This was a fun read! I really like Farah's books and this one was just as great as the others! Tahira is strong and confident. She is aware of herself and really grew throughout the book.
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for giving me free access to the advanced copy of this book to read.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
I knew right from the premise alone that I would really enjoy this novel.
Tahira in Bloom seemingly brought together everything I could’ve possibly loved in a book and tied it up with a ribbon of fashion and garden design. It was cute, deep and emotional and I loved the journey it took me on. The book follows Tahira, an ambitious wannabe fashion designer and style influencer who, after her summer internship falls through, seeks another opportunity helping her aunt in her boutique in small town, Bakewell, Canada. There, she discovers a garden design competition where the winner may have an opportunity to impress the likes of fashion designers at a sister event in New York. However, Tahira knows she would be unsuccessful unless she employs the help of her grumpy gardener neighbour who is less than impressed by her influencer antics. As the two get closer, they begin to realise they're not so different after all.
For starters, I loved the characters and loved the journey of self-growth they embark on. I love how Tahira, for example, was a completely different person by the end of the book than how she was at the start of the book. She endured lots of self-realisations and self-reflections on the kind of life she wanted to live and what fashion design, the career she dreams of, really meant to her. As a very work-driven person myself, I found myself relating to her ambitious goals and dreams and I found her journey endearing and relatable to even my own relationships with work and future aspirations. There was a lot to learn from Tahira and in a weird way, I found myself discovering more about myself as well. I really enjoy fictional books that help reflect on yourself, your life, your dreams and your future and so I was pleasantly surprised when I started Tahira in Bloom.
At the start of the book, I didn't really like Tahira. To me, she seemed a little self-absorbed but now looking back, I see that it was important for her to appear as so because it meant we could see her character develop and (pun intended here) bloom. At the start, Tahira was focused on growing her online presence on her social media platforms (specifically instagram). With her best friend Gia and boyfriend, Matteo who had common goals with her, Tahira seemed to be on track to a glowing career with internet fame. However, as we see the book progress, Tahira begins to realise that fame was never really what she wanted, rather fashion design for her was all about creating art and stories and sharing that with other people. This book was about finding yourself through passion and ambition and it was a story I found really resonated with me.
This book was very character focused and for me, who is very much characters over anything else, I absolutely devoured it. I loved Rowan and his sister Juniper and their relationships with Tahira. I also liked the way friendships were portrayed here as two characters realise they want different things out of life and each other. I liked how this book showcased making new friends and learning to let go of past friendships. This book was very comforting in letting you know that sometimes people leave and sometimes you need to leave them. It sometimes hurts but it's often for the best and it's often necessary to do so.
Overall, this book was very solid for me and I would highly recommend it to every reader who enjoys romance or contemporaries.
ACTUAL RATING: 4.45 STARS
I really loved Farah's 2021 "Accidentally Engaged" so when I saw she was putting out a YA book I was definitely interested. The cover was pretty and the blurb seemed interesting. Unfortunately I just didn't enjoy the book. It was a slug fest to get through. The romance was very cringe, especially on Rowan's side..."thirst trap" really?? And unlike in "Accidentally Engaged" I didn't find really any muslim representation. I will continue to support Farah though, but maybe just stick to her adult titles.,
Thank you so much Skyscape for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
beautiful read. recommed.
- thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with the ARC in exchange for an early review.
Tahira In Bloom. Literally. That was the title and that's exactly what the author delivered through this beautifully written cottagecore vibish book. Tahira coming-of-age!
Tahira has always been focused on The Plan. Like every Desi parent to ever exist, Tahira's parents always wanted her to be the best. But there's a catch. Guess who's parents actually supported their daughter's choice to excel in the arts? Unfortunately Tahira's plans come to a screeching halt when she finds herself spending her summer in some small town living in a shed, instead of doing her glamorous fashion designer internship.
Pair the city girl with the small town and there's got to be trouble brewing. But, add in a rude neighbor (who goes by the name Rowan Johnston) who thinks Tahira is just another airhead influencer, and it's a whole different game. But their paths cross when Tahira needs a ticket to fame using the flower-arranging contest in town and guess which rude boy happens to have the biggest green thumb in the neighborhood? Will Tahira bite her tongue and work together with Rowan to get her plan back into place? Or will it just be a total waste of a summer?
That has got to be the most adorable story I've read in a while. The author had me at Desi Muslim MC who wanted to be a fashion designer, but it was the plant nerd with a heart of gold that had me hooked to the book. And his sister. You'll know why if you read the book.
The fact that the author wrote this book so her daughter could read it melted my heart. And you could see the love and the cozy comforting vibes oozing out of this book as you flip every page. Even though I'm not the biggest plant nerd, this just made me want to reconnect with nature. Unplug for a few minutes and stargaze (unfortunately, I don't have a Rowan to stargaze with) and a book like that which moves you to that extent, is definitely an extra special book. I'll probably cherish this story for years to come. Both love stories (Tahira and Rowan's, and June and Leanne's) had me smiling till my cheeks hurt. I'd do anything for a sequel with June as the MC, I'm just saying
Although the story was mostly cozy, the author never shies away from heavy topics. The conversations between Rowan and Tahira about the racial discrimination in their field of work due to being Black and Muslim, respectively broke my heart. The bullying that Rowan's sister went through, the racial microaggressions, they all combined to give a powerful narrative on how we have to work twice as hard in our respective fields of work to get the same recognition the majority race gets. And as a Muslim girl (Muslims are a minority here in SL), I felt like this book could've just played out here. Every scene could fit into a Sri Lankan setting and the dialogues and conversations we would have would be the exact same.
Definitely recommend this book and I've got to thank everyone involved for getting me an ARC of this book through Netgalley. It's got to be one of my favourite approvals so far!
TAHIRA BEST GIRL??? Honestly really enjoyed reading this book. I love the characters, the love interest and how their relationship started and turned out, and the cottagecore vibes. Also the sapphic side characters!!! This book made me smile and feel happy, and is certainly one of the few contemporary romance books that I've read in the year so far that didn't make me cringe. Would love to read more of the author's work in the future.
This book was so fun to read!! I'm annoyed that it took me so long to read it. I love the characters. Tahira was annoying to start with but then she grew on me and I guess that character growth. I like the plot it was fun.
I have never been interested in flowers before but that was cool to read about. I did find the writing quite young, very YA, but young YA! . It read like it was written for for very young readers
Regardless, I recommend this. Love the cover, the characters and enjoyed it!
I came to this one because I really loved Accidentally Engaged also by Farah Heron. When I started reading this one, I realized I had forgotten that this was a young adult book when I requested. Honestly, I think that's where I went wrong. I was immediately struck by the younger voice of the main character and because of the expectation I went into the book with, thinking it was an adult book, parentheses really truly my bad ( close parentheses, it just put the feeling in my head that it was just a little more immature. And honestly I am a huge advocate for keeping youthful and immature voices present in young adult books because, news flash to a lot of the adult readers, the target audience for young adult books is young adults and they are, quite in fact by very nature, immature. They are not mature yet and a lot of times they relate better to the messier less perfect characters than adults do. I mean I love myself messy characters. I just came into the book with the wrong mindset and it just made it harder for me to wrap my head around. There's nothing in the summary that doesn't sound so great to me, I just had my own bad expectations and it kept me from enjoying the book as much as I wanted to. The curse of being a 30-year-old reading young adult books. It's not that Tahira was even so flighty and immature, her concerns were just a little harder for me to relate to in my age. She was a little shallow, but I mean that's a starting point, how else do you grow if you don't have any flaws to grow from? I still think Farah Heron is a wonderful author, I just think I need to try this book again when I'm not blocking myself from enjoying it with my own wrong assumptions.
I really wanted to like this, but it just wasn't for me.
Tahira in Bloom sounded like such a great cute read--small town, opposites attracting, summer romance...but it just fell flat. It's hard for me to put my finger on what it was exactly that didn't work for me. The plot felt stagnant, the romance was disappointing, and the setting wasn't particularly interesting. I never got to the point where I was emotionally invested in the story, and I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters.
It's so hard to write this review esp because I was so looking forward to this book, but it just isn't for me, I guess. The writing is so gorgeous and the story has so much potential but I really couldn't bring myself to root for Tahira. She was behaving like a huge diva and that's not something I always enjoy, and I didn't here either.
Maybe this is a gap and I'm not the target audience for this book which is what caused the problem. Objectively, Heron is a beautiful writer and I have loved her other work immensely, but this one didn't click.
A very fun and sweet read! I loved the diversity and the main character of Tahira! I will definitely recommend this to people.
Tahira in Bloom is a enjoyable and cute romantic coming of age story. Tahira is an ambitious student who wants to become a fashion designer. When her initial internship with a famous fashion designer falls through, Tahira is in desperate need of a back-up plan. Her mother finds one for her in Bakewell, a cute little town obsessed with flowers. Tahira's aunt has a fashion boutique in Bakewell where Tahira will be able to redesign the shop a little. A bit reserved and disappointed Tahira arrives in Bakewell and meets a grumpy plant-boy, Rowan, and his very talkative but adorable sister, Juniper. While she and Rowan ae mostly butting heads, they eventually team up in order to compete in a flower designing contest. Will Tahira be able to make the most of her summer in Bakewell for her application to her favorite fashion school?
Tahira in Bloom features various exciting different characters with their own path to follow. Even though I enjoyed reading about the various characters, there wasn't really any one of them that especially stood out to me or that I connected with the most. The main enemies-to-lovers relationship is written really well, just as the secondary relationship between two other characters. I really enjoyed the build-up to that one. I also loved the dynamic between Tahira, Rowan and Juniper. Definitely a well-written friendship.
Farah Heron has woven Tahira's development as a character really well and it was nice to read about her growth from the beginning to the end of the book. The story doesn't shy away from important topics like racism in the fashion industry and micro agressions in small towns and the representation in this book is great.
Even though I enjoyed the story overall, it did feel a bit predictable to me which resulted in me not really being able to keep my attention. This is the first book that I've read by Farah Heron and I will definitely check out more of her work after reading Tahira in Bloom.
Three Minute Thoughts:
Tahira in Bloom was positively squeal-worthy adorable, while also overflowing with meaningful messages on racism in modern America, and learning to discover and fight for your goals in life. Farah Heron crafted a beautifully-written story on summer romances and long-lasting friendships, rich with desi parents, South Asian culture and the mistakes and miracles of being young! I loved every moment of this.
The Extended, Long, and Very-Probably-Messy Review:
I really enjoyed this book! I’ve been meaning to find a good contemporary romance to fill my heart with giggles and smiles, and this absolutely nailed it, with the added plus of desi rep, flowers and fashion design!
Tahira was a woman on a mission, and I loved it. Her character was strong and pushed through trials and tribulations that threatened to uproot the Plan to become a part of the fashion industry, and I really enjoyed her goal-driven personality, where she knew what she wanted and how to work towards it. Her meet-cute with Rowan was hilarious and the perfect way to set them off on their adorable enemies-to-lovers spiral, and Rowan himself was equally incredible, and just as focused on reaching his goals in life, which I loved.
“Thanks to them I’d had grit, determination, and Asian ambition bred into me since birth.”
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)
The side characters were equally realistic and easy to imagine, and I loved sweet Juniper’s innocent but brave character, and even the little glimpses of Tahira’s sister. The sapphic relationship woven into the story alongside our main couple was so cute, and I also loved the more-serious but equally essential themes of racism and Islamaphobia.
Oh, and the romance! Tahira and Rowan were simply the sweetest little pair, and I loved their development from mild enemies to friends to… more. They had their troubles, as all couples do, but they came out the other side stronger, and were so honest and real with one another, which I loved.
“Your art, passion, your brilliance. I will always be drawn to the brightest light in the universe. It’s inevitable.”
(This quote may not be in the published version of this novel, it was copied from the advanced reader’s copy.)
All-round, I’m so glad I was accepted to receive this ARC, and I loved every moment of the book! I’ll definitely have to check out more of Farah Heron’s books, and I wholeheartedly thank the author, publisher and NetGalley for the free copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
This was a really cute romance. I've always had a thing for books with fashion in them.
At first, Tahira was annoying. She was self-centered and judgy. However, throughout the book, you can see the character development, which I really enjoyed, and I ended up liking her character by the end of the novel.
The main couple went from enemies to friends to lovers which I honestly loved. Rowan and Tahira were so cute together, the sunflower scene was just too good. Rowan, although he was the typical love-interest-is-incredibly-attractive, I enjoyed his character a lot. Also, the side romance was super cute too (no spoilers). Also, this book has so much representation, from bi and pan characters to discussions on racial prejudice.
My only critique is that the book was predictable at times, however, it did not affect my enjoyment of the book.
At 17 years old, Tahira knows what she wants to do in life - become a fashion designer. In order to follow her dreams, her parents have helped her construct "the plan". When her fashion internship falls through, Tahira finds herself helping out in her aunt's boutique instead. There, she makes new friends and ultimately questions whether her life plan is what she really wants.
Tahira in Bloom was a really sweet YA novel. I read it quickly and loved so many of the characters. Definitely add this to your list if you want a book that will leave you with a smile on your face.
Rep: Indian-Canadian (mc), Black (mc), Pansexual (sc), Black Lesbian(sc)
Just when I was about to quit reading Romance, I found a book that was adorable beyond words.
Tahira in Bloom is a story about an aspiring teen fashion designer and influencer who has to come to terms with life when her best-laid plans go wrong.
If I had read this book in my pre-blog era, I’d have seen Tahira as someone who was shallow, obsessed with numbers, filters, and aesthetics. I’m not famous as Tahira or an influencer like her, but I can relate to what it means to stick to aesthetics.
Each character in this book has a personality. That’s one of the things I liked about Tahira in Bloom. Despite coming across as a person who is highly concerned about her online image, Tahira didn’t throw attitude in real life. She was humble and cared about her friends. But she was an overachiever no matter what she did.
Rowan was the grumpy neighbor who misjudged Tahria from the beginning. He is the best friend/brother/boyfriend anyone could have asked for as an mc. He is a romantic at heart and does cute stuff that isn’t over the top but is very thoughtful.
There’s also Rowan’s queer sister, who is a sweet, down-to-earth booklover. It was cute to read about the symbolism behind all the flowers she gave to people. She’s my favorite character in the book.
Unlike stereotypical Indian parents, the Janmohammads were keen on fulfilling their daughter’s dream. There were times when they were obsessed with Tahira’s dreams (more than her) and were projecting their wishes on her, but they came around soon. The book portrayed Indian parents in a positive manner which is something I like to see in books.
Since both the main characters are people of color, the book also highlighted the racism in academia and the fashion industry. But coming to the Indian rep, very few things indicated that she was an Indian. So if you’re looking for more Indian rep, this is not the book.
Don’t dismiss this book thinking it’s a fluffy romance because there’s more to it. Tahira’s life takes a complete turn when she agrees to intern at her aunt’s boutique in a small town in Canada. Every relationship was realistically represented. Tahira’s existential crisis in the second half did change the tone of the book, but it was a wake-up call for her to ponder about phoney people who would do anything for clout.
If you like grumpy-sunshine, small-town romances, Tahira in Bloom will leave you smiling.
(thanks for the eARC <3)
When her highly desired fashion design internship falls through, young, ambitious high schooler Tahira’s parents find her an alternative. An apparently sucky alternative, but one that grows on her over the summer at the small town of flower-loving Bakewell. And though they get off on the wrong foot, Tahira meets Rowan, gardener and hopefully future landscape architect.
The two butt heads immediately, but gradually begin to appreciate the other’s drive, talent and artistry, as Tahira works with Rowan and his sweet and lovable younger sister June on their joint design entry for an upcoming floral design contest. Which could be a possible stepping stone for Tahira in her quest to gain an admission to a prestigious design school in New York City.
Tahira starts the story impossibly driven, with the support of her equally driven and successful Indian parents. Tahira has been working on her clothing designs for years, and showcasing them by setting up her own photo shoots with her best friend Gia and her aspiring model boyfriend Matteo and posting them on Instagram.
Tahira is grumpy about her summer assignment and distance from Toronto, and does not appreciate the way floral and fashion design share qualities, until she begins working with Rowan, on the advice of her mentor.
Tahira learns a lot over the course of her summer break, not all of it welcome or happy, but necessary in her development as a person and as a designer.
The enemies to lovers trope was handled well by Farah Heron as Tahira and Rowan both needed to look beyond their assumptions about the other to appreciate each other’s qualities. The supporting characters, especially June, were good, and though I could predict not necessarily the details of a couple of the reversals in the story, but still knew when the adversity would hit the characters, that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this story. I also liked how the author wove in racism, authenticity, and finding one’s voice into a cohesive whole in this sweet romance.
Thank you to Netgalley and to Skyscape for this ARC in exchange for my review.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. But I wasn't able to view it and it was archived.
Set in the small town of Bakewell, Canada, Tahira in Bloom is the perfect combination floral and fashion design, plus a hint of romance, friendship, and self improvement.
A talented young fashion designer with plenty of ambition and family support, Tahira is destined for success. When the internship she needs for college applications falls apart, she reluctantly packs her bags and heads to Bakewell for the summer. The small town is all things floral, and it's also home to Tahira's aunt's clothing shop, the perfect plan B!
As Tahira settles into life in Bakewell, she discovers that the small town might not be quite as backward as she thinks. Actually, floral design is pretty amazing, and the teenage next door neighbours are friendly and talented. Tahira is increasingly forced to question her big plans and goals, sometimes getting lost in the cutthroat fashion world and losing sight of her art. She discovers who she is, what she wants, and who she needs in her life.
Farah Heron has created a fun, engaging story with many important themes. As Tahira navigates creativity, ambition, friendship, romance, and identity, her readers learn important lessons too.
I'd recommend Tahira in Bloom to fans of You Say It First by Katie Cotugno and SLAY by Brittney Morris.