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The Forbidden Orchid – tekijä: Sharon…
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The Forbidden Orchid (vuoden 2016 painos)

– tekijä: Sharon Biggs Waller (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1008216,112 (3.94)3
When her family is threatened with being sent to the poorhouse for failing to collect a rare orchid, Elodie Buchanan accompanies her father to China determined to find the flower and save her family.
Jäsen:Rlmoulde
Teoksen nimi:The Forbidden Orchid
Kirjailijat:Sharon Biggs Waller (Tekijä)
Info:Viking Books for Young Readers (2016), 416 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):***
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The Forbidden Orchid (tekijä: Sharon Biggs Waller)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I didn’t like this author’s previous book because the main character was terrible. She wasn’t relatable and not very redeemable. It had an interesting plot idea but at the end of the day the main character was not likable. Honestly, when I saw this title and remembered the author I didn’t want to read it. A quick google search informed me that there were two whole years between when the books were published and it seems that Biggs Waller honed her craft and made a much likable main character this time around.

The same theme about girls wanting to do more than be confined in the box of patriarchy continues in this book. Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of a big family. She loves her sisters and helps her mother take care of them but wishes she could be a boy so she could travel with her father a plant hunter who travels to exotic places to collect plants for the rich and eccentric. Tragedy strikes when her family receives word that their father has a big debt he can’t pay. Their house could be taken and their father thrown in debtor’s jail. Elodie goes off to find the reason why and maybe find her own adventure. She wants to accompany him to China to find a beautiful and very valuable orchid that is being also being hunted by her father’s main rival. It’s dangerous for more than one reason but the chance to expand her world view is exactly what Elodie had always wanted.

Something that I really hate is when authors rely on the “I’m not like other girls” trope to set their character apart and turn them into special snowflakes that get everything handed to them. That was the problem with her last protagonist but this time Elodie was shown to be different instead of simply being told what made her an outcast. Her father is gone for long periods of time which is a big no-no for the time setting, she is a very tall girl with fine red hair, and she isn’t as meek as expected because of her curiosity for knowledge. While her temperament is similar to Vicky from A Mad Wicked Folly, Elodie is not handed everything. She has to work for her right to be at her father’s side on the trip to China. The friendships and bonds she forms with those that come across her travels are sweet and satisfying. She doesn’t become instant friends with everyone she comes across but at least the seed is planted in a realistic way where they eventually get along.

One thing that I’m still not sure about is the romance. The one portrayed in A Mad Wicked Folly was annoying. A cute dopey guy that falls for the girl just because isn’t really my thing. Something similar happened in this one. Alex is a sweet guy, like really cute and endearing. They had a meet-cute which I'm a sucker for. I did like how he saw them as friends first because to me that’s a great foundation for a romantic relationship. But that’s what Elodie had a problem with and would complain about the lack of fiery passion, then I would be like 'but you guys just made out? and it was cute?'...and then I'd think about how that tension between friends to lovers is…what I like?? He was so cute with the way he wanted to help her and protect her but he didn't have much of a personality other than that for a while. Part of me could see that Alex was having a bit of a mistranslation moment thus creating miscommunication but at the same time, Elodie wasn’t helping. But I get it, it was her first romance plus the fact that they had to get married within weeks of just knowing each other In the end, they were a really cute relationship and it was something that I could go completely on board with…no pun intended.

There’s a lot of moving about and character moments so it’s not really adventure story. But it worked for me because once I realized how much I actually liked Elodie I just wanted to see how things worked out for her. For me, this was a really good book though I wonder if it’s because I really disliked the other book written by the same author. ( )
  Jessika.C | Nov 6, 2018 |
The Forbidden Orchid is a historical fiction set in the Victorian era of England. Our main character is Elodie, who is the eldest daughter out of eight siblings. She has the most responsibilities in the household and ends up taking care of her sisters when her mother falls ill. Elodie’s father is a plant hunter and is caught up with some investors in China after searching for a converted plant. He can’t hold up his part of the deal and that leads to trouble for the entire family. In order to keep her family safe from henchmen who seek to repossess their house, she must disguise herself as a boy in order to infiltrate a ship to China to warn her father of the dangers back at home.

Elodie has the traits of a typical YA heroine: kindhearted, intelligent, and clever. She’s also very dedicated to her family and is her father’s favorite since shares a love for plants and flowers rather than the hobbies of lady of her statue (in that era). Though she is a likable protagonist, her naiveté is a bit frustrating at times. Plus her tendency to “shoot off” at the mouth gets in her into situations which she could have easily avoided.

As for the plot/writing, the first section of the book (out of three) moved a bit too slowly for my tastes. Though the story is set around China, I felt like Waller spent too much time setting up the story in England. Majority of the novel’s happenings are set in Elodie’s hometown and by the second part of the novel (when we finally get to China) the plot seems to rush the action of the story. I really wanted to savor the book, but everything feels a bit rushed and all of the climatic events seem to happen in a few chapters. On top of that the book ends a bit abruptly, and I felt like the story left me hanging.

Despite the negatives, the setting is intriguing and readers who enjoy historical fiction will enjoy this book with its immersive environment. Though I had heard of plant hunters in that era I like how the concept worked itself into the story, but I still felt it was missing something to give it that extra spice!

All in all this book was fast-paced and enjoyable, but its main downfall is that the plot is too predictable and the book spends most of its time in England instead of China where the adventure is supposed to take place. The character development felt a bit rushed and I really wanted to learn about more about the secondary characters rather than the snippets that were provided for readers.

Though this book wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, I’d still like to give the author’s debut novel, A Mad ,Wicked Folly, a try. ( )
  Rlmoulde | Nov 25, 2017 |
As the eldest daughter of ten in a rural village in 1861 England, Elodie knows and fulfills society’s expectations by helping her mother and caring for her younger sisters. Her father, who hunts exotic plants in China, is rarely home except for his annual Christmas visits. Elodie shares his interest in science and botany and makes the small greenhouse at her house her own, but she is discontented and tired of condescending authority figures who do not take kindly to her questions. Caught up in an incident in the last Opium War, her father returns to England an emotionally and physically scarred man and without the promised rare orchids for his employer. Faced with the prospect of her father being jailed and her family sent to the workhouse or orphanage, Elodie persuades her father to return to China to find the rare Queen’s Fancy Orchid. However, realizing that her father cannot survive the journey alone, she boards the tea clipper as a stowaway, intent on helping her father and saving her family regardless of the dangers she must face. Waller expertly mines the historical setting (without overwhelming readers) to explore the constraints of Elodie’s world and provides vivid portraits of life in Victorian England, life at sea, and 1860s China. It is a compelling story of adventure, duty, and romance from the point-of-view of a smart, witty protagonist who is of her (Victorian) era. The stakes are considerably higher for Elodie than they were for Victoria Darling, the protagonist of Waller’s first book, but fans of "A Mad, Wicked Folly" are likely to enjoy this book. This book will also appeal to teen and adult fans of historical fiction that explore the lives of young women.

Rachel H. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Elodie’s father comes home from a plant hunting trip in China completely devastated in both mind and body. When Elodie learns that her family will be ruined unless her father can secure a rare orchid from China, she slips onto the ship, determined to help him.

This book just hooked me. It had interesting characters, a strong willed female and an exotic locale. It was well written and hard to put down. Overall, well worth picking up. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Apr 20, 2016 |
The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller is a historical romance novel set in Edencroft, Kent, England (goes from 1859 through 1862). Elodie Buchanan is the eldest sister (boy died before she was born) at seventeen. Elodie has nine sisters. Their father, Reginald Buchanan, is a plant hunter and only returns once a year (to get mum pregnant again). He now considers himself a man of science (though he used to study theology). Their mother is a bishop’s daughter. She thought she was marrying a future priest (you have to feel sorry for her). Reginald does not understand girls and is distant with them. Instead of a dollhouse for the girls, he brought a Wardian case set up a fairy garden (only Elodie appreciated it) with delicate plants in it. The parents argue and Reginald is off again. This time he does not return home. Something happens to him in China, and he will not come home. Elodie finds out that Reginald reneged on a contract for a rare orchid to Erasmus Pringle. He either has to return to China for the orchid or pay the amount in the contract (which he does not have). Elodie talks her father into returning to China with her by his side (Reginald really does not wish to return). Her father nixes the idea of Elodie going with him. Elodie helps him get ready for the trip. They have to hurry because Reginald needs to find the orchid before a rival plant hunter. Whoever retrieves it first, gets the money (and then the father will still be in hot water—debtor’s prison). Elodie is sent home just before her father sets sail. An encounter at the train station has Elodie sneaking aboard the ship. Elodie is in for the adventure of a lifetime and she cannot wait!

The Forbidden Orchid is interesting, but I did find the novel a little slow (and predictable). I could have told you how this novel would end from the time Elodie stowed away on the ship. The descriptions of the orchids were just lovely. It was also interesting to find out more about the life of plant hunters. Nowadays, we just go to our local nursery to purchase flowers. I found the Victorian viewpoints on orchids to be ridiculous (I wanted to deck Deacon Wainwright, the pompous blowhard). I give The Forbidden Orchid 3.75 out of 5 stars. Would I read this book again? No. Did I enjoy it? Yes, and no. I just wanted something more (less predictability). Would I read another book by this author? Maybe (depends upon the subject matter)! I did enjoy the mystery of the missing orchid (someone stole it from Elodie’s Wardian case).

I received a complimentary copy of The Forbidden Orchid from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the book. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Apr 15, 2016 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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When her family is threatened with being sent to the poorhouse for failing to collect a rare orchid, Elodie Buchanan accompanies her father to China determined to find the flower and save her family.

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