Erin Maurer's Reviews > Wallflower in Bloom

Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook
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's review
Jul 17, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

Wallflower in Bloom seems like something Cook was destined to write. Maybe that sounds silly, but for someone who is living proof that it's never too late to step out on your own, I feel like this book is as much her story (my story) as it is Dee's.

Dee is the sister of America's most well-know motivational speaker and self-help guru, Tag. She coems from an overpowering family, one full of dysfunctional love. But rather than lift each other up and encourage each other to chase dreams, they have all found themselves sucked into Tag's orbit.

Dee is his personal assistant, marketing guru and general right-hand-lady. When a kiss with a handsome stranger leaves her thinking he was only interested in order to get to Tag, she starts questioning everything. In a drunken state, she decides to go after her own life, by competeing as a last-minute replacement on Dancing with the Stars.

The story was excellent, beautifully written and heartwarming. I love that Cook did not create a false world full of unicorns and rainbows. The emotions are real, raw and not always pretty. You find yourself loving Dee because she is not perfect. Some of my favorite scenes where the petty fights between Tag and Dee. It reminded me of sharing a backseat with my brother on family road trips.

Anyone with a family they love, and that drives them a bit crazy too, will love this story. It is also ideal for anyone with dreams about the "road not taken." What is most interesting about Cook's story could also be its downfall. It is set in a very current, very modern America. I completed enjoyed all of the references to our current culture, but it made me wonder about the shelf-life. I wonder if someone picking up the book in ten, twenty or thirty years would understand all of the pop culture. Still, it could always be a great time capsule piece about what life was really like in 2012.

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