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Tahira in Bloom by Farah Heron is a story about fashion and flowers that will leave readers with a smile. As a fan of both of these forms of design, I loved reading about Tahira’s summer in the flower capital of Ontario, and she is a strong and confident main character as well. Balancing humour and heartfelt moments with more serious topics, this is a charming contemporary that I would definitely recommend.Title: Tahira in Bloom
Author: Farah Heron
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: November 1, 2021
Life is full of surprises in a winning novel about a girl dreaming big during one unexpected small-town summer.
When seventeen-year-old aspiring designer Tahira Janmohammad’s coveted fashion internship falls through, her parents have a Plan B. Tahira will work in her aunt’s boutique in the small town of Bakewell, the flower capital of Ontario. It’s only for the summer, and she’ll get the experience she needs for her college application. Plus her best friend is coming along. It won’t be that bad.
But she just can’t deal with Rowan Johnston, the rude, totally obsessive garden-nerd next door with frayed cutoffs and terrible shoes. Not to mention his sharp jawline, smoldering eyes, and soft lips. So irritating. Rowan is also just the plant-boy Tahira needs to help win the Bakewell flower-arranging contest―an event that carries clout in New York City, of all places. And with designers, of all people. Connections that she needs!
No one is more surprised than Tahira to learn that floral design is almost as great as fashion design. And Rowan? Turns out he’s more than ironic shirts and soil under the fingernails. Tahira’s about to find out what she’s really made of―and made for. Because here in the middle of nowhere, Tahira is just beginning to bloom.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: Tahira in Bloom by Farah Heron
When the designer Tahira was planning on interning with over the summer breaks her leg, Tahira’s only alternative is to spend the summer in the flower capital of Ontario, helping out with her aunt’s clothing store. When she arrives in Bakewell, Tahira is appalled by the town’s inescapable flower theme, and the frustrating and unfashionable gardener who lives next door. However, when Tahira learns about a flower arranging contest that might give her a shot at meeting one of her favourite designers in New York, she decides to give floral design a chance, even if it means teaming up with the irritating flower boy to make her dreams a reality.
❀ Confident Main Character
I loved Tahira’s character, and she is so confident. She’s passionate about fashion and willing to do whatever it takes to follow her dreams of being a designer, and I enjoyed the way she learns to explore alternative pathways for her future. What I especially appreciated about Tahira is the way she is portrayed as an influencer, not as someone shallow as is normally the case in books about influencers, but as someone hoping to share her talent with the world. Tahira’s social media presence has the power to launch her career in fashion, and I loved seeing social media finally being portrayed as something to be taken seriously.
❀ Spotlight on Design
One of my favourite elements of the book is its spotlight on two forms of design, fashion and flower arranging. Throughout the book, there are beautiful descriptions of Tahira’s styling as well as elaborate flower arrangements, and I enjoyed the way the two are portrayed as not so different. Through Tahira’s experiences, there is also commentary on racism in the fashion industry and important discussions about the way marginalized designers are forced to work harder to gain visibility. The integration of these themes makes the story even more well rounded.
❀ Comforting Story
Tahira in Bloom by Farah Heron is a comforting story about following your dreams. I adored the inclusion of both fashion and flowers, and the main character’s drive is inspiring to read about. While this is a cute and upbeat story, there are also discussions about more serious topics, such as racism in the fashion industry, which make this one a both heartwarming and thought-provoking read.