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108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You may suddenly feel compelled to bake a cake
If you've managed to beat your sweet tooth into submission, be warned, it's about to be reanimated. Ah yes, Allen must be a 'foodie' because she, once again, develops her characters around food, guaranteed to make you hungry, while feelin' right-at-home. You'll forget you're not sitting at the kitchen table partaking with them. Halfway through, I truly HAD to have some...
Published on February 6, 2010 by Shiloh True

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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Book
The Girl Who Chased The Moon is a "sweet" book. It is a light and quick read with a magical touch, just as Ms. Allen's other books. I enjoyed reading this book, and looked forward to it, but in the end, I don't think I got much out of it. I dreaded writing this review because I really loved her first novel, Garden Spells. But, after thinking about it long and hard, I...
Published on February 15, 2010 by NyReckDiver


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108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You may suddenly feel compelled to bake a cake, February 6, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you've managed to beat your sweet tooth into submission, be warned, it's about to be reanimated. Ah yes, Allen must be a 'foodie' because she, once again, develops her characters around food, guaranteed to make you hungry, while feelin' right-at-home. You'll forget you're not sitting at the kitchen table partaking with them. Halfway through, I truly HAD to have some cake, and, a southern style, pull-pork-sandwich, sure didn't sound bad, either. Who knew, a novel could have you gain a couple of pounds?

Allen's books are magical, comforting fiction; a sweet indulgence. The type of read where you need to shoo everyone from the house, put on your flannel pajamas, funky socks with toes, grab a glass of wine (if you're legal) and your favorite chocolates. Cheetos might work! Then relax in your most comfortable spot, for a girl's-night-in, with characters typical of Allen---folks' down-home enough to be just like us, regardless of how quirky they may initially appear.

You'll enjoy your trip to Mullaby, N. Carolina, with all its southern charm, magic and secrets abounding. Where the local town-folk gossip aplenty, the fragrance of fresh baked pastry wafts through the air, wallpaper suddenly changes patterns, and ghostly lights drift through backyards under the moonlight---with the trailing sound of footsteps. Where the town oddity, a giant of a man over eight feet tall, keeps the town's secrets close to heart, until the day his granddaughter, Emily, materializes on his doorstep after the death of her mother, Dulcie. You'll discover why everyone in Mullaby loathed Dulcie. Can Emily win them over, or will she bear the burden of her mother's evil deeds?

Emily will meet and be befriended by, Julia Winterson; the girl with a pink stripe in her hair and, very telling external scars, to match her internal ones. Julia's own dark secret drives her to protect and nurture Emily. She rather obsessively bakes cakes, believing they will bring those lost back home to her. But she needs to share her secret with someone, first. Can she ever trust again?

I had to suspend disbelief more with this book than Allen's previous work, and there was a lot of predictability, but who cares. I enjoyed it for what it is---a light, feel-good read, offering a moment in time for a magical escape. I know I felt somehow lighter, after reading it, in spite of that piece of cake---well, actually two pieces, but who's counting. Enjoy!
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over the moon about this novel!, February 7, 2010
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I love the magical, fanciful worlds in which Sarah Addison Allen's characters reside. All of her books are like this and I anticipate them like a child awaiting her promised night at a fair; dazzling rides, sweet, sugary apples and cotton candy, barker's trying to lure her into the games of chance.

This atmosphere is alight in Mullaby, N. C. Seventeen year old Emily is sent to live with her 8 foot tall grandpa when her mother tragically dies. Her mother left Mullaby with a bad reputation, never looking back, but raised her daughter to work hard for cause after cause. It is difficult for Emily to reconcile her hard working, driven mother with the spoiled, bratty girl the town recollects.

Other souls that are hoarding secrets of pain aid in slowly acclimating Emily into their fantastical lives. Her wall paper changes itself at will; lights flash in the woods which seem haunted. Cake smells waft long distances to entice a child back into the fold.

Wonderfully written with characters you instantly fall in love with; I highly recommend this book. I loved her first two and Allen didn't let me down with this gorgeous read.

I can barely wait for her next offering.....this author has become a must buy as soon as her books are released.....the covers are so intricately beautiful they compliment the novel within.

A special, dreamy read.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Book, February 15, 2010
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The Girl Who Chased The Moon is a "sweet" book. It is a light and quick read with a magical touch, just as Ms. Allen's other books. I enjoyed reading this book, and looked forward to it, but in the end, I don't think I got much out of it. I dreaded writing this review because I really loved her first novel, Garden Spells. But, after thinking about it long and hard, I am just a different reader now than I was then. This was a nice story, but for most of it I felt like I was reading an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think I am the target audience. This would make a great young adult read (although there is some romantic scenes in there towards the end).

I know that this is a wishy washy review..... I liked it but I didn't love it, even though I felt I should love it and I wanted to love it. However, I would recommend it to those of you who want a light and sweet, feel-good read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two stories in one, March 17, 2010
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I loved the author's debut novel, Garden Spells, and was surprised by how easily I was able to suspend belief and enjoy elements of magic in the plot. There may be even more magic in this novel, including magic wallpaper, magic cakes and magic lights, as well as a giant.

The title character of this novel is Emily, an orphaned teen from Boston who is sent to live in a small North Carolina town with the grandfather she never knew. But even though Emily gets top billing, the story is shared equally with her grandfather's neighbor Julia, a 30-something baker.

Emily quickly discovers that family secrets make her unwelcome in her new town. At about the same time, she meets Win, a boy her age who also has family secrets. But Win's good looks, charm and extreme wealth will never make him unwelcome, even if he does have his eccentricities. Julia, who also has secrets, remembers her own troubled teen years and befriends Emily.

Although I enjoyed this book, it didn't have the same appeal for me that Garden Spells did. I think that's because Garden Spells had very adult themes, while this felt much like a teen novel aimed at fans of the Twilight series. Though neither is a vampire, Emily and Win have much in common with Bella and Edward. Even most of the adults in this novel are characterized more by their actions as teens, especially in their roles as bullies and the bullied, than they are as adults.

I would recommend this to girls of middle-school age and up, as well as to fans of the author's previous novels.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Girl Who Chased the Moon, January 31, 2010
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The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a fast, delightful read with so many of my favorite things. First, it takes place in the South, a great place to start. Second, the characters are well developed and fully fleshed out. And third, Sarah Addison Allen is a marvelous writer who paints beautiful word pictures.

Emily Benedict comes to Mullaby, North Carolina, to live with her grandfather; a man she didn't know existed until her mother died. In Mullaby, Emily discovers there are many secrets involving her mother, secrets making it appear that her mother was not the same person that Emily knew.

What follows is an engaging read that kept me turning pages long into the night. I'm not generally a fast reader, but I could not put this book down. I just had to keep reading to find out the secrets involving Emily's mother and some of the rather magical things that go on in Mullaby. I highly recommend this book to those who love Southern fiction with quite a bit of magic thrown in.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but lacking the magic of her first two, April 8, 2010
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I enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, in regards to this review, I loved the first two. So, this book falls short in my comparison. But, that's okay, no one can hit a home run every time, right? I did find it vaguely reminiscent of Twilight, but not so much that it bothered me. For me, it is more important that this book just didn't sparkle like the others and yes, like others, I also thought the ending was rushed. But, maybe that's because there just didn't seem to be as much to the plot or drama to begin with, so there just wasn't that much to wrap up? I don't know; I'm having trouble putting my finger on what was lacking; it just didn't have that je ne sais quoi. I did enjoy the quirky wallpaper but one thing, alone, couldn't save it for me. However, I still expect more from the author's next book and will look forward to it's release.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Girl" is the key word, April 15, 2010
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I read Garden Spells when it first came out, and loved it. I was quite excited to see another book by Allen, but this one just fell flat for me.

This book doesn't seem to know its audience. Although it is marketed for adults, the protagonist is a teenager. I was charmed by the phenomenon of the wallpaper, but groaned when I realized what the mystery lights were. I thought the Coffey's secret was beyond ridiculous, so I guess she lost me at that point.

It's an okay beach read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyably Like Allen's Others, February 13, 2010
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When I first read Garden Spells, I thought I'd found the next Alice Hoffman. I was less delighted by The Sugar Queen, but interested enough to request this book from Vine.

The story is predictable - ingenue returns home and discovers the secrets of a small town, but the threads connecting the characters are nicely mapped out. There are happy endings for everyone, and all the questions that Allen raises are answered - though there are a few that she holds past the point of usefulness - the Coffeys' secret, for instance.

I find myself wishing that Allen's writing were richer: both in the actual prose and in the story. This novel might have been stronger if we'd had a parallel narrative in the past featuring Emily's mother so we could have seen what happened. But Allen's books tend towards the slim and her writing is clear, if not artful, so you take what you get. She's not another Hoffman, but her books are a nice diversion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars combines fairy tale magic with life in a charming Southern town, and captivating characters, November 6, 2010
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I enjoy Sarah Addison Allen's writing and I did enjoy The Girl Who Chased the Moon. However, nothing yet comes even close to comparing to Garden Spells, her debut novel which I enjoyed so much, it still remains at the top of my favorite books list.

Teen aged Emily Benedict has returned to her mother's hometown and moved in with her grandfather, who happens to be a gentle giant. Here Emily struggles to justify her image of the hard working and dedicated, charitable Dulcie Shelby with the spoiled girl who grew up in Mullaby before abandoning everything she knew and never looking back. What Emily finds is a small town where nothing is quite what it seems at the same time it's exactly what it needs to be. Magic and mystery are the name of the game in this small North Carolina town, with rooms where wallpaper changes on its own, odd lights dance across the land late at night, and homemade cakes are filled with hope and love.

Julia Winterson lives to bake for her fellow townspeople, but she has her own secrets to hide and mistakes to fix. When she meets young Emily, these two young women form a bond of friendship that helps both of them overcome the secrets of their pasts. Julia is a changed woman from the girl who was Dulcie's rival in town, unable to completely let go of the mistakes of her past and the hope of finding what she once lost.

Sarah Addison Allen is a brilliant writer who combines fairy tale magic with life in small charming Southern towns, and tops it all off with tantalizing foods and a captivating cast of characters. The Girl Who Chased the Moon has everything I have come to expect from one of Allen's novels. I fall in love with the people who populate these stories, feeling like they are dear friends by the time the final page is turned.

That being said, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, just didn't quite keep me captivated as Allen's novels usually do. All of the right ingredients were here, but something extra was missing, a little bit of spice to jazz things up and take this from a pleasant read to a can't-put-it-down story. I can't pinpoint quite what it was about this one that made me feel like it was lacking, but it took me a lot longer to finish this one than I would have expected. However, in spite of my feeling of something missing, I am still a die hard fan of rising star Sarah Addison Allen and I will continue to look forward to each new novel she releases.

© Kelley A. Hartsell, November 2010. All rights reserved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, not my favorite of her books, February 26, 2010
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I absolutely loved Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen's first book. I don't think her next two (The Sugar Queen and this one) were as good, but if you like Alice Hoffman, you'll probably like this author. She writes in the same "ordinary people whose lives are touched by a bit of mystery and magic" vein. Her characters are always enjoyable. They are imperfect, flawed in one way or another--physically or psychologically (like the rest of us), but always likeable.

There is usually a secret or mystery from the past that plays a part in her stories, and this book has plenty of those from page one. Allen does a great job of weaving rich personal and family histories into her plots and using them to help her characters triumph. This one starts with Emily arriving on her grandfather's doorstep after the death of her mother. The grandfather she never even knew existed.

Allen writes excellent female characters. They are the kind of people you want to be friends with.

I think I would have liked this book better if some of the "magic" hadn't reminded me so very much of one of the elements of Twilight (not the vampire part!). I'm sure this was not intentional (at least I hope not) but it instantly transported me to Twilight and kind of put a damper on the rest of the story.
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The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel
The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel by Sarah Addison Allen (Paperback - February 8, 2011)
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