Book Review: Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton

Today is publication day for Phyllida Shrimpton’s third book Every Shade Happy. A post on Twitter reminded us of how much we loved her YA novel, Sunflowers in February and it still remains a favourite with teens at the Enchanted Emporium’s lending library. As it’s #ThrowbackThursday it’s time to review and share the love with you.

Looking for the copy made Rosa wish the enchanted bookshelf organised books in colour rather than the higgledy-piggledy it seemed to prefer. Luckily, it was soon fed up of her mutterings, and found the sunny novel itself.

Book cover for Sunflowers in February. A vibrant yellow cover with a simplistic drawn flower in blue and black alternate petals
Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton

Title: Sunflowers in February

Author:  Phyllida Shrimpton

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Release date: 8th February 2018

Genre: Young Adult, paranormal, fiction


Lily wakes up one crisp Sunday morning on the side of the road. She has no idea how she got there. It is all very peaceful. and very beautiful. It is only when the police car, and then the ambulance arrive, and she sees her own body, that she realises that she is in fact . . . dead.

But what is she supposed do now? Lily has no option but to follow her body and see her family  – her parents and her twin brother start falling apart.

And then her twin brother Ben gives her a once in a deathtime opportunity – to use his own body for a while. But will Lily give Ben his body back? She is beginning to have a rather good time . . .

Thoughts from the Emporium

The simple vibrant cover urged Amber to read it when it was first released and she quickly decided it was a wonderful and quirky debut. Always one for reading stories about ghosts and the afterlife, this one stood out for its sense of positivity. It brought tears to her eyes, made her gasp, chuckle and smile while reading which was disconcerting for the other passengers on the bus.

Told in Lily’s point of view, her upbeat personality shone on the page and made Amber look at the world with fresh eyes, as well as buying tons of tubes of Jelly Tots. It is hard to review without giving spoilers but it covers the consequences of a death, grief, family bonds and showcases how precious life is. There were times it made her stop and appreciate the moment.

It’s a little bit of mindfulness in a wonderful ghostly read.

Photo of a tube of Rowntree jelly tots with some sweets tumbling out
Who can resist Jelly Tots?

Do you have a book you’ve read in the past you think deserves more attention? Comment below

Header image is by David Travis on Unsplash