Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review: Violet in Bloom

Violet in Bloom

by Lauren Myracle

Flower Power #2

Found this one at a yard sale! Love the purple cover.
Let's see what everyone has to say about it.


Sadly, this is book two of the Flower Power series. I haven't read book one, but I don't seem to be missing any information that would take away from this story. I don't suggest starting in the middle of a series. Since the characters would give a little history in their turn to narrate I was okay. If I had had a lot of questions, I would have stopped and looked up book one.


Not sure why the title is Violet in Bloom. I thought Yasaman did more blooming in this book than the other characters. Katie-Rose is a mess! I'm really glad she was able to overcome her issues and hope she continues to grow as the series goes on.


Poor, poor, poor, poor Camilla! What happens in her part of the story is the absolute worst! It's amazing she and Max are able to move on as they do. Neat set up to this book. Each chapter is narrated by a different member of the foursome, but it is clearly noted in the chapter title so I could easily shift in my mind. 


This group of friends is awesome! Lots of diversity. Violet has so much going on in her family and it can't be easy when people who do not understand can be so cruel. I do think Yasaman bloomed a bit more than Violet, but Violet opened the gates of her garden and let light back in - that is cool!


This was a very interesting book. A lot going on with each character and their contributions to the Flower Power foursome. Katie-Rose should probably get some help to manage her frustration and anger better. I really liked how each friend brought something different to the group - in more ways than one.


Violet in BloomViolet in Bloom by Lauren Myracle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4 1/2 out of 5 stars - this was a very interesting book. I'm taking 1/2 a star because personally, I do not like the use of text lingo in books - even when used in a text or blog situations. Why? Because phones now have full keyboards. There is no need to shorten beyond contractions or established acronyms. Even worse was the talking frog emoji (LOLfrog) that spouted, "I hope you is hazzing..." I feel that we need to encourage proper grammar in written and spoken word. Understandably this is my own personal opinion and you are free to disagree with me. Other "grammar police" readers might dock more stars for this, but I could see the purpose here and follow some bloggers who also employ the technique. [Considering the author has won awards and accolades for her Internet Girls series which is written entirely in IM...I am in a small crowd. ;-) ]

Now onto the rest of the review. My first love in this book is the diverse cast - four girls with flower-based names who are best friends. Camilla, Katie-Rose, Violet, Yasaman. I see them as the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" in training. Each has multiple levels of things in their lives with which they deal daily. Camilla is the cute little blonde with two moms - she has recently been liberated from a mean girl clique and found 3 new best-flower-friends. Katie-Rose the cute brunette with a nice family, but abandonment, anger, and control issues (she's the friend whose internal filter doesn't always work properly). Violet is African American and usually the confident one, but her mom has mental health issues. Yasaman is Muslim. Let me say again...I LOVE this cast of characters!

Second love of the book. The chapters change point of view but are clearly identified at the beginning to let you know who is speaking or thinking. At the very start of the book I could only see negative feelings and actions happening and couldn't understand how 10-year old girls could be so distressed. Then I thought about my experiences in elementary and middle school. Ms. Myracle clearly understands developmental psychology. The reader finds the characters filled with self doubt, first love, embarrassment, anger, humiliation, indecision, fear, the list goes on. I could identify with each of the characters and remember instances in my own childhood where similar and sometimes identical situations happened. The girls learn how to deal with these feelings and become better people in the process. [Unfortunately, Milla and Max may have flashbacks the rest of her life; poor Stewy.]

Here's the thing. I remember very similar things happening in my youth so what that tells me is that even though we as humans like to think we are evolved certain experiences happen to help us get to be where we are as adults. Some people become better and others do not. This book reminded me that I need to watch and assist those in need to work through and process the negative situations in which we find ourselves - the mean girls and the goofy guys who don't understand how much their actions hurt - without negative ends.

It's interesting how even the antagonists become ever so slightly sympathetic when you just makes you think.

The title is rather deceptive. Since Violet is one of the Flower Power Girls, you think the story focuses on her and her development. It does not. It would be more accurate if named Flowers in Bloom as each character finds herself in a situation she has a hard time facing and grows from facing it.

A side note: Another contributing factor in losing 1/2 a star...I picked this book up at a yard sale and had no idea this is book 2 in the series. No indication anywhere on the cover or spine. HUGE pet peeve of mine. HUGE! Thankfully, with the exception of not knowing how Milla was freed from the mean girls group, book one (Luv Ya Bunches) does not seem to impact book two.

Second side note: I was reading "About the Author" and understand why she chose to include the IM and text lingo. Still not fond of it. :)

Overall...if you get a chance to read this - DO! There is no bad language nor will you find any adult situations. Some violence - mostly taunting - and poor Stewy - nothing terribly graphic. In my humble opinion, the scenes and feelings depicted in this novel are things children go through (adults too). And if you say not...well, then you're Natalia talking about Coke/Pepsi. ;-)

Kid Lit Blog Hop

The first of October 2015, but 67 in the overall hop
We're glad to be a part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This is the one type of post where we cross over blog genres. :) Hope everyone who visits enjoys our style of review.

Happy reading!



  1. "I hope you is hazzing..." Oh dear, that would have bugged me big time! I use some shortcuts but I agree though, there is no need for everything to be shortened. Personally, when I see someone overuse text abbreviations, I tend to think that they are lacking a certain amount of intelligence!

    It sounds like an interesting book though.

    1. Luckily the text and IM speak was very limited. I will be staying away from the author's series that was all IM.

      We may check the library for the others in this series.

  2. Great review! Keep up the awesome work! I'll be back later to read more amazing posts! Love your blog! :)

    Allie D.

    1. Thank you, Allie! We enjoy reading Spreading My Joy too. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing this great review at Kid Lit Blog Hop! I think proper grammar is appropriate also even in our technological age. It's also good to know to make sure to start at the beginning of the series.

    1. Thank you for stopping by. Unfortunately, we seem to be finding a lot of books we read are in the middle of a series. It was nice that the ones we found are not like the Michael Scott Nicholas Flamel series - that always ended in a cliffhanger and picked up mid action with no recap. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your great review in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I have to admit that I find it confusing when the point of view shifts - especially with four. I imagine if I have a hard time keeping track of it, other children would (or maybe not!)

    1. The author did a great job in keeping the switch easy to follow. Each chapter started with a small portrait of the girl speaking. Plus each character had her own distinct style of speaking.