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.
Books set in university that aren’t entirely pre-occupied with romance are surprisingly tough to find. During my own undergraduate studies I wished for so many more but had to make do with books set in high school. Maybe “make do” sounds like I didn’t enjoy those books but I did. It’s just that the university setting tends to be rather neglected. That’s why I was pretty excited to learn that Counting Stars featured university students.
Winter’s release was postponed by many months, leading to lots of sadness all around. As consolation, we received Fairest (#3.5) earlier this year to ease the waiting. Now the question is, was it worth waiting so long for Winter? I say, definitely! For one, it takes a lot of time to write 824 pages. It also takes a very long time to edit these pages to perfection.