Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook

Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook tells the story of Deirdre Griffin who is trapped in an unsatisfying life as assistant to her new age guru brother, Tag. She is completely eclipsed by his fame and even other members of their family overlook her as they scramble to meet Tag's needs. Things come to a head at one of Tag's events and Deirdre reaches a breaking point; she drowns her sorrows in vodka and makes a desperate social media plea to get voted on to Dancing With the Stars. With that, her life is transformed - the wallflower begins to bloom.

Deirdre Griffin is a very likeable character - she has a complicated relationship with her eccentric family made all the worse by the fact that their lives are intertwined in support of Tag. Deirdre lives in a converted sheep shed on Tag's property and her two sisters and parents all work for Tag in some way. Deirdre feels invisible within her family even though the work she does for Tag is integral to his success - they all take her for granted and she has reached her limit. When her on-again, off-again boyfriend comes to tell her his new girlfriend is pregnant and they are getting married, it puts Deirdre over the edge and convinces her something needs to change in her life.

Dancing with the Stars is looking for a replacement for a star that has to leave unexpectedly one season and they put the choice out to the people - the public is encouraged to nominate and then vote for who they next want on the show. In a drunken, emotional haze, Deirdre uses her social media savvy and her brother's fame to get herself voted on to the show. She ignores any regret she feels when she sobers up and heads to LA, cutting ties with her crazy family. While in LA, Deirdre is transformed physically and she works through her complicated relationship with her family.  

My Thoughts
 This is a fun, entertaining book with a likeable main character and a vivid cast of secondary characters. Like the author's Life's a Beach (my review), the dialogue in this novel is witty and I can see it translating to the screen very well. While it doesn't go very deep, the story is well developed and I did feel like I really got to know Deirdre. I think many of us can relate to feeling insecure and trapped in the background so you cheer for her success. Throw in the popular Dancing with the Stars and the result is a light, quick read with a lot of appeal.

I linked this post to the Weekend Bloggy Reading event at Serenity Now

I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via netgalley


  1. This sounds like such a fun read. I like stories with sibling relationships and add in Dancing With the Stars, and it's the perfect rainy weekend book.

  2. I thought this book was a lot of fun but how could a book with Dancing in the Stars in it not be good?

  3. This one has been on my TBR list since it first came out. It does sound like a lot of fun.

  4. This is one I've been on the fence about. The Dancing With The Stars part kind of made me vacillate but it sounds like it's great fun and I could get past that.