Monday, February 4, 2013

Off the Bookshelf: BLISS

C.S. Lewis once said that a good book is one that you enjoy as an adult as well as in childhood. I like reading YA books -- and not just because I write YA. There's a lot of fun and imagination and possibilities, and I enjoy going back and rediscovering books I originally found in the junior high library. Of course, I read The Odyssey in 7th grade, so you can't really judge by my experiences ...


BLISS, by Kathryn Littlewood, was a book I picked up recently from Nook's Free Book Fridays. It looked like a lot of fun -- and proved to more than live up to its PR.

What's it about?
Baking, and magic, and kids who are conned and get into trouble while their parents are away.

But oh ... so much MORE than that!

The setting: The Bliss Bakery -- perfect name for a bakery, don't you think? -- in a town called Calamity Falls. The parents, Purdy and Albert, have a talent for bakery that not only suits the current needs, but seems to magically fix all sorts of ... problems. When they head off to another town to help stem a terrible flu epidemic, the kids are left to help run the bakery: Ty (Thyme), Rose (Rosemary), Sage, and Leigh (Parsley). Anyone hearing strains of Simon and Garfunkle music?

Barely has the sound of the departing car engine faded from the air when Aunt Lily drives up on her motorcycle. Rose is the only one who is suspicious about this conveniently appearing relative that they never really heard about, but even she is taken in by Aunt Lily's glamour and charm.

Things get ... hmm ... interesting when the kids decide to use the family's magical cook book to fix some problems, and some problematic people, in town. The magical ingredients are clever and the kids show their potential for future escapades and brilliant futures -- if they survive -- by how they reason through their dilemmas. The ending makes me think there are more adventures for the Bliss family, especially since they have to deal with the fallout of Aunt Lily's duplicity and schemes.

More, please? I will definitely be on the lookout for more Bliss Bakery stories from Kathryn Littlewood!

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