Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Language of Flowers

Review Time! I mentioned on Twitter that Debut of the Month starts on the 17th this month but since I haven't received the posts from the author, I guess I'll post the review of the book first! The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a 2011 YA Debut. It could crossover to Adult fiction sooo I guess it's one for everyone! Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the ARC!

(Goodreads) The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

The Short Story? – A heartbreaking story about forgiveness, love and moving on. Beautifully written, this is an original debut that moved me to tears. A refreshingly realistic plot, a fantastic cast of characters and a heartfelt romance entwined with a long journey of hardship. Diffenbaugh has told a story that is bound to be a classic.

The Long Story? – Honestly I was a little iffy about this one. When I first received a review request and blog feature from Pan I really thought hard about turning it down. It seemed too real, too mature and not YA enough. After finishing the book, I’m so glad I gave this one a chance because it’s beautiful, truly, wonderfully, one of the most touching books I’ve ever read.

Victoria is one of the most realistic characters I’ve met in fiction. She’s authentic, she’s 3D. There’s more to her than her looks, her friends and the boy she’s chasing. She’s a complicated character who was exposed to the real world at a young age. She’s an orphan who doesn’t believe in love, in moving on, in forgiveness and the emotional journey she ventures is quite spectacular. Every character in the book plays an important part in Victoria’s journey and it’s really surprises me who the littlest thing like $5 can play such a significant role in someone life. A wonderful cast of characters.

The plot suggests that it’s a cross-over between YA and Adult, it’s clearly written for an older YA audience but I found that I really enjoyed it and I’m 100% teen. The Language of Flowers is clearly just as much of an emotional journey as a physical one. Well-written and easy to read, from the first page to the last I was captivated by the hardships, the characters and how the story unfolds. I stayed up late and woke up early to finish this book, a touching page-turner about how flowers could bring people together and teach them to love again. For fans of Gayle Forman and Courtney Summers. It’s a YA contemporary that will longer long after the last page.

The Language of Flowers is a must-read. Diffenbaugh has written a spectacular debut that will move you to tears. A novel about forgiveness, love and moving on, it’s a fantastic story with an important message behind it. A tear-jerker that’s beautiful from the start to the finish. A journey that will make you laugh, cry, happy and sad. The Language of Flowers will be read by generations to come, it’s a modern classic in the making.

Rating – 5/5

Badass Bookie xx


  1. I hadn't heard of this one. The cover reminds me a little of John Connolly's Book of Lost Things (which I loved). I'm always looking for books that have compelling characters that I can connect with in the story. This one sounds like one I would definitely like to read. Great review!

  2. love the review lisa and i am so glad you liked the book <3

  3. This is a fascinating book in many ways - the coming of age story of a child who is utterly failed by our foster care system; the rediscovery of the intricate hidden messages sent via flowers in the Victorian era; the enchanting setting in the San Francisco bay area and the farms east of the bay. As a result of her experiences in the system, the central character cannot form emotional attachments in a close or effective way - also a fascinating aspect of the book.