Technically, Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights is a sequel to Cake Shop in the Garden but it stands quite well on its own. I actually only realised that it’s a sequel due to the summarised info dump during the first couple of chapters — think throwback highlight reel at the start of new seasons of TV shows. Once that’s done and dusted, it’s back to regular writing and storytelling.
All That She Can See is the kind of whimsical that fills you with warmth and puts a smile on your face. In some ways, it reminded me of the TV show Pushing Daisies because (1) pies! and (2) the main character uses her abilities to for intended good. However, the interpretation of “good” is dependent on the larger impact that Cherry isn’t fully aware of. So yes, if like me, you’re a fan of Pushing Daisies, I do recommend giving All That She Can See a go.
This book does not live up to the preceding Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. I’ve listened to the audiobook, and reread the paperback. I’m sure I’ll reread it again in future. The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, however, is a book I most likely won’t revisit. It’s neither quirky nor charming — the very reasons I enjoy Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. These elements went completely missing in this long-awaited sequel.
Before reading Heartless, I made sure to read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. After all, Marissa Meyer sought to pen a prequel, imagining the tale of the young Queen of Hearts. Growing up, I didn’t read those classics. Like many, I watched movies and TV adaptations. With this retelling on the horizon, however, I decided it was finally time to read the books.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and I developed a love-hate relationship of sorts. The promises made in the prologue was wondrous and I was so excited to continue reading. By the time I reached the end I felt empty. I loved the style of writing adopted in the prologue. It captured my attention so vividly, I fully expected to fall in love with the rest of the story. Sadly, that didn’t happen.