Where Dandelions Grow
post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Where Dandelions Grow
Author: Lydia Howe
Major Themes: Families, Forgiveness
Synopsis: After being taken away from her best friends, her three cousins, at a young age, Destiny travels back to her hometown to figure out what happened to her family and see if restitution can be made.
Ever since I first started reading Lydia Howe’s blog, and a few of the stories on there—and realized she wrote books—I knew I wanted to be an advanced reader of any books she published in the future. So when she announced just over a month ago that she was looking for reviewers for her next release, Where Dandelions Grow, I was thrilled—and signed up right away! I didn’t have time to read it as soon as I would have liked, but as soon as I could I took the chance. And I’m thankful I was able to—this is a good book!
With questions about her past, and why her mother took her away from all her friends as a youngster, Destiny decides to go back to her roots to try to find answers. She’s tired of the way her mother tries to control her, anyway, and is ready for a break. She also would really like to prove she can write—even though her mother is sure she wouldn’t be any good at it, and would be wasting her time.
After arriving back in her old hometown of Swallow Ridge, she’s happy about her new job—but her boss is unlike anyone she’s ever met before, and seems to know a lot about her past. Who are the people living in this town? Why are they so friendly? And what happens when she realizes one of her best friends from childhood, her cousin Lexie, is in the same town, searching for the same answers? Will the duo be able to solve their past and bring reunion to their splintered family?
Where Dandelions Grow is a lovely book on so many levels. It’s very obviously a young adult book, but the neat thing about the story is that it’s fairly untypical for the genre. It doesn’t have romance in it, or any kind of amazing, daring, and totally impossible adventure…but yet it’s still fairly gripping, relatable, and fun. The romance part actually really surprised me, because I was expecting something all along—and it didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong; I love romance. But in this particular case, when it didn’t happen, I was pleasantly surprised—and it upped my appreciation for the book quite a bit higher. Story-line wise, it was an intriguing plot, with clues given at just the right times—information was revealed as needed, but the suspense of not knowing really drove my interest for the story. I loved the characters, too—they were very well formed.
In all, this is a story I thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn’t as good as some I’ve read—perhaps it’s just the fact that the plot wasn’t quite as complex as some—but even so I loved the read and am thankful I had the chance. This definitely falls in the “great” category of Young Adult stories I’ve read, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this author publishes next!
Note: As stated before, I did receive a copy of this book for free from the author, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
WARNING: I only noticed a few words and phrases I don’t appreciate as much, although they wouldn’t be a problem for most people: “Oh my goodness” (or a variant; chapters 2, 4, 7, 8, and 9) and “oh my word” (chapter 9).
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above
Links to buy Where Dandelions Grow:
Keywords: Families, Forgiveness