Book Review: Super Bloom

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How do you find your way back to happiness after suffering a loss? You write about it. At least that’s what author Megan Tady’s character does in her debut novel, Super Bloom, a story about perseverance, resilience, taking chances, and learning to heal.

Two years after her boyfriend Samuel’s death, massage therapist Joan Johnson still grieves his loss. Depressed, and burnt out from working to pay off debt, Joan can barely connect with her best friend or parents, let alone her co-workers. Even her clients have started to turn on her, not that she can blame them. Well, not all of them.

When her boss threatens to fire her unless she gets her act together, Joan knows it’s time to wake up and smell the massage oil. She has one last chance to impress a new celebrity client, before Tara shows her the door. Beloved, bestselling author, Carmen Bronze may not be Joan’s most benevolent client, but when she makes an offer Joan can’t refuse, she realizes the woman may just be her redemption.

There’s only one problem. The material Joan promised to share with Carmen about her clients to serve as research for the author’s own work-in-progress inspires her instead. As Joan embarks on a healing writing journey with her own unrealized love story at its center, she knows she’s in trouble. She’s supposed to be helping Carmen, not herself. What will Carmen do when she finds out? And is Joan truly ready to move on from the past?

Super Bloom is the kind of debut novel that will have you obsessively visiting Tady’s social media pages to see what she’ll do next. Her laugh-out-loud characters don’t just leap from the page, they vault over it and land in your lap, springing to life in a way you’ll remember long after you read the last sentence. The very best characters are the ones you can imagine spending time with, and I couldn’t pick a favorite. They made reading this delightful novel ever more gratifying.

Tady’s wit and brilliant pack-a-punch one-liners are balanced with the sublime, poignant way she writes the more heartfelt moments. I was so impressed with her pacing and prose that I lost count of the number of times I re-read a sentence, appreciating the unique way she drew comparisons without defaulting to cliche.

Just when you think it can’t get better, Tady raises the bar, giving readers a glimpse into Joan’s WIP in the best possible way – a book within a book, that takes Joan’s writing-as-therapy journey to the next level. This might have been my favorite part.

Wait – did I say that already?

Perhaps there’s no aspect of this novel that’s as accessible as its message. What’s the best way to get past grief and on to the good stuff? Say yes. Stay open to the possibilities. Keep going. In her novel, Tady shows us that by putting one foot in front of the other, we can do hard things. And – if we stick with it long enough – we just might be lucky enough to see the seeds we planted finally burst into bloom.

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