Friday, February 6, 2015

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

I can't remember where or when I first read Garden Spells, but I remember that I really liked it. So when I saw that First Frost was available for review on NetGalley, I immediately requested it. Thankfully, and I mean thankfully because I had a slightly bad reading streak, this book lived up to expectations.

First Frost is set quite some time after after Garden Spells, with Bay all grown up and one of the main characters in her own right. This time, it's the week leading up to First Frost, and the Waverly women are anxious. Claire's candy business is booming, but no one knows her secret - she's stopped using ingredients from the garden. Sydney wants a child really, really badly, but no luck. Bay found the boy she belongs with, but he doesn't like her. This is tough enough for them, but then, a mysterious man comes to town, and he's after Claire.

The magic, for me, was in the little things. Claire's gift is cooking, Sydney's is in hairdressing, and Bay is in figuring out where things belong. Those may seem like tiny gifts, but they have huge effects on the people around them. A dish cooked in a bad mood can make others cry. Hair cut with spite brings bad luck. And so on. I really liked the magic in here.

While the focus is very much on the Waverly women, there's a healthy cast of supporting characters. For some reason, the one that stuck in my head was Violet, who's a lazy worker and a fairly terrible mother who basically wants to get out of the town. Needless to say, I didn't like her, although I appreciated the role she played in the book. There was also Anne, who exists only for the subplot of the mysterious man. Yup, the unknown entity gets his own backstory, and another character gets her own character growth too.

To be honest, I was quite surprised to see that this is the second book in the Waverly family series. For some reason, reading this book felt like coming back to a really long series. I do hope that there's a third book coming soon.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for a free and honest review.

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