Review: Bliss

Review: BlissBliss by Kathryn Littlewood
Series: The Bliss Bakery #1
Published by Katherine Tegen on February 14, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Stone Sleep Snickerdoodles and Singing Gingersnaps. Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke under lock and whisk-shaped key while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle, wears purple sequins, and whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, nonmagical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun.

So Rose and her siblings experi-ment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke.

A few Love Muffins and a few dozen Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?

Kathryn Littlewood’s culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly magical wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure.

Kathryn Littlewood’s Bliss wasn’t on my radar until an unsolicited ARC of book three showed up on my doorstep. Though I do really enjoy middle grade at times, I’m much pickier than I am with YA. Still, once a book’s come to me, I’m generally willing to give it a shot, unless it’s completely uninteresting to me, and the cute covers for the Bliss Bakery books made them worth a try. Bliss is an excellent, magic-filled, hilarious read for children and middle graders. As an adult, I was less impressed than I would have been 15 years ago, but I still enjoyed the book.

The bakery setting is a lot of fun. Who isn’t happy picturing a whole bunch of delicious cake in their head? It doesn’t hurt that my friend gave me some cookies today, so I got to do more than just read about desert. The Bliss family runs a bakery which literally serves up a bit of magic along with the muffins and cakes and tarts. The kids, Parsley (Leigh), Sage, Rosemary (Rose), and Thyme (Ty), all have distinct personalities and roles in the family. The heroine, Rose, feels like her role is to be the boring, responsible one who does all the work but whom no one much likes.

When the Bliss parents are called out of town to solve a crisis in another city with magic pastries, Rose is left in charge, even though Ty is the oldest. She’s thrilled to get to try magic recipes for the first time ever, but she’s left with the admonishment not to use the key into the room with the recipe book for any reason. Yeah, that works about as well as telling Castle to stay in the car.

What Bliss reminded me of was Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. In episodes of that show, Sabrina would work a spell and it would have unintended consequences. A love spell, for example, might infect the whole student body, causing rampant chaos in the halls. In this case, a magical batch of cookies might result in the whole town going bonkers. As magic is attempted to correct problems caused by earlier magic, the situation snowballs. There are a lot of entertaining scenes, and I’m sure younger readers will be thoroughly amused by the absurdities, like the town doing everything backward.

For an older reader, the plot is incredibly predictable. From the first appearance of Aunt Lily, I knew what was going to happen for the rest of the book. It doesn’t stop the individual scenes from being entertaining, but, as a whole, I was less impressed. I also really could have done without Ty’s crush on Lily, as well as his seemingly random use of Spanish phrases.

Kathryn Littlewood’s Bliss is a quick and fun middle grade read full of magical mayhem. I liked it enough to try book two, so I might even get to that ARC.

Favorite Quote:

When he married Purdy, Albert had taken her name instead of the other way around. “Who wants to cling to a name like Albert Hogswaddle,” he’d said, “when you could become Albert Bliss?”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

yum desert

3 responses to “Review: Bliss”

  1. Dawww, this sounds cute and fun, which is about all I expected from it, so I am glad I nabbed it while it was on sale. I don’t know when I will get to this series, but I am definitely going to attempt it at some point. I love your comparison to Sabrina because I pretty much adored that show.
    Kara @ Great Imaginations recently posted…Book Review: And We Stay by Jenny HubbardMy Profile

  2. 3 stars is good enough for me. I’m a sucker for foodie books so mention of cake is a definite yes for me. lol Middle Grades are typically predictable but as long as they’re fun they’re still worth a shot for me so I’ll have to pick this one up. Great review. 🙂
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Book Review – Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh MafiMy Profile

  3. Lyn Kaye says:

    I’m glad that you covered this book! I just found it in November, and I have a copy to read. A little bit of MG in my reading lists helps keep me going.
    Love the gif!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #72My Profile

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