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Book Review – Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

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?


Greenwillow/ HarperCollins, 2010

Young Adult for ages 12 and up, Fiction

374 pages


First five chapters online: https://browseinside.harperteen.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061672989

Kirkus Review: “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.”


Publishers Weekly Review (2/8): https://www.publishersweekly.com/article/447749-Children_s_Book_Reviews_2_8_2010.php

Forget-Her-Nots Amy Brecount White. Greenwillow, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-167298-9

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.)

Why would grandparents want to buy the book for their grandchildren?

Any grandparent who loves flowers or gardening will find my book an excellent way to share that love with the tween and teen generation. A grandparent could also assemble a tussie-mussie (a symbolic flower bouquet) to convey original and heartfelt flower wishes on a special occasion using the language of flowers key at the end of my novel.

To whom would the book especially appeal?

My novel will appeal to anyone interested in the Victorian period, gardening, or adding some flower magic to his or her life.


Amy Brecount White has played with words for most of her life. While she was finishing her M.A. in English at the University of Virginia, she also worked for a health newsletter. Her first published article was on constipation. Really. She went on to teach high school English for seven years and then turned to freelance journalism. More than 75 of her articles and essays appeared in The Washington Post. She also wrote for FamilyFun, Washingtonian, online publications, and Notre Dame Magazine.

With all that experience, Amy thought writing a novel would go smoothly, but it took her about eight years to get all the lovely words just right in Forget-Her-Nots and find a home at Greenwillow. Forget-Her-Nots was inspired by her own love for flowers and her desire to spread the magic around. For more information, please see www.amybrecountwhite.com

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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