Here at home if I want to clear the room, I can say, “Hey, let’s talk about our feelings.” My kids run away, usually with a trailing cry of, “Nooooooo!” Well, Bloom, by Elizabeth Scott, is all about feelings. It’s one of the most feelings books I’ve ever read. Now, I am not like my kids, so this did not alarm me, but it is worth mentioning.
Lauren is an average girl dating the most popular boy, but she finds she is attracted to another boy instead. The popular boy is perfect, but boring. Should she be with someone safe, or someone who makes her heart race?
A simple conflict, but not written simply at all. The characters are all well-developed with a particular depth often lacking in teen first love stories. Lauren isn’t a perfect person, and in fact, behaves pretty badly at times. Her friend Katie seems shallow, but is balancing a difficult home life and is perhaps craving more from her friendship with Lauren. Lauren’s popular boyfriend Dave is a good guy, but a little dull. Evan’s exciting, but comes with baggage. Lauren’s dad ignores her, but at the same time does seem to care about his daughter.
There’s some light humor through the book, but mostly the sense of drama takes center stage. But while other books pump up the volume with drug abuse or date rape or mental illness, Bloom shows off the everyday drama of being a flawed teenage girl in an imperfect situation. I looked for this book after Bookshelves of Doom’s glowing review, and I have to agree with her assessment of the book as “smart and layered and real.” I also have Elizabeth Scott’s Perfect You at home, but since it appears I’m only reviewing books with one-word titles this weekend, it will have to wait.
(Side note: There is a thunderstorm coming and we’d better not lose power tonight.)