B&N: In this irresistible novel, Sarah Addison Allen, author of the New York Times bestselling debut, Garden Spells, tells the tale of a young woman whose family secrets—and secret passions—are about to change her life forever.
Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters.
Yes, I know, another Sarah Addison Allen book. You are probably thinking I have limited reading issues. However, this is the last one until she writes something else which will be a while.
OK, this was far from my favorite book of Allen’s. I thought the characters were stereotypical and disappointing. Normally there is at least an elderly person I can identify with but that was sadly lacking in this one. It read too much like a slightly altered Harlequin Romance which I don’t read. I realize Allen used to write for HR so suppose that is where it came from but I didn’t notice it in any of her other books.
I won’t say I hated the book – I didn’t. I loved how books kept pursuing Chloe to help her with life decisions – that was a nice touch and kept me smiling. The writing is light, which I do like. No gore, no violence, no sex, no murders. Maybe if I had read this one after Garden Spells, I would have liked it more but now after reading The Peach Keeper and Lost Lake, I find this one a big step backwards. I don’t know that I would have read Allen again if this was the first book of hers that I read. It just didn’t click with me.
So I give the book a B- and, can I just say, the cover really sucks.