Book Review : First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

January 28, 2015 Book review 15 ★★★★

This book is one of those special books that you should pick up when you want a quick injection of pick-me-up.  It’s full of all kinds of goodness from quirky characters to cutesy magic.  Read it and smile!

Book Review : First Frost by Sarah Addison AllenFirst Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Series: Waverley Family, #2
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on January 29th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Family Life, Love & Romance, Magical Realism
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-stars

Autumn has finally arrived in the small town of Bascom, North Carolina, heralded by a strange old man appearing with a beaten-up suitcase.  He has stories to tell, stories that could change the lives of the Waverley women forever. B

ut the Waverleys have enough trouble on their hands.  Quiet Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley's Candies, but it's nothing like she thought it would be, and it's slowly taking over her life.  Claire's wild sister Sydney, still trying to leave her past behind, is about to combust with her desire for another new beginning.  And Sydney's fifteen-year-old daughter Bay has given her heart away to the wrong boy and can't get it back.

From the author of the New York Times bestselling sensation GARDEN SPELLS, FIRST FROST is magical and atmospheric, taking readers back into the lives of the gifted Waverley women - back to their strange garden and temperamental apple tree, back to their house with a personality of its own, back to the men who love them fiercely - proving that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It's where the real story begins.

First Line of First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen:

“Bay Waverley-Hopkins raced down Pendland street, her backpack bouncing and her dark hair flying behind her like blackbirds.”

My thoughts on First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen:

First off this is book 2 in a series but I was able to jump straight in with no confusion whatsoever.  The background is explained and within a few pages, I got a feel for just who these characters were and didn’t feel I lost out by not starting with book 1 (Garden Spells).  That’s not to say I won’t be reading that, I will ASAP and I feel that if you already know the characters, then you’ll adore more time with them through this book.

I loved all the characters and I loved the way it covers a few different members of three generations.  It felt warm and welcoming and I wanted to dive into my book and sit under that magical apple tree eating Claire’s homemade candy with all the special powers.

I loved the idea of an apple tree that does its own thing and doesn’t abide my normal seasons and a house that gets moody and candy that soothes.  It just feels whimsical and fairytale like and adds to the enchanting atmosphere of the book.

The characters are well developed and a little bit surprising.  I never knew what to expect from them and I can’t think of a single character I didn’t like.  Even the villain won me over.  I love books about sisters and so Sydney and Claire’s relationship really appealed to me.  But they are all a force to be reckoned with and I never minded which character was on the pages as I was fascinated by them all.

There is a lot going on in the plot; there is a coming of age story with a first romance, an older character coming near the end of her life and the sisters both have issues to contend with and sort out.  However they were was no one big story and this is definitely more of a character focused book than a plot driven one.

This book is super sweet and the icing on top just to send you in to a sugar coma is all the cooking and food references.  I LOVED them.  Everything sounded delicious and my taste buds were tingling.  So it’s fun that a recipe was included at the end.

OK now I need to stop talking about all the things I loved.  I think you get the idea, this book just worked for me and made me smile A LOT.  If we can’t munch on Claire’s candy then I think First Frost makes for a sweet substitute instead.

 

Rating Report
Characters
four-half-stars
Setting
four-stars
Pace
three-half-stars
Did I feel it?
four-stars
Overall: four-stars

 

Who should read First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen:

I’d highly recommend this to anyone who likes magical realism, quirky characters and all the feel good feels.  If you enjoyed Garden Spells then I think you will love catching up with these characters.  Fans of The Night Circus should also enjoy.

Thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

 

four-stars

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15 Responses to “Book Review : First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen”

    • trish

      I had read a lot of great reviews for Garden Spells (book one) so I had a feeling I’d love it. It’s perfect for a day when you want a cute, warm read.

    • trish

      Magical realism can be hit or miss with me too. There is a fine line between between whimsical and being twee. This one hits the mark perfectly for me.

  1. Donna @ OnDBookshelf

    I am not a fan of magical realism, but this book worked for me. The magic parts are tucked in, in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the novel. I had not read Garden Spells prior to picking this one up, and I did not have a problem following the story or characters.
    Donna @ OnDBookshelf recently posted…Review: Lost and Found

    • trish

      That’s a good point that the magic doesn’t overpower the book. It is first and foremost a character novel and the magic is an add on. Glad you enjoyed it too 🙂

    • trish

      I haven’t read Garden Spells yet and I still loved it. You get a feel for the characters very quickly and their connections so it works fine as a standalone. But I know I’ll pick up Garden Spells soon anyway!

    • trish

      I don’t read a lot of it either Melanie and I’m kind of selective about which ones I read. I know this author is loved by many though, so I was excited about trying this one out. And I’m so glad I did!

    • trish

      Exactly, it’s a great read for a day when you want a fun read with entertaining characters that you care about. And that make you want to do a group hug with them!

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