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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Flower Moon by Gina Linko - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Tally Jo and Tempest are twins. They used to be really close and connected, but something has happened. They were inseparable and Tally Jo longs for those days to come back. However, Tempest goes her own way. She loves science and inventing things is her passion. Tally Jo likes animals and is more outspoken and popular, while Tempest is introverted. Tally Jo has the feeling there isn't any space anymore for her in Tempest's life. That isn't the only problem they have though, something else is going on, a force that makes it hard for them to be together. They're almost thirteen years old, way too young to be separated from one another, but Tally Jo feels an inescapable schism is near.

Tally Jo and Tempest are always spending their summer with Pa Charlie's carnival. That means Tally Jo will be able to hang out again with her best friend Digger. Tally Jo needs him more than ever this summer, because of her problems with Tempest. Once the Flower Moon will rise it might be too late to fix whatever is going on between them. Sparks literally fly, what is happening and what can Tally Jo and Tempest do to stop this awful magnetic friction between them, before it will become too much and cause a terrible explosion?

Flower Moon is a beautiful story about two sisters who suddenly can't be with each other anymore. Tally Jo and Tempest are twins. They are different, but they also were really close. Tally Jo misses the feeling they were one, she once had it, but it's lost now. She mourns this severed connection and doesn't know why the relationship with her sister is so difficult at the moment, it's filled with a dynamic power that they can't seem to control. Tally Jo and Tempest don't have much time, if they want to stay part of each other's worlds they have to find a solution and finding out if they'd be able to pull it off gripped me immediately. Flower Moon grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let me go until the last page.

Gina Linko has written an amazing magical story. I love reading stories about sisters and Flower Moon is a really great one. I enjoyed the powerful combination of science, magic and emotions. Gina Linko skillfully builds the suspense and knows how to work with tension, which makes her story incredibly thrilling. Because of the relationship between the twins it's moving at the same time. I loved that touching and sparkling energetic combination. Flower Moon has so many gorgeous elements, it's a real treasure. I highly recommend this stunning spellbinding story.


If you love magical stories about twins you should definitely read Flower Moon. It's meant for Middle Grade readers, but because of the fantastic multiple layers it's a book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

About Gina Linko

Gina Linko likes to write books for kids and young people, because, in her opinion, they are the absolute best kinds of people. Gina has two fluffy, fat cats, one of which is an evil genius. She also has three kids, none of which are fluffy or evil geniuses, although they are quite interesting in their own human-like ways. Gina lives in a suburb outside Chicago, where she works as a textbook editor and spends her free time reading and then reading some more. She likes to stay up super late at night. She doesn't like alarm clocks. She really likes Hershey nuggets, playing euchre, and watching the Cubbies.

Her children like to call her Lil Gina, even though she's six-feet tall.


Website // Blog // Facebook // Twitter


1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I am a former science teacher, and now I work as a textbook editor for my day job. I love to write for kids. It is my passion! I have three kids myself, a fifteen-year-old daughter and twelve-year-old twins. I spend my free time reading anything and everything. I go to a lot of baseball and softball games for my kids, as well as flute and violin concerts.

2) What inspired you to write about twins?

I have twins! But unlike Tally and Tempest in the book, my twins are not identical. My twins are boy/girl. But having twins is kind of fascinating. It's like my own little science experiment, you know? These two little beings who are being raised at the exact same time, in nearly the exact same way, and yet, they are still so very different. Nature vs. nurture!

My twins never did anything like twin-talk or displayed any psychic powers. ; ) But I do love reading about that kind of thing. I mean, I think that's where my sweet spot is when I write -- I love to imagine what is just over the line of science, scenarios that are almost explainable, but not quite. At least not yet, anyway. And I think that twins kind of embody a lot of those ideas and myths, like twins who are separated by hundreds of miles, yet one breaks her leg and the other has a sharp pain in hers halfway across the country. That kind of thing!

3) You write about magic, what does magic mean to you?

In Flower Moon, there is a line that I've seen several reviewers quote: "Maybe that was what growing up was, understanding where the real magic lived in this world. Inside our very own hearts.”
I think a lot of what magic there is in this world. And I think sometimes, yes, that magic is in some kinds of scientific phenomenon that maybe we don't quite know how to explain yet -- like psychic twins-- but also, the real magic, the most important kind, is the endless capacity we have in our hearts to love, to forgive, to endure. It's at once what makes us uniquely human and completely magical.

4) Can you tell a bit more about Tempest and Tally Jo and their complicated connection?

Tally Jo and Tempest are mirror twins, which is a real thing. When developing cells split at the very last moment possibly in the womb, this makes mirror twins: identical twins who are mirror images of each other. One's left-handed, the other's right. One has a part in her hair on the left side, one on the right, and so on.

So, Tally and Tempest feel this connection. They've always been there for each other, close, connected. Until things change.

And suddenly, they aren't just feeling distance emotionally, but they're feeling this force between them. Something explosive and growing. Something scary, powerful.

5) Tally Jo and Tempest are part of a carnival. What inspired you to write about this?

As a kid, I absolutely loved when the carnival came to town. With its sights and sounds, it just seemed like the perfect setting for the Trimble girls' story, in that, I think every kid believes that the carnival holds a little bit of everyday magic in it, with the funhouse mirrors, fortune telling, and death-defying rides. It's kind of a space held outside of everyday life, separate and full of possibilities that might not exist anywhere else, and I liked that idea.

6) How did you get the idea behind Tempest’s interesting research and how did you prepare for it?

That's a really good question. When I get an idea, such as the force between Tally and Tempest, I will do a lot of research into the possible science-y side of things. It's fun to read about what we know, and even more fun to read about what we don't know. And I took many of my ideas from some of this research: the levitating of the frog, the magnets curing gray hair, that kind of stuff.

Magnets are a really fascinating topic, as are the tides and the pull of the moon. I mean, really, there are so many legends and stories that deal with the lunar cycle. Somehow, all of these ideas came together and gave me Tally and Tempest's backstory. And I knew that I was going to have Tempest be super into engineering and gadgets, and once I got to know Tempest, I realized that, really, she was open to that step beyond science, into the unknown, or the unexplainable, and that's really where all the interesting stuff is!

7) You have a large family, animals included. How do you combine this with a writing career?

I love to write so much. I have to find the time. I'm a night owl, so that's usually when I do my writing. It's always a a juggling act, I think, for any mom, but you have to prioritize. So lots of coffee and chocolate, and I give up sleep!

8) What’s the best part about writing for children?

Children are open to the big questions and fantastic ideas. They're still forming their sense of selves, so they're already always asking themselves the important about life. Who am I? What is my purpose? What's the meaning of life? So writing for children is kind of an honor, as you get to join into that conversation.

And I always joke to my own kids, when they ask what I'm writing about. I always say, "the meaning of life." And I'm only half joking, because, sure, I'm writing about carnivals and flower moons and twins, but really, truly, what I'm writing about are these bigger questions. Who am I? Why are we here? What should I do with my time here on earth?

9) Your main characters are capable, smart, resilient and inventive, what inspires you to write about strong girls?

This is a great compliment. Thank you for this. I write girls like the ones that I know. We are not the buddy or friend in someone else's story. We are our own main character. I want my daughters to know that and to understand that, to take charge and understand their inherent power. I want all girls, all kids, to know this.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I have just finished a book now titled Dig Deep, another middle-grade. This story follows an outcast named Piper Bleeker who gets to spend her summer at the most prestigious archaeological camp for kids in the entire US of A. She and her newfound friends spend their days digging for actual real dinosaur bones and dusting off fossils. They spends their nights, sneaking out of their cabins, dodging rattlesnakes and scorpions, in order to follow clues of a secret decade-old contest, entitled The Wind River Riddle. The riddle pays homage to ancient Shoshone symbol stories, Native American rock art, and good old-fashioned scavenger hunts.


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed hardcover copy of Flower Moon by Gina Linko.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Flower Moon sounds like a heart-warming story about the power of sisters and the journey of self-discovery.

  2. I love that cover, the artwork is amazing!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful magical story, would love to read this with my son.

  4. Wow, this sounds like a good book, can't wait to read it!

  5. Ce livre me tente bien, merci pour cet entretien et j'aime la couverture !

  6. i'm a university student who currently learn and love literature. hope i have a chance to read this book :)

  7. Being a twin myself, I love reading stories where twins are involved. This sounds like a lovely book full of magic and mysteries that need to be solved.

  8. Sounds like a good book, thanks for the review and giveaway!

  9. that is a cover that make my imagination go

  10. i would really like to read this book x

  11. I love the cover, the title, and the plot sounds fascinating, creative and unusual! :D

  12. This sounds like a lovely book ♡

  13. I think this book will be fun to read with m niece.

  14. It's good to see an author who is dedicated to strong girl characters.

  15. I love the idea of this book about twins being close and no longer being close at all. I hope they get it all figured out! I can't wait to read this.

  16. Thanks for the great prize / competition. Good luck everyone.