Tag: Sarah Addison Allen

Jun 24

Bite Size Reviews: June 2016

Bite Size Reviews 11

Happy Friday, Bookworms!

I knew that posting 5 reviews in a row last week was going to zap my blogging mojo! I’m popping in last minute so I don’t have a completely silent blog week. I’ve actually got some good ideas cooking, so maybe there’s something to taking a break. I’ll run away with you for the summer, Eliza! Hamilton references aside, we’re going to do some quick and dirty book reviews today. Small plates you guys. There’s like the tapas of book reviews. Mmmmm… Tapas…

bitesizereviews

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older- I listened to this one and it had some seriously cool use of Caribbean folklore and a fantastic narrator. It’s urban fantasy with a Raven Boys (review) / Diviners (review) sort of vibe. Older’s writing is smart and fearless, and he manages to weave social commentary, a coming of age story, and friggin monsters into a single book. It wasn’t an out of this world read for me, but I think that’s mostly because I’m not super into the urban fantasy young adult thing. If paranormal YA/ urban fantasy happens to be your jam, though? GO READ THIS RIGHT NOW.

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt- What in the actual f*ck is going on here? Honestly I don’t even know how to describe this book. I mean, between the multiple cults and the bizarre extended hiking journey, I’m at a loss. That’s not to say you shouldn’t read this. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ THIS. Mostly because I want to discuss it with someone. Super weird book, you guys. In the best way.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen- It’s a bittersweet moment for me, because now I’m all out of SAA books, but when I saw this bad boy was $1.99 in the kindle store I had to snap it up. It was good times, as per usual. Sarah Addison Allen’s blend of magical realism and sweet southern fiction always makes me happy. I actually read the sequel to this, First Frost (review), before I read this one, but it really didn’t matter too much. It’s delightful even out of order. That cantankerous apple tree gets me every time!

What’s up in your worlds, Bookworms? What have you been reading?!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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May 11

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Audio Books, Chick Lit, Supernatural 7

Hello Bookworms!

Remember that time when I gushed all over the internet about Scribd? Well, the very first book I decided to listen to with my new subscription was a Sarah Addison Allen. Anybody surprised? You shouldn’t be. My ears devoured The Sugar Queen.

thesugarqueenJosie Cirrini’s life is in a holding pattern. Though she’s 27, she’s never moved out of her childhood home and her social life revolves around chauffering her elderly mother to her various society engagements in their small North Carolina town. Josey is so firmly under her mother’s thumb that she takes solace in snacks and sweet treats she keeps hidden in her closet. Josey’s life looks like it’ll be over before it starts when one evening she finds the rather scandalous town barfly Della Lee Baker hiding out in her closet amongst her guilty pleasures. The arrival of Della Lee sets off a series of events that changes the way Josey views her life and her family’s legacy.

Of course, as a Sarah Addison Allen, there’s a bit of magic involved (in the most whimsical and charming ways, naturally.) I’ve always said that red is my cosmic color of power, but Josey’s claim on that statement might actually be legit. And Josey’s gal pal Chloe has the BEST power/affliction. Books literally find her when she needs them. Where can I sign up for that?!

I’ve mentioned before that I have a hard time reading books where overweight and/or obese people are described by authors in an unsympathetic tone. Sarah Addison Allen is very sympathetic to Josey, who is described as “plump,” but in exploring her addiction to food and comfort eating I found myself getting downright sad. It hit a nerve, I guess. I mean, I’ll probably never truly understand what drives someone to shoot heroin, but mainlining cookies? That is something I can relate to. Ooooh the feelings. Fans of Sarah Addison Allen, whimsy, and baked goods should definitely check out The Sugar Queen

Tell me something, Bookworms. Do you ever get an unexpected punch in the feels while reading? When was the last time it happened? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 02

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Audio Books, Supernatural 12

Howdy Bookworms!

I have been having such great fun with my library’s audio book selection lately. I’ve been dabbling in a lot of backlist books and it has been a blast. Sarah Addison Allen never fails to enchant me, the woman is made of moonbeams and fairy dust. Needless to say, I did a little happy dance when The Girl Who Chased the Moon popped up as available. I downloaded that faster than you can say “cake rules.” (Though, cake really does rule. I love cake.)

thegirlwhochasedthemoonWhen Emily Benedict arrives in Mullaby, North Carolina, she has no idea what to expect. Her recently deceased mother told her absolutely nothing about her hometown, let alone that Emily had a living grandfather (who happens to be both a giant and a BBQ enthusiast.) Mullaby is an odd town full of quirky characters and odd happenings. Julia Winterson is another reluctant Mullaby resident, having returned to town after her father’s death in order to run his restaurant. She bakes some amazing cakes, and nobody is more appreciative of that particular talent than dreamboat Sawyer.  Unfortunately IT’S COMPLICATED. Emily and Julia strike up an unlikely friendship and help each other navigate the strangeness and wonder of Mullaby. Family secrets and history and magic and love and moonlight and CAKE collide in this scrumptious novel, and the result is utterly charming.

Well, it’s official. I need to read ALL THE THINGS Sarah Addison Allen has ever written. These books just make me so darn happy. I can’t help but smile, sigh, and daydream a little every time I read one. If you need a break from reality that will warm your heart and make you desperately want to taste Hummingbird Cake (cream cheese frosting? I am so in!) pick up The Girl Who Chased the Moon and enjoy!

My dearest Bookworms, tell me something. Do any of you have an author that you read when you need a pick-me-up?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Jan 19

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

Contemporary Fiction, Supernatural 16

Greetings Bookworms!

Sometimes I need a little magic in my life. I was really excited when I saw that Sarah Addison Allen had a new book on the horizon. I navigated straight to NetGalley where I requested (and was granted) a complimentary review copy of First Frost. This in no way affects the integrity of the following review. My integrity is questionable regardless of free books.

firstfrostThe Waverley women are a bit different. They live in a small southern town where they are renowned for their unique and magical gifts. Claire has a way with food and flowers- she can infuse her concoctions with feeling. Her sister Sydney has the ability to make good hair days happen (a magical gift anyone can appreciate when they wake up faced with mad bedhead.) Sydney’s teenage daughter Bay knows exactly where everything and everyone belongs. The Waverley homestead has a personality all its own, and the apple tree in the back yard is fond of passive-aggressively flinging apples in the direction of people it doesn’t like. (It’s rather Oz-ian that way.)

Things never run smoothly when you’ve got magic to contend with, do they? A mysterious stranger shows up in town intent on disrupting the delicate Waverley balance and things go a bit wonky. Teenage heartache? Pining for a family? Desperate attempts to help the self destructive? This book has ALL THE THINGS. Plus, you know, MAGIC. This book was the perfect read for me at the perfect time. I’ve got a soft spot for this sort of Southern charm, and I really needed this bit of magic to brighten up my winter blahs. Sarah Addison Allen is often compared to Alice Hoffman, which is apt, but where Hoffman goes dark, Allen goes light. That, my friends, is pure magic. Get thee a copy of First Frost post haste!

Talk to me, Bookworms. How do you feel about magic in books? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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Oct 09

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Contemporary Fiction, Friendship 20

Hi ho, Bookworms!

If you’re anything like me, you accumulate books faster than you can read them. I don’t suppose it helps that I enter giveaways on other blogs, but I have a severe weakness for free books. A few months ago I won a copy of Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen from Bookalicious Mama and it taunted me from my bedside table with its pretty cover mercilessly. I finally got around to reading it, and I’m SO GLAD I did!

lost lakeOur heroine Kate recently “woke up” from mourning the loss of her husband. She’s been going through the motions for a solid year and has only just managed to muster the will to participate in life again. While clearing out some detritus to prepare for a move, Kate and her daughter Devin (a budding fashionista, with an eccentric sense of style) find an old post card reminding Kate of the summer she spent at her great aunt’s cabin resort, Lost Lake.

Kate’s re-awakening came with a healthy dose of “carpe diem” so she loads Devin into the car and sets off for rural Georgia to seek out some R&R in the serene environment. Kate’s Aunt Eby is thrilled to see her long lost niece, but Lost Lake is on the verge of closing up shop. Eby, Kate, and a few regular guests set out to make Lost Lake’s final summer one to remember. A little romance, a little magic, and a healthy dash of Southern fried fun make Lost Lake a wonderful escape.

This book is utterly charming and heartwarming. Sarah Addison Allen puts together a cast of quirky characters that can’t be beat (and you know how much I LOVE quirky characters, especially when some of them are cranky old women. It makes my inner Mildred positively gleeful.) I read this tasty morsel in a single day. If you need a little escape from reality, Lost Lake is as refreshing as a cold glass of sweet tea.

Tell me, dear Bookworms. Do you enjoy books that offer an escape?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will use it to take a flipping vacation!*

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Mar 03

The Peach Keeper By Sarah Addison Allen

Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction 25

How Y’all Doing, Bookworms?

I have really been digging some Southern Fried Fiction lately! I recently finished Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper, and now I want to talk about it. (Novel concept, right? I should probably write a book blog! Oh wait…)

peachkeeprWilla Jackson lives in Walls of Water, North Carolina. Her family were once fancy folks, but after falling on hard times in the 30s, they had to sell off the fanciness and go back to being normal. Also in town is the resident perfect princess, Paxton Osgood. She’s well dressed, well mannered, and appropriately ensconced in the local women’s society club. These two gals have very little in common, until fate sees fit to push them together.

Fate and a skeleton. Yup. The site of Willa Jackson’s once proud family home was in the midst of a glorious renovation via Paxton Osgood, when a tree transplant leads to the discovery of a body. In order to attempt to solve the mystery of the dude planted under the peach tree, Willa and Paxton seek answers from their respective grandmothers, who were besties back in the day.

I had fun reading The Peach Keeper. There was a supernatural undercurrent I wasn’t expecting, but rather enjoyed (very Alice Hoffman-esque.) There was one particular scene that stuck out to me, and I can’t just not discuss it, because it involves Sarah Michelle Gellar. That’s right. She who was Buffy. Midway through this book, the ladies club has a lunch with a super swanky caterer, and the caterer seems to have some special powers. It’s a tertiary plot point, but it reminded me SO MUCH of SMG’s masterpiece of a Rom-Com Simply Irresistible. You know. The one where she became a cook and somehow the food absorbed her feelings? People would start crying and/or floating while eating dessert? No? Ah well. When you have a couple of hours to kill and you need something ridiculous, check it out.

Credit: http://whataslayeris.tumblr.com/

Credit: http://whataslayeris.tumblr.com/

Sorry for the digression there, the 90s, you know? I get distracted. In addition to the mystery, the magic, and the mayhem, there are some romantic entanglements and a whole lot of ladies realizing the value of friendship. In short, The Peach Keeper was sweet. If you are in the mood for something to pull you out of a wintery funk, this could be just the ticket.

 Because I’m constantly getting off topic, I may as well ask. Do any of you have a favorite Rom-Com from the 90s? Or some random movie you watched too often with your college roommate? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a commission.*

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