Book Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen


Welcome back to Bascom, North Carolina, where the peculiar Waverly women have interesting gifts that inspire fear, jealousy, and sometimes even admiration from their fellow townspeople.

We have Claire, the elder sister, who can cook up something to inspire romantic feelings, or dissuade them. Or, maybe you need some of her candy—a new specialty that is taking over her life—to soothe a cold.  Then there’s Sydney who can give you a haircut that might literally change your life, or at least grant you a really great day. Sydney’s daughter, Bay, always seems to know where things and people belong (or don’t belong).

I was so excited to read this book—a sequel to Garden Spells—because I love the Waverly’s and their spirited, apple-throwing tree. Yes, you read that correctly, their apple tree likes to throw its fruit at people. The weird tree also blooms at first frost (usually sometime in October) and bears apples through the spring and early summer. Let’s not forget their quirky home, either, with its mysteriously sticking door that only opens when you speak nicely to it.

This year, the Waverly women are looking forward to the first frost of the season more than ever before. They’re all tense and desperate, and first frost brings relief and change. Sydney wants another child more than anything. Bay knows she belongs in the life of a boy at school in some way, but she isn’t sure how exactly. And poor Claire is missing her catering business now that she’s exclusively making candy. When a stranger comes to town with the first cold winds of the season, things get even more complicated.

I found myself loving some parts of this book, but not caring for other parts. Sydney is trying to help a teenage mother throughout a large part of the book and I found that story line to be a predictable and not very enjoyable. From the first scene, I knew how it was going to turn out and I was kind of disappointed. I expected more to happen with the mysterious stranger, too, but I wasn’t really disappointed with that part.

But, overall I liked the book quite a lot and I finished it in just over a day. I still love the characters, the tree, the writing, etc. I just wasn’t completely blown away by the story. I think I expected something different.

**I received a free copy for review from Net Galley**


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