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Wallflower in Bloom

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,020 Ratings  ·  387 Reviews
From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Must Love Dogs—a winning and witty novel about a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and finds herself “dancing with the stars.”

From the acclaimed bestselling author of Must Love Dogs comes a winning and witty new novel about a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and fi
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Touchstone (first published June 1st 2012)
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Sandcastles by Luanne RiceSeven Year Switch by Claire CookSummer House by Nancy ThayerThe Beach House by Mary Alice MonroeSilver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Books on the beach
27th out of 53 books — 13 voters
Devil in Winter by Lisa KleypasRomancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia QuinnThe Duchess War by Courtney MilanThe Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia QuinnNine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Wallflowers in Romance
36th out of 69 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I’ve read and enjoyed chick lit. This isn’t one of those chick lit books.

Deirdre Gibson is the personal assistant and social media genius behind her older brother, Tag’s, rise to fame and fortune as a new-age guru. She is unsure, lacks confidence, and is certain that any guy who shows interest in her must be just trying to get to her brother. When her brother interferes once too often in her personal life, she abruptly quits and in a vodka-fueled stroke of inspiration starts an internet campaign
My personal harbinger of summer landed on my desk recently--Claire Cook's latest book "Wallflower in Bloom". Cook's strength is writing about women who, for one reason or another, are reinventing themselves. Humor is another of her great strengths, so her stories will first make you laugh, and then make you think "I could do something like that". It's no wonder she has legions of friends/fans who think of her like a sister.

This time around, she introduces us to Deirdre, who works as a personal
Jun 04, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get my hands on a pre-release copy of Wallflower in Bloom, and I read it in one day. Claire Cook knows how to spin a tale in ways that are as unique as her characters and their circumstances. This was a fun, wonderfully quirky read, and Cook’s trademark humor is at its best. It’s a story that proves how freeing it can be to break through the barriers of insecurity, take a chance, and dance to the beat of your own drummer.
May 27, 2012 Geri rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite, won, recommend
I got this book free through Goodreads First Reads. I love Claire Cook's books. They're alway a joy to read. Deidre Griffin was born a middle child. She always felt left out. Not very special. Invisible. After college she ends up working for her famous brother like the rest of her family. Until one day she's had enough of him controlling her not so great life and she quits. Getting a little too drunk while surfing the internet she reads that one of the guest stars from Dancing With the Stars has ...more
Red Ferry
Feb 12, 2012 Red Ferry rated it it was amazing
'Once you get past the rocky parts, mid-life can really rock' this says it all, if you haven't read Claire Cook's novels before or are already a fan, you are going to love this one. Deidre Griffin is personal assistant to her famous guru brother, 24/7, so that she has no life of her own, until she drunk-posts herself, using her brother's huge online following which she created, and gets herself voted onto "Dancing with the Stars", hysterically funny, insightful and inspiring!
Aug 20, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Story Description:

Touchstone|June 5, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-4516-7276-3

From the acclaimed bestselling author of Must Love Dogs comes a winning and witty new novel about a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and finds herself “dancing with the stars.”

Deirdre Griffin has a great life; it’s just not her own. She’s the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother, Tag. As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be a
Dec 22, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
Why have I not read Claire Cook's books before? Why is she not be best friend?

The protagonist, Deirdre Griffin, has third child syndrome. She has a golden child oldest brother, a perfect and outgoing older sister, and the adorable little sister referred to and called throughout the book "Joanie Baloney." If a caboose child had been added to this family, I might have related a little bit better. Still, she has the third child syndrome down pat. She's overlooked, feelings get hurt, feels overshado
Jun 05, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
I got my copy of this book by winning a sweepstakes to go to Lake Austin Spa & Resort in Austin, TX. While there, I got to meet Claire and attend a Garden Book Party to celebrate the launch of the book. So, you might think that makes me biased. Maybe it does.

I have read all of Claire's books. This one really speaks to me, as I identify with Deidre. No, I don't have a famous brother who drives me crazy, or a family like hers. But we all have insecurities, especially women. And most of our in
Jul 18, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
I hope none of you are surprised when I say this book is fantastic! But aren't all of Claire's books fantastic? Through out the story I was rooting and cheering Deidre on, hoping her story would turn out to be a happy ending. In order to find this out you have to read it.

Even though I'm an only child, many times in my life I didn't feel like I fit in. In grammar school there was this one girl who always got the As, always behaved well, always got along with everyone, and overall was just perfec
Kelly Gomez
Apr 30, 2012 Kelly Gomez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book as a First Reads on Good Reads and I couldn't put it down. I have never read anything by Claire Cook before and I am adding all of her books to my to-read list! I was actually late for work because I was hooked after the first few chapters. Call it my youngest child-syndrome but I related perfectly to the main character. It was an easy and amusing read. It gave me hope and inspiration for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Lisa B.
Aug 02, 2012 Lisa B. rated it it was amazing
My Thoughts

Deirdre is surrounded by family whose lives all center on her guru brother Tag. Along with that, everyone she encounters wants to use her as their way to get to Tag. Does anyone like Deirdre just for herself and not her connection to her brother? Her stepping out to do DWTS is going to be a true test of who she is and who she might become.

Every once in awhile I want to just read a simple, fun book and boy, did this one fit the bill. It was light, fluffy, airy - and I mean this as a co
Jun 24, 2012 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Deirdre Griffin has the job that lots of women would kill for. Deidre is manager for her brother, Tag. Tag is a famous guru. Women all over are falling for Tag and his words of wisdom. Deirdre is meeting with an event manager for her brother, Tag. While at the hotel, Deirdre receives a unexpected surprise. A man walks into her hotel room, whie Deirdre is in a stage of undress with her granny panty style under wear, brushing her teeth, looking like a rabid dog foaming at the mouth. As if things c ...more
Jun 03, 2012 Bill rated it liked it
Don't look at me like that. Sure, 3 stars means I did like this book, and I'm not even in the target demographic (a bit too male). I'm allowed to read something different once in a while. And enjoy it. So there. Besides, I like Dancing with the Stars.

What worked for me: The deadpan voice of the first-person narrator. Given her messed up personal situation and her hapless reactions, she could have some across as whining. By keeping her reasonably level-headed, the author makes it possible for us
Jan 13, 2013 Zen rated it liked it
Deirdre has always lived in the shadow of her family, especially her brother, Tag: musician slash new age guru slash It guy. So when she finally loses it at one of their confrontations, she quits her job as his personal assistant. Using her brother's fame, she volunteered herself to be a replacement contestant for Dancing With The Stars. Thus begins her journey as a wallflower ready to bloom.

The story was okay, the pop culture references was expected since it talked a lot about social media and
Jun 19, 2012 Vox rated it really liked it
I think I have another girl crush. And Claire Cook, I'm talking about you, sister.

Before we begin this review, please stop what you're doing and get yourself a copy of Wallflower in Bloom. You're welcome.

Deirdre Griffin is approaching middle age and doesn't have a whole lot to show for it. Her life is consumed by her brother, Tag, an advice guru (as Deirdre puts it, "Think Deepak Chopra meets Bono") with millions of followers happily paying to hear such chiasmi slogans as "You don't have to be a
Jun 20, 2012 Kathleen rated it liked it
In this novel, her ninth, local author Claire Cook manages to connect contemporary pop/social media (e.g., “Dancing With the Stars,” Facebook, Twitter, one dimensional self-help gurus), and our fascination/addiction to them. Holding the plot together is a “family” business, a motivational speaker, selling his message using a grammatical format, which is part of his family’s tradition and catches the ear of his audience. The parents’ commitment to insert “chiasmus” (the reader may need to do a bi ...more
Nov 28, 2012 Christa rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
I enjoyed this book, and found it to be a very sweet and touching story. I loved the character of Deirdre, and I liked reading about her quirky family. The storyline kept me interested, and I enjoyed the moments of humor. I'm very glad that I read this one.

Deirdre Griffin is tired of being overshadowed by her guru brother, Tag. She has spent her life as his personal assistant, and her boyfriend has just left her for someone else. While imbibing in Tag's vodka, Deirdre comes up with a plan to hav
Oct 15, 2015 Kristy rated it did not like it
I got about halfway through and could not bring myself to care about what happens. Not finished.
Aug 18, 2012 JoyAnne rated it it was amazing
Cook has written a hilarious, enjoyable book. It's not often a book makes me laugh but I did get a few chuckles out of this one. Deidre is tired of living in her brothers shadow, tired of being her personal assistant sister. She decides to change things and that she does! I really enjoyed the Dancing With The Stars challenge she takes on, her character begins to bloom and you like the person she's becoming.

A wonderfully written story that you won't want to put down. It gets 5 stars from me.
Apr 14, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it
Deirdre Griffin has 2 sisters and 1 brother. She isn't the youngest, she isn't the oldest, she isn't anything; or so it seems to Deirdre. Colleen is the family artist. Joanie is the cute one. Tag is the pampered one. At one time, Deirdre was the talented dancer...until her mother, for convenience, placed Joanie in the same dance class as Deirdre and Joanie was "just so cute" that she stole the show. Deirdre's dream of dancing went by the wayside.

Now, Deirdre is brother Tag's personal assistant.
Jun 11, 2012 Janet rated it it was amazing
What a fun read! Have you ever felt invisible? Everyone take you for granted? Well, that's the story of Deirdre who works for her famous brother Tag.

Fan of Dancing With the Stars? You'll love this...our Deidre gets mad, gets drunk and manages to land on the show.

The story is good in you root for her to be free and to work things out. I couldn't wait to see what happened.

Jan 12, 2015 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, 2015
Considering the fact that I couldn't relate to almost anything in this book, I was surprised by how much I liked it! I found this as a bargain buy at Barnes and Noble for $4 and change, and I love DWTS so I figured a cheap cheesy read could be fun. I'm not middle aged, I don't have a celebrity sibling, my life doesn't evolve around weight issues and I'm not in the middle of an identity crisis - yet following Dee's story was fun (and sometimes funny, I legitimately giggled when she was making an ...more
Jun 17, 2013 Mohawkgrl rated it did not like it
My first Claire Cook and perhaps my last. This is more Danielle Steele than Danielle Steele, which I've never been into. Couldn't wait to finish this sappy, 'it's all about me' drivel. Sorry this is harsh but just not my cuppa. One star for effort but barely. :/
Sep 19, 2012 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
This is a quick light story for anyone who enjoys Jeanne Ray and other stories of middle-aged woman finally finding their way in life. I never really warmed up to the main character's jerk of a brother but the rest of the story, while predictable, was a fun read.
Bridget Lewis
Jan 06, 2013 Bridget Lewis rated it liked it
Claire Cook has a very unique style of writing that I'm not sure I like, but the book was a good read and I really enjoyed it. Wallflower in Bloom is definitely not what you expect it to be, which makes it all the more interesting in the end.
Jan 10, 2016 Carrie rated it it was ok
Pros: partly set in my hometown of Austin, which was fun to read; at times the story was engaging; who doesn't like a fantasy of an everyday woman competing on Dancing with the Stars?

Cons: I'm realizing there's a fine line for me where a character's angst/issues/dilemma crosses over from being well-described and serious to feeling incessantly harped on beyond serving any purpose of the plot. That point where I feel like, "you're losing my sympathy -- I get it! I was with you! You are now losing
Jun 27, 2012 Shannon rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely quick fun read!!! I loved this book! It sucked me in and kept me going to the end!!!
Jun 15, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it
This book was very enjoyable. It held your attention and had a nice flow to it.
Judy Collins
Mar 02, 2014 Judy Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Claire Cook know how to make you laugh in “Wallflower in Bloom”! I listened to the audio version read by Cassandra Campbell which I love as well – so perfect for the part.

Love the way Claire always has her strong women characters inventing themselves and the wonderful journey along the way, full of obstacles and stepping stones. The sense of humor in all her books make them fun to read or to listen to and inspires you to be your best!

Bringing in DWTS was so cool, as Deirdre has lived i
Wendy T
I really enjoyed this book. This book was sad but funny as well.
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I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I'm now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 14 books. If you have a buried dream, take it from me, it is NEVER too late!

I've reinvented myself once again by turning Must Lov
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“even reflected glory can be intoxicating.” 2 likes
“I had a system, too, though I was pretty sure I’d ever acknowledged it before, even to myself. My closet was arranged by size: Now, Not That Long Ago, Once Upon a Time, Never Again, and In Your Dreams. I didn’t even have to check the tags to verify the humiliating range of ever-increasing numerals displayed on them. I wondered what size I’d be when I’d finally had enough.” 2 likes
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