Monday, March 25, 2013

Wildflowers Blog Tour - Book Review

" A story filled with abusive parents, bullying townsfolk, misunderstood teenagers." - Christina M. Condy on Goodreads

 I am a big advocate for young adult literature and when I found out about an opportunity to read and review a YA book, I couldn't wait!  Some people may find it silly, but even though I am approaching the end years of my twenties, I still enjoy a good book geared for teens.

This week only, Wildflowers is on sale for 99 cents!  You can grab your discounted copy now through the 31st.

Amazon (ebook & paperback)
ebook 99 cents March 25 - 31 *regularly $4.99

At the very beginning of the book, we are introduced to Aster, a teenage boy who has had a terrible home life.  The way his story is set up leaves little hope for his own happy ending.  Seriously - he has the kind of childhood that ends up on a Law and Order SVU episode.  He befriends a fellow classmate, Susan, and it is clear from early on that the focus of the book will be the relationship between these two characters.

One may assume from the title that this is a girlie book, but it isn't.  Most of the story is told from the male character's perspective.  I love that the reader gets an explanation behind the title early on.  It's such a clever one, too!

I should note that a  little ways into the novel, there is a quite lengthy discussion on Christianity.  I can see where this could be a tad off-putting for some readers.  I even found myself becoming  a bit impatient during this section.  Religion is a sensitive topic.  Benefield tackles this topic tastefully, though.  Once I read through the book completely and found out how the conversations about God between the two main characters plays into the ending, it all fit together.  Stand down, everyone.  It's ok.  A little religion is alright.

So if you grew up in a conservative Christian home like I did, the passages about prayer and salvation will feel familiar.  If you didn't, don't turn away.  There is SO much more in the book aside from the Christian overtones.  

Instead of simply being a story about a troubled boy and a naive girl trying to turn his life around, the issues run much deeper.  Benefield tackles a very sensitive topic in Wildflowers - domestic abuse.  Having had a family member of my own go through the pains of abuse, this topic is very close to my heart. I can't even imagine being abused by someone that you love, but I know how it feels to have to watch someone deal with the aftermath.  It makes me sick.

The end of the novel broke my heart.  It's a Nicholas Sparks level of tragic.  It makes me angry.  It makes me sad.  I wanted the story to end a different way.  Benefield definitely did an adequate job of getting me as the reader attached to her characters.

Even if you're not a young adult any longer, if you're looking for a read that won't break the bank, cash in on this week's deal and grab your copy of Wildflowers.  If you do, let me know so that we can talk about it!

Author Bio

Schledia Benefield is the author of Plain Jane, Pretty Boy, and her soon to be released novel, Wildflowers. She attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College but chose to be a stay-at-home mom for many years. She devoted eight years of her life to working with youth as a youth minister and has been invited to speak in a rehab to hurting and wounded women, giving them hope for a better future. She was the Keynote Speaker for Division 14 of the Key Club International’s divisional rally.

Born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Schledia holds a sense of pride in her southern heritage. She presently lives in Big Point, Mississippi with her husband and four of her five children. On top of writing novels, she writes youth and children’s church curriculum, and she works as a substitute teacher at East Central Middle School. In her spare time, she reads, sews, and spends time with her family.

 You can find out more about the author and connect online through twitter, goodreads, and her blog.

Social Media Links:

Check out the rest of the blog tour this week:

March 25
[YA] Between the Lines
Ohana Day Academy
The avid Reader 
Brooke Blogs

March 26
Rayborn Rambles

March 27
Now is Gone
Lubs Book Chatter

March 28
Library Girl Reads & Reviews
Sab The Book Eater

March 29
Pieces of Whimsy
Curling Up With A Good Book
Alli's World


  1. Leslie, I'm so glad you were able to see past the Christian conversations that take place through the characters' dialogue and understand why it was written that way. It was one of the struggles I had in writing the story because I didn't want people not to finish reading the story because of a Christian character talking about God, but I knew that they were necessary conversations for the characters to have.
    Honestly, I don't think anyone wants stories to end tragically, BUT because of the issues dealt with, it was the way life often is, but my hope is that readers can see the good that did come from it.
    I am planning to write a sequel to see where things will go from where they ended. Will it end tragically? I don't know at this point, but I do know that the characters will have a lot of very real issues to work through. :)

    1. Thanks for reading my review! That means a lot. I really did enjoy reading your work :)

      Have you figured out whether the sequel will take place immediately after where Wildflowers ends or further in the future? I'd really like to see how things work out with Aster and his new "responsibility" (don't want to give anything away to potential readers who haven't gotten to the end yet!)

      Everyone loves a happy ending, but it's not realistic. Things don't magically work out for every character just because it's the end of the book. It's not a sitcom where all conflicts are resolved within half and hour. But even so, my heart wishes that things could have ended differently!

      I look forward to reading more!

    2. I actually plan on it being similar to Wildflowers starting off with where they go from the ending (yep, gotta see how everyone deals with the plate left on their table! :) ), but coming across some information in the process that takes them back in time to fill in the missing years in Wildflowers.

  2. I've got this one in my TBR list! I really enjoyed your review. I consider myself a religious person but sometimes I don't want preached at so I appreciate your heads up to keep reading. Really the more I read about this one the more I want to read it! And don't worry about liking YA, I'm knocking on 30's door and I think YA will always be my fav!

    Great review!

    1. Thanks, Alli! Let me know when you're done reading it so we can discuss the book!

      I read all different kinds of books, but for whatever reason I'm still drawn to YA!

    2. I hope you like it, Allison. I enjoy getting feedback from readers, so both of you feel free to ask me any questions you may have about it, or if you just want to share with me how certain things made you feel.