Title: Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire
Author: Margot Berwin
Release date: June 1, 2010
Genre: Adult fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Lila Nova is a recently divorced thirty two year old advertising copywriter who lives in New York City. In an attempt to erase the memories from her broken marriage and start life over with a clean slate, Lila moves into a plain white boxy apartment.
The book begins by telling the story of how Lila becomes interested in tropical plants. One day she decides to add some color to her barren apartment and goes to the market to buy a plant... that's where her love for plants, and her exciting adventure to find the nine plants of desire begins. An adventure that takes her from a unique laundromat turned greenhouse in the middle of New York City, to the dense jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula. In her quest for the nine plants of desire, she learns not only about plants, but about how to find herself. She had no idea what strange new world she was getting herself into.
When I first read the title and short description of the book, I thought it would be a steamy romance novel, which is not my favorite genre. After doing a bit more research, I was intrigued to find that mystery, magic, adventure, and plants all mix together to form the main themes of this book.
There are several characters in the book that have an obsession with plants, which I can totally relate to! As a plant lover, I found the idea of the nine plants of desire and their meanings fascinating. I like that you don't find the nine plants by looking for them (or stealing them), but they allow you to find them by drawing you to them. Once they allow you to have them all, you will get everything you want in life.
Another thing that I liked about the book was that at the beginning of each chapter there is a short introduction or description of a plant. I enjoyed these chapter intros, I thought they set the scene for the chapter. There was even foreshadowing included in some of these chapter headers, which at times made the book hard to put down.
Although for the most part I enjoyed this book, there were a few things that I didn't like about it.
I was a bit annoyed with the main character Lila at times, she was very selfish and didn't seem to learn very quickly (I mean how could you forget that a plant is lethal in certain doses, and then feed it to someone... only to be shocked and devastated when that person is sick and dying?!).
One of the purposes of the quest for the nine plants of desire was for Lila to find herself and change. I don't think Lila ever changed to become the person she wanted to be, I felt that the novel ended quickly and left this point open ended. Perhaps this was intentional, but I feel that if left in New York, Lila would go back to being the same person she always was.
Another theme throughout the book was that plants have personalities and magical powers. Even though I liked the idea of plants having personalities and were able to show Lila how to find them, this part of the book at times seemed forced and it was too unrealistic for me. I also thought the magical powers of the plants, and the fact that all of the plant enthusiasts in the book seemed to have telepathic abilities was overdone.
In the end, I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it, it was a quick light read. Plant lovers will especially be able to relate to the plant addiction that several characters in this book have. I'm not sure that people who aren't into plants would enjoy it as much as I did, but I think there's something in this novel for everyone.
I don't think I would have ever read this book on my own; but I am very glad that I had this opportunity because it was worth the read! Berwin has a great imagination and I like her writing style, I would definitely read more of her books in the future. This book is well written and at times I didn't want to put it down.
Plant lover or not, be sure to read Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire with an open mind and I think you'll enjoy it.
I'm excited to announce that I have the opportunity to give away a copy of Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire to one of my readers. To enter, leave a comment and let me know how you found my blog and what your favorite plant is. Feel free to tell me your favorite book or give me a recommendation too (I'm always looking for good reads!). I would love to hear your comments even if you don't want to enter for the book giveaway.
If you want to enter your name in the giveaway, please be sure to leave me an email address or a way to contact you if you're the winner. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. The giveaway will end at midnight CST on Thursday, October 28th. With the help of random.org, I will pick a winner on Friday, October 29th. Please forward this on to anyone you think would be interested!
I'd like to thank TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.