OR give it to someone for a gift this holiday season. I buy lots of books for gifts. I think it's my favorite gift to give, actually.
Anyway, to celebrate this monumental occasion, I've come up with a list of ten things you may not know about this book. Because here's the thing about that cover - it really tells you nothing about the book. Some covers are like that, you know?
Okay, here you go - ten things!
1. Rae (short for Rayanna), the main character, works at a flower shop called Full Bloom. They have a sign that says, "If your name is __________, come in for a free flower." Every day they change the name on the sign outside their shop. There's a flower store in my town that does this, and that's where I got the idea. I even went in one time when the name on the sign was "Lisa."
2. Someone buys flowers anonymously to be delivered to people around town. The envelopes with the delivery instructions always have Rae's name on them, and she has no idea why. But she does the deliveries, hoping to find out. This part of the story reminded one reader of Marcus Zusack's I AM THE MESSENGER (one of my favorite books).
3. Rae's English teacher is Mrs. Bloodsaw. She's really cool, kind of like her name.
4. Leo, Rae's friend, likes to make videos. Kind of like John and Hank Green like to make videos. They're awesome, right? Leo's awesome too.
5. Rae writes poetry in journals. In Rae's own words: "Maybe lots of things in my life were out of control, but when it came to my words, I had all the authority."
6. Rae meets a wonderful elderly woman named Ella. I named her this after my grandma, who was Ellamae. Like Rae, Ella loves poetry too. Her favorite poet is Sara Teasdale.
7. Here's a poem of Sara Teasdale's that's mentioned in the book (all of Teasdale's poems are in the public domain).
Into my heart's treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor a thief purloin, --
Oh better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.
8. At one point, Rae and Leo eat at the Melt Bar and Grill, a place specializing in grilled cheese sandwiches. Doesn't that sound good? We have a Grilled Cheese Bus in Portland and it's fantastic. No, I'm not kidding.
9. Rae drinks green tea with jasmine. It's one of my favorite kinds of teas.
10. Last but not least, Rae's favorite song is "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters. If you haven't heard the acoustic version sung by Dave Grohl, you are missing out. It is perfection, in my opinion.