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January 12, 2015

Suped Up: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

Series: Waverly Family 2
Format: eGalley
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Women's Lit | Magic Realism
From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves...

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.


Oh Sarah Addison Allen, how you give me the feels! Your stories are like warm apple pie or hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows. Whatever your comfort treat it, THAT'S how I always feel about her books and FIRST FROST is no exception.

FIRST FROST is the sequel to Garden Spells, a series about a family and their curious apple tree. Each Waverly has some sort of knack which I assume is gifted by their enchanted tree, lending this series beautiful magical elements. Claire's gift is with foods, she can influence your thoughts and emotions from the dishes and treats she makes. Her sister Sydney has a way with people's manes, a haircut from her salon may change your luck for better or worse, depending on what her mood is for the day. Bay, Syndey's daughter, has a knack for knowing where things and people belong. Then there are an assortment of secondary characters and residents of Boscom, North Carolina that, I guess, has a little bit of magic flowing in their veins as well, making this series so feel good like getting a sprinkle of fairy dust. 

I'm not a big fan of multiple POV's but since the series is about a family and their struggles it only makes sense that we would have opportunities to see life through their eyes. It worked for me because FORST FROST is told in third person point of view and there is a cohesive plot that pulls all of the Waverly women's story together. 

Also, FIRST FROST is another after HEA story, giving us a peek of how Claire and Sydney's lives are going after their emotional and tense-filled reunion in Garden Spells. The sisters have now accepted their gifts, living charmed lives with their respective partners, their business ventures are successful, everything you expect or want for an HEA to be. 

However it seems the past isn't done with them because a mysterious person brought some interesting information that shook the Waverly sister's world a little bit. The conflict is very subtle and to me it was more about Claire and her bond with her sister than the actual problem at hand. Their sibling relationship hasn't always been smooth and this hump tested how far they've grown. Suffice it say it was a stressful but heartwarming experience. 

FIRST FROST is a delightful novel set in a charming small town starring people who's struggles we all can identify with. I wouldn't call the world supernatural, magical is a more appropriate adjective to use in this case because it's speculative and the Waverlys' abilities are more of gifts than outright superpowers. FIRST FROST, like the rest of SAAllen's books, didn't disappoint, her simplistic yet moving stories elicit warm tender feelings from me and I always feel good days after reading her novels. I look at her brand of magical realism as more metaphorical than literal but regardless of how one interprets it, I can guarantee that she will inspire wonderful feelings from you. So if you haven't tried her work, I suggest you do because you're missing out on something great and if you have, don't make the mistake of skipping FIRST FROST, it's a winner!









34 comments:

  1. Oh this is new. I've never read anything from this author, but it sounds like she writes the type that I like. Definitely have to make sure I check her out.

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    1. You will love her, her prose is so pretty!

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  2. I remember reading one of her books long ago and absolutely loving it. I should give this one a try as well.

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    1. You need to read more of her books, it's feel good in a magical way.

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  3. Squeeeee yes. I loved too Braine. Garden Spells is my favorite and it was so awesome revisiting. .totally warm applease pie :)

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    1. Oh my smartphone fail. Apple pie and I loved it. Sheesh

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    2. Hi5! I know you love her too and yes, Garden Spells is one of my faves as well. I so want to try Claire's goodies bad!

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  4. Aww want want want! I love her books

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  5. I liked this one, but it missed the mark for me. I didn't like the whole story line with the con man. It took away from the loveliness of the book. I also wished there was more of Bay's story. Still, I adore Sarah's books, and I am guessing there will be more from the Waverlys.

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    1. Yeah the con man was a little distracting however I loved his story too! LOL

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  6. I loved your description! lol. I read Garden Spells so long ago I don't remember it. I don't think I really remember it even a little. I can picture the house, that's about it. So I need to reread and then read this one. It sounds lovely!

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    1. Maybe if you read an excerpt of this you'll remember the details of Garden Spells. Although I won't dissuade you to reread it, it is a lovely book.

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  7. Oh, interesting. Subtle use of magic like that could be interesting.

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    1. I love magic realism, it makes the story somewhat believable because there are "gifted" people around. I hope I have Claire's gift with food if I can choose

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  8. This sounds so good, Braine. I'm a sucker for family stories - especially set in small towns. And I love North Carolina. :) I have Garden Spells on my shelf and if you enjoy Addison Allen's work so much, I'm sure to love it. I'll have to move it up in priority.

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    1. Oh lord read Garden Spells, you'll breeze through it. It's so feel good!

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  9. I feel like I've been saying this about all your reviews lately, but I want this! haha Will have to add this series to my TBR

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    1. Hahaha... well I've been lucky with my book picks of late. I hope not to jinx my wonderful streak!

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  10. This is a new-to-me series and author, Braine, but warm apple-pie and hot cocoa feels? Yeah, of course I want that. So adding to my TBR :) Thanks for the great review. Happy reading.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Oh Lexxie, you will love her prose! I promise you will!!!

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  11. OMG! What a coincidence. I haven't read any books by Sarah Addison Allen, but I was planning to start Garden Spells today! That's a sign, I need to read Garden Spells and then read this one.
    Great review.

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    1. Oooh I can't wait to read your thoughts! I'm betting you will absolutely adore it!

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  12. I also have some difficulties with multiple POVs but it's awesome to see that it wasn't a problem there. I didn't know about this one but I'm glad you had a wonderful time. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I think it worked because it was in 3rd person POV instead of 1st person wherein there's so much internalizations the tone of the book gets confusing. If that makes sense.

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  13. Haven't read this author before, although for a moment, I thought this was a YA author who has the name resembling hers a bit. Haha. In any case, I love it when you're so enthusiastic like this. Your excitement is just contagious!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Oh lord you MUST read her, Faye! You're missing out on something really good!

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  14. Love Sarah's books there always fantastic ! Looking forward to this one.

    Joelle @ angelswithattitudebookreviews

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  15. What the Chinese guy said! LOL just kidding.
    I have to admit, this is not the kind of book I run to get, but as usual your enthusiastic reviews always make me curious...Who knows, I might just find a gem.
    Thanks Braine, great job!

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    1. Exactly! And s/he has to post on the day where my google translator doesn't work.

      Her book is something you'd want to listen to on an easy day.

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  16. Oh gah. So maybe I shouldn't have been skipping over her books all these years? Dang!

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    1. Hmmm I know you like them sexy so I don't think you'll love this... BUT if you get a wild hair in your butt then please do give her a try.

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  17. Oh wow! This sounds like a delightful read! I haven't actually read a book by Sarah Addison before... might have to now!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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