feel like we are inside the story right from the beginning, and we never want to leave! She not only writes well, she isn’t afraid to think outside norm conventions and come up with some pretty dramatic scenarios, but still remain quite believable because these are real things that teens go through every day. This book is a standalone, so there is no cliffhanger here and I loved the ending, even if it’s not ‘happy’. It totally works. Highly recommend for readers of Young Adult literary drama and fiction.
NicolaF More than 1 year ago
"Cascading Petals” by Jane Brady is a really good, different read with an emotional and plausible concept that unfortunately is all too real. And just when I thought I was done with YA forever because it was all feeling the same. I was wrong! Admittedly there are some familiar themes and standard literary tropes happening here, (troubled kids/ childhood… abuse… bullying… teen suicide… absent adulting… mental issues, …, coming of age, etc…) but done with a sense of newness and unique to this storyline. Brady’s narration is quite literary and descriptive….. especially with the characters’ inner narration. At times I almost felt like it was too much, although Brady describes it very well, and I know it’s instrumental to the plot and with what is happening with each of the characters (their mental and emotional states play big roles here) It’s just sometimes it seemed like overkill when I would’ve preferred to maybe see it play out more naturally between the characters instead. I just didn’t ‘feel’ the connection I was supposed to. But I can say that the writing is excellent -- very descriptive and evocative. Liked the flower petals throughout the chapters – cute touch. This is a very intense read but with a great balance of emotions, dialogue and narrative. Would like to read her next book when it’s out! I like the cover art also.
LeoG2 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars Jane C. Brady is definitely one of those authors I’ve had the privilege of discovering lately. I do read a lot of books by lesser known authors (I like to give them a chance and maybe discover a new favorite). But inevitably I’m left disappointed more often than not. But even if Ms. Brady’s novel “Cascading Petals” isn’t perfect, it absolutely delivers a powerhouse of a ride with engaging characters whom you believe in, and you become emotionally invested whether you want to or not. This one was impactful and about as different as it could be from anything else I’ve read in the genre in a long time, perhaps with the exception of Jay Asher’s “13 Reasons Why”. But “Petals” stands well on its own, Brady’s literary skills were all there: the descriptive world that feels as hauntingly authentic as it comes, the well-crafted scenes, fully developed lead characters (less so with some supporting cast), witty dialogue, the heart-pounding moments, the shocking twists and sweet moments… I enjoyed it all the way through I’d recommend to teens and adults alike who enjoy fiction that isn’t afraid to push some buttons and tell a powerful story, even if it’s not always very pretty. Much like life, I suppose.
NikkyH7117 More than 1 year ago
the pace of “Cascading Petals” is like a slow burn that gets hotter and hotter, then simmers, and then explodes. Despite the shifting character perspectives (alternating scenes that tell Jewel and Kai’s sides, and others), the story was pretty easy to follow throughout. I am a real fan of Ms. Brady’s writing style –sometimes issue/character-driven literary novels are boring to me, but not this one!! And even though there was a lot of action and negative drama constantly happening, and a few different characters that come and go and shift our focus along the way, I never once felt lost or confused. Instead I felt swept away as the metaphorical pot boiled over again and again. I thought that Jewel and Kaiden made for great leads even when the focus shifts to other characters, it is really their viewpoints and lives and individual storylines that we connect with throughout. I loved how easily I was able to escape into their world for a while, as troubled and heartbreaking as it is at times, and it is so well- written so as to keep my full attention until the end. I am giving this one 5 stars because I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t like, and I’d definitely keep reading more of Jane Brady’s novels – hope there will be more! (hope “Echoes in the Streets” comes out soon) Recommend for teens and adults who like intelligent, profound stories with authentic, flawed and real characters and a powerful statement on society and humanity. Some language and adult situations.
SherriWarner More than 1 year ago
As I read this book by Jane C. Brady I found myself completely taken away from the safety of my ‘real life’ and transported to another world, completely forgetting where I was. An epic-feeling literary novel with more tangents and character sub plots than others in the contemp-YA genre I’ve read (which usually seem to focus on the girl obsessing over some boy), with a dynamic cast of characters each of whom have their own stories to tell and conflicts to overcome. Complex, honest, deep, intense, disturbing, shocking, uplifting and empowering… Way too much to delve into here, but this is a book that affected me in a stronger way than I ever could have anticipated and will haunt me for a long time to come. This is a book that matters, and with a message that needs to be spread widely. If you are looking for a unique take on teen issue, drama and relationships, and family life with a darkly psychological and beautiful literary vibe, look no further.
JGoldmanJG More than 1 year ago
When I read books that are geared toward the YA/NA crowd, oftentimes I either like the dialogue, and the narrative seems flat (or too ‘telling’ and long-winded) or the prose is good, but the conversations seem contrived and stiff, or the plot is completely forced. But I liked how seamlessly everything flowed in “Cascading Petals” as this made it feel authentic and well- paced, like we are watching a movie or something. It had it all, seriously…humor, loss, heartache, budding romance, family life, friends, enemies, hope and tragedy… takes us on an unforgettable, and ultimately fulfilling rollercoaster ride that I won’t easily forget and with characters that will touch your heart and leave a deep mark. Jane C. Brady managed to take a multitude of different scenarios that feel ripped from real life and create a story that is both highly readable and also exposes some harsh realities and truths about the pressures and insecurities of not just teen life, but the responsibility and roles that adults have as well. While it definitely has its very dark moments, it serves well with the plot and we also see some beautiful, inspiring moments as well. Good job.
CJ2277 More than 1 year ago
"Cascading Petals” was an interesting experience for me. On one hand, the premise is very important, powerful, well thought-out and executed, and the writing was itself excellent (beautiful literary prose that almost bordered on poetic at times). But I felt that at times the dialogue with the characters felt sort of stiff and more like an adult talking than a teen, and there were some parts that I thought were pretty cliché….. Everyone was just so ‘defined’, like they are ‘playing the roles’ of the characters instead of being more real – but they still were believable to an extent. Jewel came across as a Mary Sue to me and her name (Jewel Hart) is just too on-the-nose. So it took me awhile to get into it, but I will say that once I did I was hooked! Even having it from different, alternating POV’s really gave me the wider character insights that I prefer in novels such as this – where it is more character-driven than action packed. Some scenes and situations and conversations didn’t add enough value or tension to the overall plot (or they could have been consolidated). But I think it kept getting better and the ending was far better than the beginning. Once I was done I was really glad I’d read it because there really is an important story here that should be read and appreciated. I think this author actually has a ton of potential and I can see a lot of people enjoying this. Recommend for teens through adults 3 1/2 stars
TabithaP1 More than 1 year ago
4. 5 stars "Cascading Petals” by Jane Brady was a different type of book for me as I’m not a huge “Young Adult/Teen issues’ fiction reader. But I thought the description sounded really interesting, and it has some very glowing reviews. As the mother of a soon-to-be teenage girl myself, I do like keeping abreast of current issues and social attitudes, and like to stay familiar with her ‘reality’. So I thought I’d give this a try and see how I liked it. That said, here are my thoughts: I liked that it was very well written and had plenty of intense emotional action and unexpected twists that really drive home the moral of the story and its message. Everything felt “real” from the characters, their problems and insecurities, the relationships, the social mechanisms, the experiences, the scenes and detailing of everything Jewel goes through with the girls (Lexi, Amy) and their own problems, and her relationship with her brother, Kaiden and Finn. It wasn’t predictable at all, at least not to me… and it kept my attention the whole way through. Had some really dark moments that as a mother made me want to cry and shake the characters or hug them. But also had some pretty amazing ones as well. I don’t think I was able to stop reading the last 30% or so! Some complaints were there were a few characters that didn’t feel like they were all that developed and would have liked to know better. There were times that I grew weary of reading about inconsequential details that added little to the progression, (a minor complaint, really) I did appreciate the way Ms. Brady shows so many sides of the same story with different character observations and interpretations --- it forces you to pay attention and think – actively engage with the story. So not some easy breezy beach read, but to my surprise I found myself really sucked into the story, so much so that I shed a few tears and may have cursed a few characters along the way. Was happy with the ending but also a little sad. I felt so invested in this world and these characters. Overall an enjoyable read that I’d recommend to others, and I’m really glad I gave it a shot. Will read more from this author anytime.