Wildflower


Young Adult - General
200 Pages
Reviewed on 11/10/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Janine Carbone, a Philadelphia native, put her BA in psychology to good use with the creation of her first New Adult novel, Wildflower. Carbone mixed elements of mystery, romance, and suspense, to create an edgy and intense debut novel peering into the darker side of mental health.

Carbone grew up in a world full of books and knew she wanted to be a writer since an early age. She spends most nights dreaming up new plots, while mornings you can find her with a pen and pad in hand, twisting and weaving words to inspire surprise and delight in her readers.

With a love of cooking and traveling overseas, she can be found in the kitchen experimenting with unusual ingredients, or trekking across grounds unknown. However, she does enjoy spending every moment she can with her family.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

Wildflower by Janine Carbone is a story about Faith, a young college student who is haunted by traumatic events in her past. Her way of dealing with her troubled past is to withdraw from society and shut herself away from those who would befriend her because of a fear of trusting anyone. She has one friend, however, Casey, whose easy-going attitude to life is in stark contrast to her own. Faith is fearful of relationships, but Jason is determined and the two form a somewhat restrictive relationship. As Faith struggles to cope with college life, it becomes apparent that her repressed memories from the past are having a significant effect on her ability to move on with her life. It is only when she faces a tormentor that she draws the strength to deal with the past.

Janine Carbone has created a tense and emotional thriller that left me unable to put it down. The writing is descriptive and emotive and the characters are well-developed and believable. The reader is taken on a journey of despair and hope, of fear and regression, all cleverly crafted into a superb story. The writing style is effortless and I was swept along by the intensity of feeling and the skillful weaving of the relationships that Faith tried to both resist and maintain at the same time, together with her inner turmoil as she struggled to deal with the memories of the past that occur as flashbacks throughout the story. The storyline was not predictable and it is one that will stay with me for some time.

Jack Magnus

Wildflower is a young adult psychological thriller written by Janine Carbone. Faith is a loner. She's been that way ever since she was a child. Now that she's in college, she can live the solitary life she craves, which includes solitary runs at night on the track. When a young coed is raped at knife-point on campus, Faith reconsiders her nocturnal runs, but she dismisses the assault as an isolated event and continues running. She does notice someone watching her on her next run, however, and he stays there as she finishes her laps. The next day, at the school cafeteria, a young man notices that she's spilt her coffee and he brings over a bunch of napkins to clean up the mess. Faith wants to discourage him and does her best at first, but he's pretty persistent, and he's quite good-looking as well.

Janine Carbone's young adult psychological thriller, Wildflower, is exciting and fast-paced. Faith is a complex character who is tortured by a past that she seems to have repressed. Her conversations with Professor Jillian help her cope with the snatches of memory that are coming through in her dreams. As she learns to trust Jason, the fears on campus increase as more coeds are attacked. The suspense seems to build almost in direct proportion to her determination to stop hiding away. Carbone's characters are well-defined, and her plot is finely drawn and credible. I loved the description of the Casey's family cabin, and the feelings of warmth and comfort Casey's family radiates toward Faith is a marvelous thread that weaves throughout the story. Wildflower is an entertaining and suspenseful story and it's highly recommended.

Michelle Randall

Faith is determined to make it through college without getting close to anyone, and so far she has made it to her junior year with only her freshman dorm mate, Casey. This year is going to be different. Jason is determined to get to know the beautiful girl running on the track. Faith has had a rough upbringing and Jason will have to break through her walls. Professor Jillian has been there all through the years to encourage and help Faith try to take a few steps out into the world and emerge from behind her walls. As her relationship with Jason blossoms, she will encourage Faith even more. At the same time, repressed memories of her childhood will start to haunt Faith. Janine Carbone does a wonderful job of mixing a number of ideas and story lines into one larger story. Wildflower will get darker yet before it gets brighter with the addition of a serial rapist on campus.

Janine Carbone has merged a coming of age story with a mystery and a romance to come up with a wonderful story that blends the elements and makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Wildflower is the perfect name for the book, but you will need to read until the very end to understand the meaning of the name. This is definitely a young adult book, but adults and even younger readers will get something from the story. Aside from the mention of the rapist, there are no other sexual situations in the book, which is nice for a book these days.