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    Tries to do too much

    "The Funeral Flower" tells Kelly's story from the age of six to twenty. It’s a life of loss and abandonment, starting with the death of her grandfather when she is six years old. After losing touch with her childhood crush, Kelly vows to never fall in love: "I decided, right before my fourteenth birthday, that I would never, ever, ever, fall in love. If you love a boy, you lose them." But then she meets James, and everything changes. Will Kelly finally get her happily-ever-after? The narrative is interspersed with poems, many of which were written by the author a child, teenager, and young adult. Much of the story is also based on events in the author’s life. She has included some of her good memories, from the smell of the flowers at her grandfather's funeral, the smell of the Sassafras tree in her backyard, the boy who befriended her through her back fence, and his grandmother who served hot chocolate and cookies on Halloween. As she states in her blog: "For me, Carnations are the good that you find in all the bad. They are fluffy and fragrant. They are frilly and lacey. They are colorful and dynamic. Still ... they are the funeral flower; to some people, they always will be. However, for me, just like root beer, innocent friendships, hot chocolate, and cookies they will always represent the good." The author also includes some of her bad memories: the death of her grandfather, suicidal thoughts at a very young age, bullying and beatings at school, and the lack of consequences for the perpetrators. Unfortunately, it is these tragic aspects of the book which make the story unbelievable, as they are too numerous, and the author doesn't go into enough detail to make them seem real. Other problems include the stilted conversation and the mixture of past and present tenses, often in the same sentence. This book addresses a number of serious topics and concludes with resources on several of these, namely suicide, sexual abuse, and bullying. Warnings: suicide, bullying, sexual assault. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post: https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-funeral-flower-by-michelle-jester.html
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    Okay Read

    Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books! What a sad, tragic story! It was absolutely heart breaking the tragedy she was dealt as such a young age. The author did such a great job writing the story though and dealing with such delicate subject matter. So I applaud her for the way she told the story. Overall, it was a good story. It flowed well and it was a quick read. There wasn’t anything fantastic about the story that kept my attention or made me want to read it. The details and descriptions were good and on par. It felt like the author wanted to gather a group of tragic events; bullying, pregnancy, death, rape, etc. and write about all of them in a book. While I appreciate the way that the author wrote the story and dealt with the subject at hand, but I think it was a bit much for one book. Again, a good read. It wasn’t a letdown read and was good enough while I was reading the story. I can’t say I would chose to read another story by this author though, but every person has their own thoughts on what makes a great book and a re-readable story. I’d suggest to give it a shot if the blurb intrigues you though, you might love it! * A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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