|The Sweetest Spell|
by Suzanne Selfors
"Emmeline Thistle, a dirt-scratcher's daughter, has escaped death twice-first, on the night she was born, and second, on the day her entire village was swept away by flood. Left with nothing and no one, Emmeline discovers her rare and mysterious ability-she can churn milk into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold.
Suddenly, the most unwanted girl in Anglund finds herself desired by all. But Emmeline only wants one-Owen Oak, a dairyman's son, whose slow smiles and lingering glances once tempted her to believe she might someday be loved for herself. But others will stop at nothing to use her gift for their own gains-no matter what the cost to Emmeline.
Magic and romance entwine in this fantastical world where true love and chocolate conquer all."
This is apparently supposed to be a take on The Ugly Duckling, but I'm not too sure how that fits in to the story. It was mildly entertaining. One reviewer compared it to The Princess Bride, but in my estimation it doesn't even come close to that classic fairy tale/farce. The premise is promising and the characters intriguing, but some of the situations need you to completely suspend belief. However, I think teenagers will love it.
Areas of concern: A boy talks about his mother finding him with a half-naked milkmaid when he was 15. Someone is called a "rat bastard". One use of the "d" word.
Publisher's Weekly: Ages 12+
School Library Journal: Grades 7+