Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Book Review: "Tahira in Bloom" by Farah Heron

Sometimes your dreams don’t turn out the way you planned them. That's the lesson learned by Tahira Janmohammad, the protagonist of Tahira in Bloom.

Tahira has dreamed of being a fashion designer for as long as she can remember, and her Desi parents are determined that she succeed and get into the best college for this field of study. But when her summer internship with an up-and-coming designer is foiled by an unruly parakeet (seriously), she has to regroup.

Now, instead of spending the summer in Toronto with her boyfriend and best friend, she’s headed to the small town of Bakewell to help her mom’s cousin redo her clothing shop. It’s not quite the internship she imagined but pictures of the transformation should look great in her portfolio, right?

Trouble is, her ambitions far outweigh the shop owner’s ideas and budget. And no one mentioned that Bakewell is like the flower capital of the world—and Tahira is allergic. Plus, her aunty lives next door to “Plant Boy,” aka Rowan, an aspiring landscape architect and plant expert who thinks Tahira is just a vapid social media influencer. (Maybe it was the fact that she spilled manure all over the place at his family’s nursery while trying to take a picture for her Instagram?)

When she learns that a major floral design competition in Bakewell could get her in front of a major designer and help launch her career, she teams up with Rowan on an entry. (It doesn’t hurt that while grumpy, he’s extremely handsome.) She realizes how much she loves this aspect of design, and how maybe she needs to revise her dreams a bit.

Tahira in Bloom was a really sweet YA book complete with a little enemies-to-lovers romance and a diverse cast. There was some serious talk as well, about racism and expectations towards Indian and Black people. I really enjoy the way Farah Heron writes (I loved her enemies-to-lovers rom-com, Accidentally Engaged).

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, TLC Diversity, and Amazon Publishing for inviting me on the tour and providing a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review!!

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