Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Magical Realism/Contemporary
Size: 288 pages
Release Date: May 20, 2008
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
I really enjoyed both of the Waverly books by Allen. This was the first stand alone book I have read by Addison. It was okay, but definitely not my favorite. There is a bit of magical realism in here, but not nearly as much as in the Waverly books. It basically follows a couple young women around as they deal with life issues and try to find their way to happiness.
Josey is living a pretty sorry life as a 27 year old. She was a horrible child and has spent most of her life trying to make up for it by caring for her mother’s every need….Josey’s mother is not a nice person. Things start to change for Josey when the wild Della Lee shows up in her closet, Della is fleeing something and begs to stay in Josey’s closet to take a breather from her life. Della pushes Josey to try new things and before Josey knows what’s happening Josey has befriended the slightly odd Chloe Finley. Then Josey actually decides to talk to the mailman Adam who she’s had a crush on for years. All of this leads to Josey and the people around her taking risks and working to make their lives a better and more happy place to be.
This book is written in the beautiful writing style that all of Allen’s books are written in. However I had some trouble engaging with the characters and just thought the whole story was a bit boring. The book didn’t give me the comforting warm feeling that her Waverly books do.
I had a lot of trouble engaging with Josey, she was just so cowed by her mother and so scared to step outside her comfort zone. She does grow a lot as a character throughout the book, but as the main heroine of the story she wasn’t my favorite. Josey hides candy in her closet and eats it in secret as a way to deal with her unhappiness (hence the title of the book).
I liked the character of Chloe better. Chloe has a mysterious power, books randomly appear around her and they are always books that will help her in some way. When her husband cheats on her Chloe feels betrayed and desperate. Only her budding friendship with Josey allows her some stability and helps her from making some truly bad decisions.
Adam is Josey’s love interest and he was a well done character. He is very sweet and loving towards Josey and has some secrets of his own. I thought the relationship between him and Josey was sweet but they two didn’t have explosive chemistry. Theirs was more of a gentle lull of a relationship.
There is a big twist at the end of the book that I kind of saw coming. However, I found most of the story to be a bit boring. It was more of a drama/soap opera than anything, even with the small bits of magical realism throughout.
Overall this wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t my favorite either. I like Addison’s Waverly series a lot more. This book was mostly the drama of a number of women trying to find their way in life. Parts were a bit boring and I had trouble engaging with the characters. There is a nice twist at the end of the story and I did enjoy the beautiful writing style. I guess I would recommend to die hard Addison fans or to those who like reading those Lifetime drama sorts of books.