Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: March 12, 2013
Source: ALA for honest review
Rating: Near Miss
Welcome to the most magical house in London.
The family of eleven-year-old twins Oz and Lily have inherited it, together with the mysterious shop downstairs. Long ago, the shop's famous chocolate-makers, who also happen to be Oz and Lily's great uncles, were clever sorcerers. Now evil villains are hunting for the secret of their greatest recipe. The terrifying powers of this magic chocolate have the ability to destroy the world.
Soon, Oz and Lily are swept into a thrilling battle, helped by an invisible cat, a talking rat, and the ghost of an elephant. It's up to them to stop the villains and keep the magical chocolate recipe out of harm's way. Their family and the world depends on it.
The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop is cute and whimsical, but also has a bit of a dark side.
It seems to me there's not a lot of murder in middle grade. If there is, then I'm totally missing it or forgetting it so it surprised me. And not exactly in the best way. I mean, sure, things end up pretty well, but I just kept thinking about how this character killed in cold blood. It was a little unsettling.
I enjoyed the characters, but it felt like I didn't really get past the surface with most of them. So, while I enjoyed them, I feel like I didn't really get to know them and couldn't care about what happened to them all too much. Plus, I know she's eleven, but Lily's constant need to cry started to get to me.
I liked the story overall, but I'd been hoping for more magic chocolate. Most of the use of magic chocolate happened in the past, so it's just stories about magic chocolate instead of first-hand experience. The stories are imaginative and entertaining, yes, I just hoped it would have a bigger part in the present.
The adventures Oz and Lily get to go on are pretty great. There's everything from scuba-diving to cave dwelling to helicopter rides. Not to mention the romp around town with a giant cat.
The Nutshell: Despite the fact that my review makes it seem I didn't like The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop it was a cute, quick read. I didn't get as attached to the characters as I'd like, but the talking animals, and awesome adventures made it worth the read.