kari’s review of The Language of Flowers > Likes and Comments

118 likes · Like
Comments (showing 1-50 of 60) (60 new)    post a comment »

message 1: by Penny (new)

Penny Watson If it had been a book about origami, then it would have been OK to have the word "fold" a lot....hee hee!


message 2: by kari (new)

kari Penny wrote: "If it had been a book about origami, then it would have been OK to have the word "fold" a lot....hee hee!"

Exactly LOL


message 3: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca That's so disappointing. This book was on my 'to read' list. I would hate to waste my time reading about a protagonist with no redeeming qualities.


message 4: by kari (new)

kari I was disappointed since it has lots of good reviews. Could be just me or the way I saw it, she she was just disagreeable start to finish.


message 5: by Jenny (new)

Jenny I haven't read this, but I will just thrown my 2 cents in that it makes me CRAZY when I become aware that an author is overusing a word/phrase - it's that dreadful moment when I become concious of the writing process, rather than letting myself get lost in the story. (Case in point, Diana Gabaldon can not get away from letting her characters comment "acerbically" at least once every 50 pages or so).


message 6: by kari (last edited Oct 27, 2011 08:58AM) (new)

kari OH you are right. She uses that a bunch(however it's okay when Jamie says it. What about Jamie isn't okay??? LOL). Once you get one of these overused ones stuck in your head, it feels like it's then on every other page. It does make you aware of the writing and stops the flow of the story. Great way of putting it.


message 7: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Yeah, Jamie even minus a finger, is still pretty awesome :)


message 8: by kari (new)

kari Jenny wrote: "Yeah, Jamie even minus a finger, is still pretty awesome :)"

Agreed! ☺


message 9: by kari (new)

kari Nicole wrote: "This is the best and most accurate review of this book I have come across! I cannot understand the fascination and love for this book either. I had absolutely no use for Victoria (I stopped feeli..."

I honestly thought that was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. Leaving her newborn to go hide under a bush.... when everyone is offering HELP. Didn't understand her one bit and didn't much like her. Even the "happy ending" when she was going to get around to caring for her child. *eye roll*
Thanks for the comment.


message 10: by Jennifer Jo (new)

Jennifer Jo Great review. I liked the book in the beginning but it became too predictable, too contrived and therefore too unbelievable. I couldn't understand how someone who worked sporadically at a low paying job could afford to keep an apartment, car, feed herself, put gas in her car, and also have money for all the film and film processing. I haven't even got to the part in the book when she has a successful flower business of her own. This book is too unrealistic for me to enjoy, and I may not finish.


message 11: by kari (last edited Dec 02, 2011 05:35AM) (new)

kari I wondered a lot about the film development, too. That stuff is expensive and she would just toss aside all the pictures that she didn't find perfect enough. I think if I had very little money, I'd make sure each picture was as perfect as it could be. This didn't make sense to me. I also didn't understand why she became so obsessed with photographing the flowers, particularly with such old equipment. I really didin't ever come to understand her (or where she got all her money)
If you haven't finished it yet, I think you'll be even more frustrated by the ending. I was.


message 12: by Susan KG (new)

Susan KG I have given up on this book after about 75 pages. Thank you, Kari, for your excellent review. I simply couldn't stomach Victoria, and it's good to read that there are others out there who concur.


message 13: by kari (new)

kari Susan KG wrote: "I have given up on this book after about 75 pages. Thank you, Kari, for your excellent review. I simply couldn't stomach Victoria, and it's good to read that there are others out there who concur."

Oh, thanks. I find it so difficult to give up on a book I'm not enjoying. You're smarter than I am. I kept waiting to FEEL something either from Victoria or for her and I never got there.


message 14: by Cath (new)

Cath Completely agree. Victoria's journey isn't believable; rather than absorbing into her nuances I found myself rolling my eyes and hoping Grant had moved on to someone who invested in him.


message 15: by Linda (new)

Linda Have just finished the book. While reading it I agree entirely with your review. With hindsight I kept going to see where the story led. WHY was she so hard and bitter? Had she been abused? Victoria seems overly-brittle, but then who can judge another's emotions. That so many people were kind, supportive and loving towards her is unlikely in the first place and then even more unlikely that she wouldn't have responded more positively. But an interesting debut and nicely written.


message 16: by kari (new)

kari Cath wrote: "Completely agree. Victoria's journey isn't believable; rather than absorbing into her nuances I found myself rolling my eyes and hoping Grant had moved on to someone who invested in him."

I agree. I didn't understand why Grant even liked her, let alone loved her. The whole "messages through flowers" part of the relationship didn't feel strong enough to actually build on.


message 17: by kari (new)

kari Linda wrote: "Have just finished the book. While reading it I agree entirely with your review. With hindsight I kept going to see where the story led. WHY was she so hard and bitter? Had she been abused? Vi..."

The writing was good.... other than the "folding" which was overdone. I didn't understand anyone's motivation for their actions, from Victoria to all the other characters. Why would they keep being good to her when she would actually snarl and glare at them? This isn't the way people behave, particularly to someone they don't know and who doesn't react in any normal way. I get that she was damaged from her childhood (which could have been explained a bit more, imo) but none of those people knew any of her history so her behavior would have seemed bizarre.


message 18: by Angie (new)

Angie I just had to say I literally LOL'd at this review because it echoed everything I've been thinking! I'm still plowing through it, only out of sheer determination to finish so I can write a scathing review myself, but I SO agree with everything you said! This book is awful, it's now #2 on my most-hated list, right behind Girl With a Dragon Tattoo....speaking of unlikeable protagonists. :/


message 19: by kari (new)

kari Angie wrote: "I just had to say I literally LOL'd at this review because it echoed everything I've been thinking! I'm still plowing through it, only out of sheer determination to finish so I can write a scathing..."

Can't wait to read your review. I wanted to like this one, wanted to like Victoria, but I really did not. that past.


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan Great obsevation! I read your review an couldn't agree more. I am at page 180 and have read fold at least 10 times!!


message 21: by kari (new)

kari Yep. Fold, fold fold. When I become that aware of one word, it is over-used. And she uses it in odd ways where it would seem another word would be a better fit.


message 22: by Scooping it Up (new)

Scooping it Up I completely disagree with the likeability of the central character. I think the important thing to remember about the storytelling is that the main character/narrator is a girl who blanks out, dissociates from her own life. She doesn't have a handle on how she feels. We are left to guess how others see her because the only way she can describe herself and the world is through her negative self-hating lens. I enjoyed the challenege of seeing past her trauma, PTSD and anger at what Grant and Elizabeth and Renata saw. I think the other characters said and did so much more than we get to see. That is the genius of this book. Knowing how flawed the narrator is at seeing the full picture, but knowing the bigger picture is there is cool. I found her panic attacks, her immature approach to dealing with the baby completely believable. If you've ever known a person wtih severe trauma/attachment issues from adoptoin/foster care, this scenario of freaking out then spacing out is sadly real. I recommend this book gladly. I was not irritated at all, I read it in one night I couldn't put it down. Those who came to the novel looking for more about flowers might be disappointed. Those coming from families touched by children who've experieced trauma/foster care, will be moved by this story.


message 23: by kari (last edited Aug 30, 2012 05:49AM) (new)

kari Well, I didn't see at any time where she blanks out as she seems well aware of what she's doing as well as why she's doing it and, in my opinion, she has a very thorough handle on how she feels. She hates everyone, yes, including herself.
If she says she left her un-named newborn to go sleep under a bush I must believe that is what she did and there is not a bigger picture that I'm not seeing.
I wasn't looking for a book about flowers, but I don't think any reader should have to have experienced what is in any book for it to be enjoyable or relatable. For example, I have not lived in 19th century England, but I enjoy books by Austen among others.
As far as being a treatise on the foster care system and how damaged those who have come from it can be, I can see that was perhaps the intent. However, it would have helped to have been given some idea of why she was so angry, some indication of what she had been through before living at the vineyard. Without her ever explaining to anyone anything about herself, it boggles the mind that everyone she comes across would be bending over backward to help her. In the real world, people just are not this way, not for someone they don't know and who won't allow them to know her.
Do you think that it was realistic or made any kind of sense that she was able to create a super-secret yet super-successful business?
You were looking for things in the novel which I wasn't so a different perspective gives a different reading. I'm glad you enjoyed it and appreciate your inight on the subject. Thanks for the comment.


message 24: by Carolynn (new)

Carolynn Could not agree with your review more! I'm half way through the book and am lacking any motivation to finish it. Was reading through reviews to see if anyone agreed with me, or if I was alone in this when I read your comment! Yea! I'm not alone!! haha


message 25: by kari (new)

kari Yes, it isn't just you. I thought the same thing. If you finish it, stop back and leave your opinion.


message 26: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Gibbs I just wrote exactly this in my review. Never liked Victoria, after reading all the glowing reviews kept thinking maybe something would change and I would like her, but it never did. I actually found her quite reprehensible! Thank you for your review--now I know I'm not the only one. :-)


message 27: by kari (new)

kari Nope, you are definitely not alone. I think I could have accepted her had there been some reason given for her attitude and behavior. She kept alluding to her tragic past, but it was never developed at all. And simply everyone falling all over themselves to help her made no sense. People simply don't behave that way toward someone who snarls and glares at them when they are trying to help. And she kept going to sleep under the bush! After she had a child! She got no sympathy from me.


message 28: by Sheri (new)

Sheri I just finished it and it left me an emotional wreck. I don't know when a book has made me cry more. I am not sure if it it because I am a mom(a recent one at that) or just because her behavior is flat out mind boggling. How do you decide to have the baby but not take care of yourself or find even basic baby info? Also, how do you walk back into the lives of these people who you so carelessly tossed aside and expect them to welcome you back like you are not the biggest douche in the history of the world? Also I want to know what is so special about Victoria that seemingly smart people keep deciding to try to help her when she is so obviously not deserving of even a polite smile.


message 29: by kari (new)

kari Sheri wrote: "I just finished it and it left me an emotional wreck. I don't know when a book has made me cry more. I am not sure if it it because I am a mom(a recent one at that) or just because her behavior is ..."

OH, thank you. That is exactly what I thought and felt. I could almost try to understand Victoria's behavior, but those around her keep treating her like she's some extra special delicate snowflake while she growls and scowls at them. This made no sense at all to me. People simply do not do that. Why did Grant even love her? I felt so sorry for him.
And the ending where she is going to get around to someday caring for her child???? Ugh.


message 30: by Kristena (new)

Kristena You nailed it with this review! I decided to finish the book after setting it aside months ago somewhere around the "I'm leaving my baby alone in a weird apartment" part. I had no sympathy for Victoria. She's just a mean person making bad decisions.

On a side note, what was with the queenly names?

I eye rolled my way through this book so I could get on Good Reads and enjoy a review like yours. :)


message 31: by kari (new)

kari Aw, thanks! This book didn't work for me at all. Maybe had their been at some point a real explanation of Victoria's history, I might have been able to excuse some of her behavior but as written, nope. I don't think I'd read this author again.


message 32: by Tori (new)

Tori This is great! I was hoping I wasn't misunderstanding the depth of this character or something. She never got any sympathy from me because of her unlikable attitude. It's almost an insult to children of foster care because none of the people I know who grew up in and out of them act so coldly.


message 33: by kari (new)

kari Thanks. I could not understand get at all, nor why everyone was so eager to help someone who was so unpleasant


message 34: by Klaudyna (new)

Klaudyna Z. People who go through the child welfare system go through a lot , and considering that she has been in it her entire life, not even knowing who her real parents are or even having a stable home, don't you think that's something to be bitter and angry about? She obviously has a lot if trust issues which is the reason she makes some of the decisions she makes. If you were abandoned so many times wouldn't you be skeptical about starting relationships with people too? And as for renata just being nice to her for no reason, can't you just accept that there are still nice people in the world out there who are selflessly willing to help others? You obviously didn't get this book or understand Victoria AT ALL.


message 35: by kari (new)

kari Look, simply everyone is nice to her for absolutely no reason. If someone snarls and snaps at you, are you really going to continue to be nice to them? When you don't know them? When you don't have the first idea of that history?
I really don't appreciate people telling me I didn't get it because I don't like a book. I think I understand exactly what she was about and you liked it. I didn't. Perhaps YOU didn't get my review AT ALL.


message 36: by Klaudyna (new)

Klaudyna Z. You just said it yourself, when you don't have any idea of their history, maybe then you shouldn't be so quick to judge. And they're not being nice to her for no reason. Grant had a history with her, Elizabeth understood her because she acted similarly as a child towards get mother, and renata saw potential and needed help at the store. Those seem like reasons to me. And I respect that you didn't like the book, everyone's got their tastes and opinions but you didn't have to trash the book either.


message 37: by kari (last edited Mar 13, 2014 05:15AM) (new)

kari I didn't trash the book. I clearly stated the reasons I didn't like it. I thought it was ridiculous, no matter what her background. No employer would hire a person who snarls, scowls and growls at people. And a teenager with no money, no business knowledge, no experience can run a super secret yet super successful flower shop? Nonsense.
My opinion, and it is my opinion, which I am NOT going to change, has not the first thing to do with the foster care system. The story is not believable. I could go on about my reasons, but they are already listed in the review.
I'm curious. Have you gone to all the reviews which you don't personally agree with in order to begin an argument?
You liked it. I didn't.
And one last thing, if it is true(and I don't think it is) that I "obviously didn't get this book or understand Victoria AT ALL," then that would be the fault of the author for crafting her characters and her plot in such a way that readers "obviously didn't get this book or understand Victoria AT ALL" which would PROVE my POINT!


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan Crowe I bet you're a real joy to be around if the simple word "folded" bothers you.


message 39: by kari (new)

kari I'd bet you don't know anything about me and you are likely a pain in the butt if the fact that my objection to the overuse of a word is worthy of a snide comment. Have a nice day.


message 40: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Kari i agree 100% with your review and i dont get all of the backlash you're suddenly getting. As someone who works with kids in foster care and understands trauma there was still a lack of story here on why Victoria was the way she was. Many infants who are abandoned at birth are placed in adoptive homes and they may never experience the attachment issues Victoria seemed to have. The lack of full backstory when it seemed so essential to understanding who Victoria is was a huge oversight. kudos to you for sticking to your guns on this one!


message 41: by kari (new)

kari Thank you. I might have been able to connect to Victoria if th here had been some reason for her behavior. For me, if her whole personality and world view was created by an awful history, the author has to come and tell that history. It just doesn't work otherwise. Thanks so much!


message 42: by Nancy (new)

Nancy I hope you're not getting tired of rehashing this book. I came to the internet to look for other opinions because Victoria seemed like such an unbelievable character. Being angry with the world, messed up, emotionally aloof and good at being her own worst enemy seemed logical. What I couldn't fathom was that her behavior didn't seem to have any real consequences. Everyone seems to have endless amounts of patience, understanding and caring without ever having any expectations from her about the normal give and take that are part of relationships. I think her selfishness, no matter whAt the underlying trauma, would have taken a greater toll on her relationships. Her narcissism was very irritating and the reactions of others more fantasy than reality. I also thought her setting up the fancy floral business was ludicrous as was her driving without a license and escaping from the hospital without a bill. I loved the flowers and the idea of people communicating through them. I can understand the relationship beginning between her and grant initially but his character was not developed enough to understand his odd decisions as the relationship evolved and she abandoned him. One of my worst moments was when she took the baby and left it in the house supposedly timed for when grant would get back. I kept thinking, what if grant, all these months later has gone away for a few days or has other plans. How can she leave the baby there? Only a narcissist could do that so casually and irresponsibly. I honestly don't know what the author was hoping that we as readers would take from this character. I guess the message at the end is about the power of love and that Victoria begins to finally feel and give love. Of course, this is a work of fiction and it very much reads that way.


message 43: by kari (new)

kari Nancy wrote: "I hope you're not getting tired of rehashing this book. I came to the internet to look for other opinions because Victoria seemed like such an unbelievable character. Being angry with the world, me..."

Yes, the reactions to Victoria were simply unbelievable. Her anger I could understand, but the reactions to it, I couldn't get past. People simply don't love and understand unconditionally, particularly when they know nothing of her past.
And all of the stuff with the baby was just plain awful. First she won't ask for help, gets no pre-natal care and won't even name her child. Leaves it alone to sleep under the bush. What the heck?
And, yes, then just drops it off with Grant. Poor Grant who wasn't even allowed to know she was pregnant. How selfish was she. And yes, what if he didn't come home?
And the end, when she thinks she will get around to someday raising her child. Wow, I'm so unimpressed.
Oh, and I liked the part with the flower meanings and using that to communicate. But, it seemed to be nothing more than a "meet-cute" which was then dropped.
Definitely fiction, that's for sure.


message 44: by Victoria (new)

Victoria I totally agree with your review. I was so mad and pissed off by Victoria that I finished the book reluctantly. I wasn't sure how to rate the book when you don't like the main character. I think a two star is what I've given to this book. I don't understand how can somebody who is so selfish and totally disregards anybody else in the world, yet everybody in her life just wanted to love her. Are these people stupid? I don't get it. Why would Elizabeth wanted to love her? Why would Grant? And why would anybody? These people must be mad. Can't recommend this book.


message 45: by kari (new)

kari Victoria wrote: "I totally agree with your review. I was so mad and pissed off by Victoria that I finished the book reluctantly. I wasn't sure how to rate the book when you don't like the main character. I think a ..."

I couldn't agree more. If she had told people about her past, then I might have at least found some understanding of why simply everyone wanted to love her, but all she does is glare and snarl. People simply don't behave in that way, absolute love and support for no reason. It would be a wonderful world if it were that way, but it is not.


message 46: by Tina (new)

Tina Graffunder Here's the thing- Vanessa Diffenbaugh painted a very real picture of the heart and mind of an orphan child who's been in the foster system. This book is VERY realistic from where I am. I have 2 children adopted. Their trauma is real. They are very much like Victoria. There has been times where others looking in would wonder why I keep loving them. They hurt us over and over again. But we keep loving them. Some people can see through the hardened exterior of someone like Victoria. I think the people in the book reacted in a very real way. I have loved many people who were snarly and mean and didn't "deserve" love. One quote that has helped me keep things in perspective "hurting people hurt people."


message 47: by kari (new)

kari Okay, but here's the thing. You KNOW your children's trauma, etc. No one knows anything about Victoria because she doesn't share anything with anyone so I cannot and will not believe that the whole world just loves her for no reason whatsoever. As I told another commenter, you have seen things in this story that you want to see because you have a different perspective, which is fine and I'm glad it spoke to you. But for the typical reader, who has no experience with foster/adoptive children, this story doesn't really add up. Leaving a newborn to go sleep under a bush in a public park? No. Having a super successful yet super secret floral design business? No. It's fantasy and I didn't care for it at all.


message 48: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Tina, i admire you very much, but as someone who has worked with children in "the system" as well as foster parents, i agree with Kari. not everyone is as open and understanding as you are. perhaps for Victoria to experience this while living with Elizabeth, yes, but with random clients? with the flower shop woman who needed her to help her business (which Victoria then turned around and opened a rival and stole clients)? i don't think so.


message 49: by kari (new)

kari Alyssa wrote: "Tina, i admire you very much, but as someone who has worked with children in "the system" as well as foster parents, i agree with Kari. not everyone is as open and understanding as you are. perha..."

Thanks, Alyssa. I hadn't even thought about Victoria stealing clients for her secret business, but why then would anyone keep wanting to befriend/help her? This just makes no sense.


message 50: by Carly (new)

Carly You nailed this review. Couldn't agree more.


« previous 1
back to top