I actually read this back in September after it was first released, and I read it in about an hour in one sitting as I was drinking some coffee at Barnes & Noble. I didn’t remember much more than my major impressions, so I went ahead and re-read it just now ahead of writing this review.
- The food game in this book is ON POINT. I wanted to eat all of the food that was talked about.
- The art was adorable, and really just locked in the whole vibe. All the colors!
- The love of fall and Halloween and pumpkin patches and everything that goes with it was palpable.
- The characters were relatable and likable, even as they were flawed. (Josiah especially was a bit of a doof at first, but he came to his senses by the end.)
Spoilers for the end, so don’t read if you care about being spoiled.
The thing that most throws me about this book is that I went into it for some reason thinking it was going to be a book about friendship between Josie and Deja, and it was at first, but then it morphs into a sneaky romance, and to be honest, I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it! Deja is the friend who acts, Josiah the friend who thinks about acting but doesn’t because he doesn’t want to know how things would actually turn out in reality. This worked very well for me. Their whole adventure through the patch was a romp of comic mistiming and encounters with food. It also has this fixation on change and things ending that works very well with two high school seniors about to leave for college.
And then you find out at the end that Deja has had a thing for Josie this whole time but has never acted on it because he never showed any interest, and in fact has been mooning over “Fudge Girl” for three years. Re-reading it, you can see them setting the stage for Deja’s crush on Josie, but it really surprised me the first time. And I think it did end up working out in the end, but finding out it was a different type of story than I assumed really threw me, and that’s lingered in my head.
Also, it REALLY stressed me out when they decided to ditch working the rest of the night. What about all the people who wanted to buy pies!!? What about them!?