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The Candy Darlings Paperback – September 4, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


The language in the stories varies from magical and imaginative to graphic, and reflects the angst of these two young outcasts who find something in each other that both need. Filled with interesting characters, both young and old.

About the Author

When Christine Walde noticed a young girl buying bubble gum out of a machine outside a grocery store, she found the initial inspiration for Candy Darlings. She says, “I wrote this book because I was interested in the psychological war zone of adolescence and the hard lessons it teaches us about life.” Christine writes full-time in Ontario, Canada. She has a wicked sweet tooth, and was happy to eat all sorts of candy while doing research for this book.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618589694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618589692
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,562,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
What the new girl wanted was to start over, find a completely new identity. Now that she and her dad had moved, she was able to do just that. She had it all mapped out--start the new school year at a new school, make some new friends and become part of the "in" crowd. Then all chances of being popular were ruined when Megan Chalmers entered the scene, with her weird self, eating candy all the time.

But now the girls befriend each other, united by one bond--candy. One who absolute despises it when she discovers the effects, while the other loves it to death. Well, that and the evil forces of MAL--Meredith, Angela, and Laura, the girls who rule the school and whose targets are the two girls.

All the new girl, now dubbed Dead Girl by MAL, and Megan Chalmers need to do is get back at MAL and eat candy, the only thing that will help Dead Girl hide the pain. But it isn't simple when MAL gets meaner by the minute and no one is able to help them. It's all up to the two girls to stand up for themselves, but is it possible?

At first glance THE CANDY DARLINGS seems to be like any other "Mean Girls" story, but once the reader delves deeper into the novel, they discover a completely different universe. Christine Walde interweaves candy stories along with her main storyline to create a novel that is hard to divide into what is the real world that the girls live in and what is just the fantasy world that Megan creates. A unique novel that makes for an interesting read.

Reviewed by: Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Aragon VINE VOICE on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book reminded me at times of FLB's work. There is the fantastic, teen angst, the clueless adults, and more. The characters were all written well and the plot was believable, sometimes teen fiction just doesn't read authentic.

The best part of this book were the stories that Megan told and later, the Edie character. I found myself captivated by those stories and it just made the entire novel that much better.

I do wish that there was a better conclusion that dealt w/ the bullying, but would that be accurate? Instead, was the author's ending might be more realistic. I kept on thinking of _Odd Girl Out_ and the aggression that some girls use--silent shaming and other forms of bullying. Although, the bullying does escalate in this book.

The audience for this book is wide--teens will love it, the lay audience will enjoy it, and I think it would be useful in a lower division course in the humanities.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Imagine being part of the popular crowd one day and an outcast the next. Imagine meeting a girl who eats nothing but candy. Imagine that girl, Megan Chalmers, becomes your new friend because you're both outcasts.

These are all components to Christine Walde's first novel, THE CANDY DARLINGS. A girl and her father move after her mother dies, and she begins attending a private school, where Meredith, Angela and Laura (MAL) rule the class. Megan is also new, and she immediately latches on to the new girl as someone who can see through MAL's façade to the meanness inside (hence the acronym Megan comes up with --- MAL, a prefix meaning "evil").

Megan and the main character (who remains nameless) forge an interesting friendship. Megan eats candy constantly, always urging her new friend (who is then given the nickname "Dead Girl" by MAL) to have some as well. But Dead Girl won't; she vowed not to when her mother died. Megan also tells candy stories, both to entertain and to answer the questions about her life that she won't respond to straight out. They're bizarre stories, and Dead Girl isn't sure what to make of them.

Eventually, MAL gets meaner, Blake Starfield (the weird boy in class) becomes crazier and Megan begins to disappear for days at a time. The main character's father just won't understand, and she starts eating candy again as a means of coping.

Christine Walde mixes fantasy with realism using Megan's stories, and even the reader can't be entirely sure which parts are true and which aren't. She makes up a fairy tale for an older character in the hospital to read to the girls and adds just a bit of romance without contriving things.
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