Cover Image: Things That Grow

Things That Grow

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If I had to come up with a way to describe Things That Grow it would be that this book is very much a love letter to stories and nature, and a blanket for the grieving. Loss is always a hard thing to deal with and if I were being honest, it’s even harder to write about. Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein had its ups and downs, but I think it did a wonderful job of portraying the messiness and unscripted ways of grief. While I wouldn’t call her writing style elegant, at times it did reflect a sort of poignancy that really brought a lot of heart into the story.

There were so many things about the plot that at first seemed so random and disjointed, but in the end, they turned out to be important pieces. I really liked just how cleverly Goldstein would tie those pieces into the story and give the plot a whole new life. There were also some things that just remained random, but still felt like they had their own importance, their own story to tell. Things like giant bears carved out of hedges or the guy at the bar named Jake. And, of course, the plants.

As a serious plant lover but unfortunate plant killer, this book was like finally being able to be a horticulturist without actually buying any plants. Goldstein’s descriptions of the gardens and parks left me breathless, they were that stunning. And it also helped me better appreciate plants and everything they do for the environment. It was absolutely amazing, almost like taking a trip to these gardens myself. And to be honest, it makes me want to actually throw away all of my plans, hop in a car, and take a trip across the country just to look at all of the different gardens.

With a large array of characters, there were several in the book that I would feel like I would have loved to meet in real life. But my two favourites were Christian, a.k.a. Chris, and Lori’s grandmother. Chris is the kind of friend that everyone wants—supportive, kind, and always there when you need a shoulder to cry on. He’s also an artist, which meant that he would illustrate Lori’s stories for her, and I honestly would love to have a friend that draws things for my writings. And Lori’s grandmother is the kind that I always wished I had—a super book worm, teacher, friend and companion. I mean, how amazing would it be to have an English teacher grandma when you’re a writer? That would be amazing.

If there was one thing I enjoyed the most about Things That Grow, it was Lori’s relationship with her mother. Lori frustrated me to no end with her seeming hatred of her mother for most of the book. To me, it didn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but I could understand why a teenager who never had a stable home would be eternally upset with her mother. Still, I also understood the mother’s point of view of things and could sympathise with both characters. And when you sympathise with both characters, it can make things somewhat annoying. But the way everything resolved in the end was wonderful, and I really enjoyed it.

Now I’m going to talk about the few things I didn’t like. While most of the time Lori’s and Chris’s relationship was just about perfect, Lori also had a huge crush on him throughout most of the book that, too me, just felt awkward. And yes, the whole time she told herself that she couldn’t ever change their friendship status to boyfriend/girlfriend status, she still was very much into him, which just made me feel slightly uncomfortable. The other thing was Lori’s Uncle Seth. While he was an okay guy and Lori really looked up to him, I found him to be very immature and somewhat annoying. But I digress.

Overall, Things That Grow is beyond emotionally lovely and it’s the perfect read for lovers of words and flowers.
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Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein first caught my eye when I saw the cover. And I can now say that the book that’s inside is just as beautiful as the cover.

This is a YA novel that’s fun, of grief, lost, and at the end, hope. The characters are broken but strong, and their development is perfect. From the family focus, to the romance, this YA contemporary novel will suck you a tunnel of feelings and emotions, where you can put yourself in the character’s shoes and travel around the country with a cute boy.

Super sweet and deep, I highly recommend this novel!
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Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an eARC in return for an honest review.

When Lori’s Dorothy Parker loving grandmother dies, Lori’s world is turned upside down. Now her mother insits that she move to Boston during her senior year of high school and away from her best friend and crush. Throughout the book, Lori goes on a journey to furfill her grandmother's final wish of scattering her ashes near things that grow.

I was expecting there to be a deeper plot/meaning to the books, since that's what the description of the book implies but found myself underwhelmed. I also found this book to be slow and found myself skipping certain parts of the book to get to the more interesting parts.
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I was really attracted to this book by the beautiful cover and description. However, I found it quite hard to get into and quite slow to start.
The topic of death and cremation is a hard one but it is well written and I would consider reading more from this author.
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I really enjoyed this book. Even though it appears to be a young adult novel, it really speaks to those of us who have lost loved ones. The information on cremation was helpful and interesting, as was the tie-ins with Dorothy Parker and Edith Wharton. This novel is fairly short and highly readable. Highly recommended for a good, short read!
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Things That Grow is a great YA book about a girl who is taking her grandma's cremains to different gardens to sprinkle them among the growing things.   I really enjoyed the book.  While it says it is a love story on the cover, I did not think it went very deep into the relationship between the two main characters.  I found the love story secondary to the story of how she deals with her grief over her grandmother, how she deals with her estranged family, and the garden tour for ashes.  The characters are pretty well-written and the setting is interesting.  I thought it was a great book and loved the cover art.
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This was such a cute book. Which I will admit is a little weird considering the topic (the death of a loved one). However, it was written in such a way that I found myself smiling and laughing out loud SO many times. I mean, craisins anyone? 😂 The characters (mostly) were likable. I didn't particularly care for Seth, and Chris was a little "flat", but overall, every single character added a little something to the story. I also really enjoyed the theme of the gardens and the detail the author went into about each place. Just an enjoyable read from start to finish for me. 

Side Note: The cover on this book is GORGEOUS. I love it!
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The cover is so pretty! Immediately makes me want to know more. However after 25 percent of the book talking mainly about cremation, this just wasn’t the book for me. Very slow to start and it failed to draw me in. The second half of the book was better and some may really enjoy this novel of loss and growth.
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I really liked this book.  So much so that I immediately looked up the author's other books to see what else she had written so I could add them to my TBR.  The writing was so witty and relatable and really grabbed at my heartstrings.  The main character Lori was a fantastic narrator, and her voice was very distinct and created a vivid picture in my mind of who she was.  I loved that she was a writer and that we got to hear about all of her ideas and stories in detail-  I want to read those too because they sounded so interesting.  In fact, all of the characters in this book were real and quirky humans who were all the more likable for their complexities and eccentricities.  Their relationships went through a lot following the death of their matriarch, and this book does a good job of showing how grief can affect everyone differently and the pressure that can put on a family.  While the plot wasn't super action-packed, it had a perfect mix of heart-wrenching and hilarious scenes to keep me invested in Lori's journey.  This story was so sweet and left me with a big smile on my face and warm fuzzies in my heart.  I'm definitely looking forward to reading Meredith Goldstein's other books.
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Things That Grow follows Lori in the wake of her grandmother Sheryl’s death. After having lived with her grandmother the last few years Lori is forced to deal with the possibility of having to leave the one place that’s felt like home right before senior year and her best friend Chris that she is painfully and secretly in love with. First things first though, Grandma Sheryl asked that she be cremated and her remains be spread in some of her favorite gardens near things that grow. To that end, Lori, her Uncle and Chris take on this weird and important task and have themselves a little adventure along the way. 
Requesting to read this book on NetGalley had been a whim but golly am I glad I did. I’m extremely partial to books about recovering from loss but this one just had a certain something to it that endeared me to it right from the start. In addition to being one of the funniest books about death i’ve ever read, Things That Grow wasn’t afraid to show all the messy and weird parts of a family or the growing pains of figuring yourself out as both a teenager and as someone who’s dealing with a death in the family. Meredith Goldstein gave Lori such a unique and interesting voice. I loved that we were given enough grain of salt of Lori being a teenager who’s not got it all figured it out yet to not take everything she said as gospel but still get to enjoy her observations and sarcasm. Her family was an admitted mess but I loved that the book itself didn’t try to shy away from that, it embraced their eccentries and flaws as well as their good bits.
I really loved this book. I had such a good time reading it. It had the rare quality of being earnest and reflective where it needed to be but also being able to just really make me laugh. I loved the cast of characters we met throughout this book like the Garden Girls. I loved that group so much. Goldstein also was so good at being able to capture the essence of someone so simply and quickly like towards the beginning she described the uncle “like a distinguished man in an advertisement for a watch” and i just loved that and it made me be able to see him so fully so eaily (I checked this quote against the audiobook of it that I bought for reference). There were so many great vivid snapshots of places and people and moments that really took me along for the ride. 
Things That Grow was a special book that just really hit me in just the right way and I am very glad I was able to read an early copy, it’s definitely going to be one i come back to and think about a lot.
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The cover of this book is stunning! I enjoyed the story. It was a touching story about grief and different ways to live with  it. 

Thank you Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group and NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I enjoyed this book. The characters were well thought out and the plot was engaging throughout. I would definitely read another book by this author.
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I was pulled into this book because the cover was absolutely gorgeous. While I really liked the premise of these characters learning and growing from the loss that they face, my one nitpicking complaint was that I wish the characters had a bit more depth throughout, still a solid, well written book that I would recommend to others
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This book was a really fun and enjoyable read. The characters were relatable and had great depth. I definitely recommend it and will be ordering copies for my library.
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‘She was right in the middle of a book. She’d never want to die in the middle of reading a book.’

When Grandma Sheryl passes away, she leaves instructions for the family to share her remains in places with ‘things that grow’. This leads to an adventure of Granddaughter Lori, her mother, uncle and childhood-best-friend/crush, Chris. I really enjoyed this book, it’s a heartwarming story about a family finding their way through grief, loss and love together.

I really appreciated the wonderful depiction of life and death (having the cremains be put back into the earth, where new things will grow). It was really beautifully done and having the descriptions of the gardens was a wonderful touch.

The only thing that didn’t quite sit with me was the almost randomness of some of the thoughts Lori has about Chris (mostly in the beginning). I understand that there is a love interest there and I enjoyed seeing their relationship blossom out, but some of it just felt very misplaced and inappropriate for the situation they were in.

Overall, it was a lovely book with a steady pace. The characters were relatable, the story was very pure and easy to follow. Though it didn’t blow me away, it was an enjoyable read with some quirky, humorous and emotional elements along the way.
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Things that grow is a heartbreaking novel about grief and the different ways we learn from it.  While Meredith Goldstein has me laughing at times, this book was a real tear jerker and an emotional roller coaster. It felt real and connected to the world and people in a way that most books aren’t.
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"Everything is temporary, technically, Lori," Ethan says. "That doesn't mean it's not worth experiencing."
I would like to start off by saying that grief and death of a parental figure are very present in this story so do be aware of that as a trigger. 
I think this story was truly beautiful and definitely a story that I can see teens using when processing the loss of a loved one. It was beautiful and heartbreaking in the best ways and was truly a love letter to both literature and gardens equally. Its messy and complicated and the characters do feel like real people. 
It is somewhat simplistic and not exactly revolutionary but enjoyable nonetheless. I would reccomend it.
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I loved this book so much. It felt like a love letter to everyone who has ever had to grieve someone they love more than life.  You could feel the love and the pain that the characters experience. Lori was really real and her quest was so lovely. I think this is a really strong book about loving people and losing people. I also really liked the plot of having to go to all these different places and honour her grandma. This was exactly what I wanted it to be, it was the perfect amount of heartbreak and love. I cried while reading, I laughed, I truly loved this.
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If you like hard-hitting contemporaries that deal with more serious topics, then I would highly suggest you pick this book up. It has some really solid writing and story development that I think many people will enjoy.

Having lost my own grandmother, I could relate to some of what this character was going through and that sparked an emotional reaction. I teared up multiple times but I never really cried because not a lot of emotional exploration was happening. I think I would have appreciated a bit more of the grief process being shown, but I also understand that everyone is different and this character didn't choose to grieve in that way.

Ultimately, I think it is one of those bittersweet stories that all readers will find something to relate to. While I didn't absolutely love it, I do think it is a good book and I hope people start talking about it more.
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This book was beautiful. As someone who recently lost a grandparent, I really felt a lot of the main characters pain. This was well written and covered grief very well. The characters were relateable and lovable. This really felt like a coming of age and coming to terms with growing up. I really enjoyed this book
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