Evil has met its match.
About This Book
Title & Author: Wax by Gina Damico
Length: 394 pages
Publication: Clarion Books [June 6, 2017]
Book Description: Paraffin, Vermont is home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. There, seventeen year old Poppy finds something unsettling: a room filled with dozens of startlingly lifelike wax sculptures. Later, she’s 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. Poppy wants to return him to the factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop.
With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy tries to find out who was behind the fire. Along the way she discovers that some of the townspeople are starting to look a little… waxy. Can they extinguish the evil plot?
Star Rating: 🕯️🕯️🕯️🕯️- 4 / 5 candles!
The town of Paraffin smelled of rot…
…Annnd lots of other stuff. But we’d be here all day if I described everything that Wax’s setting smelled like.
(Just kidding, lol. It was a seriously long opening paragraph, though.)
Wax, written by Gina Damico, was a delightful little read that ended up being a pick-me-up after a bit of a reading slump.
The novel takes place during a lovely November in Paraffin, Vermont. (Not a real town in Vermont, apparently, but it is a real type of wax. Get it?)
Our protagonist is the bullheaded and sassy Poppy Palladino 🌺🎭, a control freak, theater kid, who’s currently dealing with the fallout of an embarrassing incident that happened on love TV.
It was her one true love, and you don’t throw away your one true love over something as silly as profound emotional scarring.
(Fair Warning: Just gonna be a little upfront about the tone. Despite being very humorous, this is definitely a bit of a horror story. There’s a little body horror in this, actually, even if it’s mostly wax sculptures that look like people. But if you can’t stand any type of horror at all, then this might not be for you.)
Concerning the rest of the characters of the book, I thought they were all pretty great. I loved Poppy’s artsy, health nut, yoga teacher parents, even if they were a little comically oblivious at times. I also loved her best friend Jill; she’s the type of girl anyone would’ve wanted to be on their side in highschool: loyal, brave, and sassy.
The best character in the book though, was, by far, Dud 🕯️😇. Our dueteragonist here is a total sweetheart, and deserves to be protected at all cost. He’s just so innocent and loveable, and his origins as a living candle sculpture made him all the more interesting. I loved watching him develop his personality and build an identity. His relationship with Poppy was the absolute best part of the novel, as well; I adored how they made each other their best selves just by interacting with one another.
The antagonists were the weakest part of the book. Their concept was interesting, but I found their motives to be a bit weak. They were pretty funny, even if they acted pretty cliche. I still kinda liked them though.
The plot was pretty fun, too. I loved the intrigue that sort of floated in the background at first, but then gradually started to encompass the entire story as it went on. There was a kind of irritating expository element to the story, however. I think it was meant to gel with the satirical tone of the novel, but I just found it to be an annoying storyteller mechanic. Like, sometimes the plot would just pause for a second until it was time for this element to appear again. It does work extremely well in one instance, though, but I can’t talk about it because [SPOILERS].
And the ending – Oh My God! – that ending!! Definitely my favorite part of the book and more than worth the read to get there! My heart was pounding in my throat, and I was actually in tears!
All in all, I really enjoyed Wax. If you like creepy stuff and scented candles, then this book might be for you. It’s also an excellent fall read, being set in November, as well as having a mildly unsettling (but also humorous) tone. Paired with pumpkin or cinnamon spice candles, with a latte or some hot chocolate, underneath a cozy blanket.
Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful day/night!