Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{August 19, 2012}   {ARC Review} The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors

From Goodreads: Emmeline Thistle, a dirt-scratcher’s daughter, has escaped death twice-first, on the night she was born, and second, on the day her entire village was swept away by flood. Left with nothing and no one, Emmeline discovers her rare and mysterious ability-she can churn milk into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold.

Suddenly, the most unwanted girl in Anglund finds herself desired by all. But Emmeline only wants one-Owen Oak, a dairyman’s son, whose slow smiles and lingering glances once tempted her to believe she might someday be loved for herself. But others will stop at nothing to use her gift for their own gains-no matter what the cost to Emmeline.

Magic and romance entwine in this fantastical world where true love and chocolate conquer all.


This novel is a masterpiece.  A beautiful fairytale that is a must read.  It’s so well written, so absorbing, that I had a very hard time disengaging; it permeated my thoughts and dreams for many a day afterward—it’s that good.

I am really glad I read this novel, and equally as glad that the synopsis you see above is the true one that reflects the great writing of the story.  Originally the synopsis on all major book sites (except Netgalley, which is where I first came across this novel) stated this: Emmeline Thistle has always had a mysterious bond with cows, beginning on the night of her birth, when the local bovines saved the infant cast aside to die in the forest. But Emmeline was unaware that this bond has also given her a magical ability to transform milk into chocolate, a very valuable gift in a kingdom where chocolate is more rare and more precious than gold or jewels…” And that’s as much as I’m going to quote.  Honestly, that synopsis made me not want to read this book—it seemed more of a joke than a true fairytale, and hence, I am very glad it was changed.  If you check out Goodreads, you’ll see some reviews that make fun of this original synopsis, and rightfully so… it just sounds… dumb.  Thus, I am very happy that most major book sites have now gotten the new/real synopsis up on their site, save Barnes and Nobel, which still states the original… So, if you’re one of the ones who saw the original synopsis and laughed, like me, then rest assured, this book is so much better than it was originally made out to be, and the new synopsis now reflects that.

I fell in love with this story almost immediately.  Emmeline is a true heroine; she is an all around great person who looks adversity in the face and refuses to give up.  She’s very strong, even though her foot is curled and people look down on her with extreme disgust.  But not only does this novel have a strong heroine, it is also has a strong hero and some amazing morals.  This novel deals with racism, slavery, self-respect and self-esteem, honesty, forgiveness, understanding, greed, and optimism, to name a few, and it’s such an uplifting read, even though some of what happens within the story isn’t necessarily cheery.  But, like all fairytales, it has a happy ending that truly makes the reader smile, and Emmeline’s influence on those around her, and the world in general, is astounding.  Thus, I think this is a great novel for both young and older generations, and I’d love to see this made into a movie.  It’s such a great book, and a must read.  Five stars.

Bloomsbury Children’s Books has been extremely gracious is allowing me to read and ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on August 21, 2012.


Mary Preston says:

Cows??? Who on earth wrote that synopsis? Going by that, I would never pick up the book.

Your review DOES make me want to read it.

Denise Z says:

Thank you for sharing this sounds like a sweet read ;-D I will definitely be on the lookout for it .

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