Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White is due to be released Tuesday, 3/23/2010.
I found this on the street date shelf in the backroom at work. The street date shelf is where books that have a specific release date that cannot be broken are placed. I don’t really see Young Adult books there often, with the exceptions of major authors like James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer, or L.J Smith. From what I understand, this is White’s premier novel. I picked it up before my shift to see what it was about.
This novel is about a fourteen year old girl attending a posh boarding school. At first I thought that it had all the makings of a teen drama that had been rinsed and repeated excessively. After reading a bit, I realized I was wrong. While there are those elements, Laurel is a girl trying to cope with the loss of her mother by revisiting the place where she went to school. Of course; where there’s grief, there is a mysterious message left to you by the person you are grieving. Laurel’s mother left her a clue leading to the Victorian language of flowers.
This is where the novel opens, introducing the type of character Laurel is; not terribly strong but not wishy washy either. She shows backbone when making snide comments towards the obnoxious boy in class. She doesn’t let people intimidate her, though she does not seek out confrontation. Here is where description falters– even though Laurel’s personality is clear to me, her appearance is a mystery. Her description of the backup characters are pretty standard: blonde sidekick, black-haired Asian romantic lead, and the roguishly handsome bad boy with an attitude.
The inspiration for this novel, the language of flowers, was heavily researched. I’m impressed by the amount of detail that went into that first tussie-mussie (bouquet with secret message) that Laurel made. Here is also where what makes Laurel special is introduced. She can awaken magic within flowers; use them to make things happen. I have yet to see this in a Young Adult novel. I was entranced by the first few pages, forgetting that I had to start working soon. White made use of real pains and real issues that teen girls face and gave her character a way to overcome it. It’s a coming of age story where the main character will actually grow before the readers eyes. I look forward to seeing what else White can do. The writing is soft and elegant, feminine but still strong.
If you’re interested in learning more about Amy Brecount White’s book Forget-Her-Nots, you can visit her site here. You can also read an excerpt of her novel by clicking on the “books” tab.