Ok this is were I usually go and spoil all the fun for everybody by writing a detailed rambling synopsis, but I am not going to do that this time. I will do my very best to leave out any major spoilers because that is half the fun of this book.
Mass, Wendy (2010-10-05). The Candymakers (pp. 5-6). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.
The Factory- The factory itself is amazing!!! It has a Willy Wonka feel to it, minus the Oompa Loompas and magic. Well actually that is not entirely true, there is magic, but it comes in a realistic form of the sheer awesomeness of people who love what they do. Anyways back to the factory. Life Is Sweet does its best to produce all of the raw materials for there goodies right on the premises. This means in addition to the candy rooms (The Taffy Room, the Some more S'more's room, the Cocoa Room, etc.) there is a fully working farm, orchard and ranch. The best part of the factory is the Tropical room where they have figured out a way to grow cinnamon trees, vanilla beans and a special variety of cocoa tree. I think I could spend forever and a day exploring this place.
The Candy-One of my favorite things about this book is that it is continually describing new candies and new candy making techniques. A lot of books that use a premise like this one load the front end with all kinds of awesome descriptions and variety and then the last 3/4 of the book don't introduce anything new. This book is continually introducing us to new treat, new varieties and new ways to make things, be warned have a bag of candy with you when you read it. These are real candy (well real as in not magic beans or anything like that) the Oozing Crunchorama is described perfectly with hazelnuts, chocolate, carmal and other yummy things. At the competition itself many of the entries are described and this just adds awesomeness to the very end.
The Adults-In MG and YA books adults tend to fall into one of two categories, either meanie heads out to get the kids or practically non-existent. In this book there are a few of those, but for the most part the adults are as realistically involved in the children's lives as one would see in the real world. Keeping in mind that not every kid in this book has a traditional life, but the adults including the workers at the factory have a good
mix of authority, empathy, and frustratedness that one sees from adults dealing with 12 year olds. Also most of the adults have a great sense of humor adding to the overall awesome tone of the book.
The Kids-After all is said and done (and there is a lot to say and do) this is actually a story about friendship. Sure there are a ton of twists and the mystery/problem is harrowing, the solution difficult, but in the end it is about four very very different kids figuring out not only who they are, but how they fit into the world and with each other. The friendships do not come easy and has to evolve several times over the course of the book, but by the end they all agree if nothing else to keep working at the friendship. This is a great book to show readers to never take a person at face value because you never know there true motivation at the outset. Also how you perceive a person may not be at all how they perceive themselves.
The Story/Writing-The concept and execution of this book is truly AWESOME (sorry I just can't type that in lowercase letters). A story of this type could very easily get out of hand, but the author keeps just the right amount of...I don't even know what it is, but she did it. This was a 450 page book that I finished in a day and a half (hence the lack of post yesterday), I did not even realize how long it was until I was done. To me that is a sign of a good author, one who can keep your attention and have you turning the pages as fast as you can. Another good thing about the story is that it was interesting all the way through. A lot of times with books like these you just want to get to the part where the secret is revealed, sometimes you don't even care about the in between stuff you just want to figure out what the heck is going on. In this book the author does a good job setting up the questions and then doling out the answers fairly evenly through out the story, also you actually care about the characters themselves so after a while the secrets become secondary...until she reveals one and then you are like WOW OMG AHHHHH. The only tiny nitpick is that there are a couple highly coincidental/far fetched things that make you roll your eyes a bit, you know especially those two things (read the book and then you will know what I am talking about), but in the end you just let yourself accept it and enjoy the ride. Also as far as rereadabilty goes it's kind of like The Sixth Sense once you know the secret it takes a certain Ahhness away.
What book have you accidentally started and could not put down? How awesome are the cheapo deals on e-books that make you pick things up you never thought of before? What kind of candy would you invent? Is it weird I like books with yellow covers?