ARCs · Book Reviews

Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein ARC Review

After her grandmother dies, a girl travels to different gardens to scatter her ashes, learning about life, love, and how to laugh again along the way. From Love Letters advice columnist and podcast host Meredith Goldstein, this emotionally resonant novel is perfect for fans of Robin Benway and Jenna Evans Welch.

When Lori’s Dorothy Parker–loving grandmother dies, Lori’s world is turned upside down. Grandma Sheryl was everything to Lori—and not just because Sheryl raised Lori when Lori’s mom got a job out of town. Now Lori’s mom is insisting on moving her away from her beloved Boston right before senior year. Desperate to stay for as long as possible, Lori insists on honoring her grandmother’s last request before she moves: to scatter Sheryl’s ashes near things that grow.

Along with her uncle Seth and Chris, best friend and love-of-her-life crush, Lori sets off on a road trip to visit her grandmother’s favorite gardens. Dodging forest bathers, scandalized volunteers, and angry homeowners, they come to terms with the shape of life after Grandma Sheryl. Saying goodbye isn’t easy, but Lori might just find a way to move forward surrounded by the people she loves.

Released March 9th, 2021

*I released a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers for the opportunity!*

I really liked this book. So much so that I immediately looked up the author’s other books to see what else she had written so I could add them to my TBR. The writing was so witty and relatable and really grabbed at my heartstrings. The main character Lori was a fantastic narrator, and her voice was very distinct and created a vivid picture in my mind of who she was. I loved that she was a writer and that we got to hear about all of her ideas and stories in detail- I want to read those too because they sounded so interesting. In fact, all of the characters in this book were real and quirky humans who were all the more likable for their complexities and eccentricities. Their relationships went through a lot following the death of their matriarch, and this book does a good job of showing how grief can affect everyone differently and the pressure that can put on a family. While the plot wasn’t super action-packed, it had a perfect mix of heart-wrenching and hilarious scenes to keep me invested in Lori’s journey. This story was so sweet and left me with a big smile on my face and warm fuzzies in my heart. I’m definitely looking forward to reading Meredith Goldstein’s other books.

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