Sugar and Spice (Whatever After #10) Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 3 hours
Read by Emily Eiden

Most kids love sweet treats—candy and cookies and cakes with extra frosting. But there’s nothing to put young readers off sugar for a while like the audio edition of author Sarah Mlynowski’s Sugar and Spice, the tenth fractured fairy tale in her Whatever After series.

The story follows 10-year-old Abby and her little brother, Jonah, on yet another adventure in fairy tale land. After a night of butting heads with their parents, the siblings decide to lift their spirits with another trip through their magic mirror. They land in a forest, where they meet two kids who could be their twins: two kids named Hansel and Gretel. But as Abby tries to figure out a way to save their new friends and get back to their home in Smithville, their story takes an unexpected twist—and Abby and Jonah end up trapped in the witch’s candy-covered house.

It wouldn’t really come as much of a surprise if, after publishing this many fractured fairy tales, Sarah Mlynowski would start recycling ideas and storylines. But this tenth book in her fun-filled Whatever After series is loaded with twists and surprises—perhaps even more of them than ever before.

In this exciting fairy tale adventure, Abby and Jonah find themselves in a land where time actually moves slower than it does back in Smithville—which means that they have even less time than usual to race through the story and find their way back home. But when they meet up with Hansel and Gretel—and their lookalikes disappear through the magical portal in their place—they have to try to figure out both how to escape a kid-eating witch and how to get the closed portal to take them home again.

The added twists bring plenty of action and adventure—as does the witch, who’s determined to make poor Jonah into a delicious kid casserole. But while the idea of a witch who eats kids may seem terrifying, Mlynowski does an excellent job of taking the witch’s poor eyesight and turning her into more of a comical character than a scary monster.

And, of course, it all comes together with an important lesson in the end. This time around, Abby and Jonah learn about appreciating what (and whom) they have in life. And after hours of racing through the forest and battling a vicious witch, this action-packed story ends with a sweet and heartwarming conclusion.

Instead of getting weaker with each new installment, the Whatever After series just seems to be getting better. Sugar and Spice is thrilling and funny and lovable, too. In fact, it’s quite possibly the best book yet.

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