Wow, have I suddenly found myself buried alive by reviews to be written! Reading seems to be quite easy to do especially on my Kindle and Libby apps while nursing. But reviewing is harder to keep up with! I’m excited to share a review today of The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase by Wendy Maas.
This is the second book in The Candymakers series. Check out my review of book one, The Candymakers. While I only read this book in June of this year, it feels like a long time since I was in this exciting and tasty world. It was a thrill to be back in the world of new candies and tasty sweets.
- I was thrilled to find out there was a sequel to The Candymakers which is one of my favorite reads this year. This one was just as exciting and action packed as the first book.
- I have to admit that I bought this book before reading it (which I try not to do too much) but it was definitely worth it here. A great book and series that I am excited to read with my kids one day!
According to Goodreads, “It has been a few months since the nationwide New Candy Contest, and Logan, Miles, Philip, and Daisy have returned to their regular lives. But when the winning candy bar comes down the conveyor belt at the Life is Sweet candy factory, Logan realizes something’s very wrong….
When the Candymaker announces that they will be going on tour to introduce the new candy bar, the four friends see this as an opportunity to make things right. But with a fifty-year-old secret revealed and stakes higher for each of them than they ever imagined, they will have to trust one another–and themselves–in order to face what lies ahead.
In this action-packed sequel to the bestselling novel The Candymakers, prepare to embark on a journey full of hidden treasures, secret worlds, and candy. LOTS and LOTS of candy.”
Once again I loved the multiple perspectives we get in this novel. Being back inside the heads of Logan, Miles, Daisy and Philip was like reuniting with good friends. Just like in the original story, we see the same events from each of the main character’s perspectives to start the novel. I love getting inside everyone’s heads again. I enjoy that each of them has a unique voice and perspective on the world. As we read each perspective, we see more details and how the different scenes fit together. I felt like I was coming back to an old friend being in this world and inside the multiple perspectives again.
The characters are both just as I remembered them and also different than I remembered. I felt nostalgic for their first interactions in the first book and the way they come together to win the contest. Yet I enjoyed how the characters have changed from the first book. Logan is more confident. Miles isn’t as fearful. Philip is kinder. Daisy is more vulnerable. They still learn a lot on this new journey. Also, it was fun to get to know some minor characters from the first book more in this one. I really liked AJ in this one. Fun to see him connect with others and help them all achieve something on the trip. Logan is still a favorite of mine because of his optimism and wisdom.
I was impressed by the new and clever plot in this novel. This isn’t just a rehash of the first book. We have a new problem to be solved and a new mystery to unfold. Maas does an excellent job balancing the story within a larger setting (mostly on the road visiting candy stores and other stops along the way). While the characters are now more engaged with the outside world rather than staying inside the Life is Sweet Factory, the story feels intimate and engaging. We get a lot more details and backstory as well in this novel. It was intriguing to hear more about Samuel Sweet–Logan’s grandfather– and the history of his life and the start of the Life is Sweet factory.
My favorite element of the new plot was the connection between magic and reality. I love the way Mass incorporates magic into this story while maintaining that it all happens in a world that feels like reality. The magic is subtle and well developed with details that surprise and excite readers. The magic bar is intriguing, and the mystery of the contract is very well done. I love the way they discover how it all works! There is magic all around us that we can discover if we know where and how to look for it.
This novel is another fun adventure from Wendy Maas. I love the multiple perspectives from my favorite characters and the exciting new plot. So many details that all come together! Geocaching, violin concertos, the harmonicandy, the great shoudini, a decked out spy RV, mapmakers, comets and meteorites. This book is a fantastic ride!
What are some of your favorite middle grade series?
What kind of candy would you create in a contest?