Saturday, June 9, 2012

(83)Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook

Wallflower in Bloom

Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Pages: 260


Deidre "Dee" Griffin has had it up to "here" with her family, specific her brother, Tag.   Tag is a "New Age" guru with a following of millions.   His "persona" has been turned into the family business and Dee's role in the family business is to be Tag's personal assistant/PR Maven/scheduler/personal slave.  All of that family togetherness and demands from her high maintenance brother has finally gotten to be too much for  Dee.  So she "quit" and then promptly signed into her  brother's Facebook account and (as Tag) posted that his followers should throw their support behind Dee to be the last minute replacement contestant on Dancing With The Stars.  And it works.

Before Dee knows what is happening she is on a plane to Los Angeles where she she finds a luxury rental car waiting for her, a furnished - albeit small - apartment and a dancing pro waiting to turn her into a "Dancing Queen" .   It is all too much for this lifelong "wallflower".  As the practices with her partner increase in intensity Deidre is forced to face the family she left behind, specifically Tag.  Will she finally be able to be honest with her family regarding her place in the family business?  Or will they continue to ignore her wants and needs just like always?

Wallflower in Bloom is another one of those "woman pushed to the edge because she can't stand up for herself"  kind of books. Dee is a "wallflower" who  has never been able to stand up to her family.  It was only after years of (what she perceived) wrongs that she finally was able to stand up for herself against an overbearing family and tell them "ENOUGH"!   I can certainly relate to the family dynamics, especially regarding brothers (I have five of them) - but there were several times in this book that the childish interactions between Dee & Tag almost seemed cartoonish.  The name-calling and bickering is something I experience with my step-kids (12&14) but these characters are grown adults in their thirties.   I have very little patience for that kind of behavior from the kids and it disgusted me reading about it from adult characters.

Bottom line, you have to read through the childish behavior of Tag & Dee to get to the enjoyable parts of Dee "blossoming" into her own.  I am not a Dancing With The Stars viewer, but I enjoyed the behind the scenes insight we got, even if it was completely fictional. The resolution between Tag and Dee at the end of the book was a bit predictable, but it did leave me wondering what their relationship would be like in a year or even five years.    Wallflower in Bloom is a quick read and bad behavior aside, a fun read.  Perfect for an afternoon at the beach.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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