Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourton August 2nd, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Paraffin, Vermont, is known the world over as home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. But behind the sunny retail space bursting with overwhelming scents and homemade fudge, seventeen-year-old Poppy Palladino discovers something dark and unsettling: a back room filled with dozens of startlingly life-like wax sculptures, crafted by one very strange old lady. Poppy hightails it home, only to be shocked when one of the figures—a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to know what he is—jumps naked and screaming out of the trunk of her car. She tries to return him to the candle factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop—and the old woman is nowhere to be seen. With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy resolves to find out who was behind the fire. But in the course of her investigation, she discovers that things in Paraffin aren’t always as they seem, that the Grosholtz Candle Factory isn’t as pure as its reputation—and that some of the townspeople she’s known her entire life may not be as human as they once were. In fact, they’re starting to look a little . . . waxy. Can Poppy and Dud extinguish the evil that's taking hold of their town before it’s too late? Fans of Gina Damico’s creepy Croak trilogy and the acclaimed Hellhole will be wowed by Wax!
I won an ARC of this book on YA Book Central. The book was provided by the publisher. In a small town in Vermont, the Grosholtz Candle Factory bombards the civilian's scenes with sweet, flowery, tart, and festive aromas. For many, it is a joy to wake to artificially sweetened air, Poppy is not one of them. Spending most of her days devising revenge plans on local bully after the 'Sound of Music' incident played out on live television. Revenge quickly becomes Poppy's unhealthy obsession, and she believes she just might have her next trick planned out. But things soon take a turn when Poppy stumbles upon an unusually long corridor while scooping out the candle factory. Immediately thrown into a melting pot of fiction and wax, Poppy quickly discovered that the 'Hollowed One' are real and very much alive. Now with a mysterious candle and alive wax figure in her care, Poppy must figure out what is truly hiding beneath the perplexing layers of wax inside the candle factory. But with a mission this big, Poppy knows she cannot succeed on her own. Recruiting the best and brightest of her theater club, Poppy and the team must stop the strange wax figure phenomenon before the entire town melts into uncanny replicas. I thoroughly enjoyed this story! The blunt humor, strategically placed plot-twists, and loveable characters create an endless rollercoaster of fun. I was incredibly intrigued when I first read the synopsis. I am happy to state that it did not disappoint. Gina's writing transports you into another world filled with mystical magic, cringe-worthy puns, and fantastic twists and turns. I feel terribly sorry for those who have to wait until August. But don't worry, it gets closer and closer everyday! I'm all for one on complete endings. However, I really liked how Damico gave the reader some room for their own interpretation yet still included a few bits of closure. Dud! oh my goodness! I absolutely loved him! I had a feeling things would turn out the way that they did and forced myself not to get attached. But you just can't help but get caught up inside the story. Plus, growing up in a similar situation as Poppy but with lollipops, I could completely relate to the sweet and questionable scents lingering in the air at all hours of the day. I thought the entry story was brilliantly clever, including the most notable wax figure sculptor, Madam Tussaud. I won't say any more than that. I love all of the wax puns subtly hidden in plan sight!