Kai and Ginny are neighbors and best friends. Truly inseparable, two peas in a pod, they have spent everyday together since they were toddlers. As they have grown older, Kai and Ginny have planned their lives and futures together; get married, run off to New York, and pursue Kai’s dream of being a famous musician. Kai lives with his grandmother, Dalia, who is less than approving of Ginny. She refers to her as “neighbor girl” and sees Kai wasting his talent and dreams every second that he spends with her. Grandma Dalia is known to believe in some strange ideas, such as the evil Snow Queen, the cold, faceless men, and constantly rants about watching your surroundings. Her odd beliefs and sometimes rude behavior contributes to Ginny’s understanding and acceptance of Grandma Dalia. Regardless of Dalia’s disapproving thoughts of Ginny, the two friends cannot imagine their lives without each other.

Their loving bond will truly be tested one winter day. As a storm rolls in, Kai and Ginny cut their walk short and head toward their homes, only to find Kai’s house swarmed with emergency vehicles and personnel. Knowing that Grandma Dalia is in the house alone, Ginny and Kai run frantically to the door to find grandma strapped to a gurney with an oxygen mask. Before they can ask questions, Kai and Ginny are running back to their cars to follow the ambulance to the hospital. As Ginny starts the engine, she realizes the tires are sunk into the snow and it will be hours before she can shovel it aside and get going to the hospital. Before she can get out of the car, Kai is out and talking to a woman idling nearby. Before Ginny can question who she is, she and Kai jump in her car and race to the hospital.

They make it to the hospital just in time to hear Grandma Dalia utter her last words, “Don’t go with the girl.” Of course, her last words are simply an utterance to warn Kai for the thousandth time that Ginny is bad news. That is the “her” she is referring to… right? After Grandma Dalia’s death, Ginny and Kai are introduced to Mora, the mysterious woman who offered them a ride to the hospital. Something is off about her, she seems young, mid twenties, but acts as if she’s older. Why is she still hanging around Kai after the ride to the hospital? Ginny soon finds out Mora had a plan up her sleeve the entire time; whisk Kai away. But why? Who is she? The answer remains where Ginny least expects it, Grandma Dalia’s cookbook, which holds more than family recipes.

Cold Spell takes readers on an adventure that they will not forget. Jackson Pearce‘s novel is ideal for readers who enjoy magic, mystery, and fantasy. I would recommend this book to middle and high school readers who are reluctant to read, but enjoy the above genres.

  • Posted by Jacquie

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