Author: Gina Damico
Pub. Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Synopsis: 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?
I am such a horror fan – especially young adult horror. There’s just something about it that always draws me in and makes me love reading it. One of my favorite movies has always been House of Wax, as well (the original, mind you – with Vincent Price – not that horrible excuse of a remake), so I really couldn’t see this book going badly. I was so excited to have the chance to be a part of the blog tour for this one, because I knew it was going to be right up my alley.
In Wax, the main character, Polly, discovers something interesting (and pretty darn creepy) about the Grosholtz Candle Factory in her small hometown. Something isn’t quite what it seems – in fact, something about the factory is downright evil, and Polly has to get to the bottom of it. She finds the back room of the candle factory, and in it are tons of different lifelike sculptures that have been created by an old lady who seems to have a bit of an odd personality.
On Polly’s way home (did I mention she’s creeped out beyond words?) one of the wax figures that she has seen at the candle factory jumps right onto her car – scaring the living daylights out of her, and setting into motion the question of “How is this possible?” When Polly decides to go back to the candle factory to confront the lady and figure out what on earth is going on, she discovers that the workshop in the factory has been burned to the ground and the old lady is gone.
So Polly (and the wax guy who jumped on her car) are going to work together in order to solve the mystery about what was going on in that workshop, and who the old lady is.
This book was a delightful mystery, that was kind of scary, and kind of not. It did make me laugh in a few places, as Polly’s character just seemed awkward and amusing – and how often do you see a character in a YA novel running around with a guy who was made out of wax? Not too often, so I’m definitely giving the author credit for doing something different.
While this does seem like a “House of Wax for a YA generation,” I’m definitely not complaining, because I really had a good time while reading this book. The story was just great, and pretty well done. I love a good mystery, and Wax definitely delivered that.
The characters in this book were also pretty fun – I enjoyed the relationship that developed with Poppy and her new friend.
If you are looking for a bit of a creepy summer read, I definitely have to suggest this one. It’s well written, and wonderfully done.
About the Author
Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.
3 winners will receive a hardcover of WAX! US Only.