Monday, August 11, 2014
REVIEW: Flora In Love by Natasha Farrant
I will always eagerly pick up a book about this family and their fabulous madness that only comes from being in a large family. I think Natasha Farrant does an incredible job with the family dynamics and especially in the dialogue that readers will be able to mentally picture incredibly well given that it is presented both in written diary entries as well as transcripts of video diary entries. I really love this combination and it really made me feel like I was there alongside Blue and Flora and Twig and Jas and everyone.
Flora In Love takes place a year after the events of After Iris and Blue explains at the beginning of the book that she stops writing and filming diary entries when things are good in the Gadsby family ... and so right from the start we see that there are cracks that are now appearing in Blue's, her parents', and her brother's and sisters' lives. Blue's parents are behaving strangely, Zoran has given up being their nanny and Jas in particular is feeling a bit left out now that everyone but her is having relationship problems.
I think it was really interesting to see the new relationships that everyone is forming. The title of the book is that Flora is in love but Blue also has her first real relationship with her best friend with interesting consequences and we see Twig having a crush on a girl at school that makes his behaviour change. I think all three of the older Gadsby children have things to learn about relationships and it was really fun to witness these experiences over the course of this book.
I think the thing I love the most about this book and series besides a great mixture of humour together with sadness and a whole heap of large family chaos is that all the characters presented are so wonderfully developed. I got a really great sense of everybody from the youngest Gadsby, Jas, to their parents and Zoran and his new charge, Zach. Everybody felt very real and everything that these characters go through in this book felt real and believable too. I really want to read more books about the Gadsby family!