Review: Wax (+ All The Punniest, Waxiest Things I Loved About It!)

Gina Damico - Wax
Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genres: Horror, Humor, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

Paraffin, Vermont, is known the world over as home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. But behind the sunny retail space bursting with overwhelming scents and homemade fudge, seventeen-year-old Poppy Palladino discovers something dark and unsettling: a back room filled with dozens of startlingly life-like wax sculptures, crafted by one very strange old lady. Poppy hightails it home, only to be 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. She tries to return him to the candle factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop—and the old woman is nowhere to be seen.

With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy resolves to find out who was behind the fire. But in the course of her investigation, she discovers that things in Paraffin aren’t always as they seem, that the Grosholtz Candle Factory isn’t as pure as its reputation—and that some of the townspeople she’s known her entire life may not be as human as they once were. In fact, they’re starting to look a little . . . waxy. Can Poppy and Dud extinguish the evil that's taking hold of their town before it’s too late?

“To your masterpiece,” Jill said, toasting me with her milkshake. “Tell me: How does it end? I love spoilers.” 

WAX takes place in Paraffin, Vermont. And after a horrifically embarrassing singing incident on national TV, Poppy Palladino has become a recluse. She will never, EVER live this down. After stumbling across the Grosholtz Candle Factory one evening, she meets a French old woman, Madame Grosholtz and the conspicuously lifelike wax figures she has displayed inside.

In leaving the factory, Poppy arrives back home, then opens the trunk of her car, but much to her surprise, an alive, screaming, naked wax figure bounds out of her car and onto the street, shrieking all the while.

Poppy names him Dud appropriately. But when she attempts to return him to the Grosholtz Candle Factory later, it’s aflame the moment she arrives and Madame Grosholtz is nowhere to be found.

So here’s what I didn’t like:

- Poppy has a creepy crush on her teacher. He’s not a sexysex teacher either. He’s old, married with kids, and she’s fully-prepared to take him from his wife, which isn’t scary but disgusting.

- The potential ship of Poppy & Dud. Since he’s technically a wax figure (as in, an inanimate object), this was not something I was endorsing. I liked their little adventures and I thought Dud was hilarious. I feel like Damico was trying to force them on us, but they aren’t a Beauty and the Beast situation. Poppy can’t kiss him and turn him human. Nononono. That didn’t work for me.


“Come on, Popsicle. Are we so tragically unhip that you can’t bear to be seen with your parents anymore?” He made a frowny face. “I promise to leave my leisure suit at home!”
“I won’t even wear my Crocs!” added my mother.
“We’ll let you Instagram the whole thing!”
“And tweet all the Twitters!”
(Okay, but for real. They are so epic.)

- Poppy’s best friend, Jill.
- The name, Poppy Palladino.
- The. Humor.
- This die-hard concept.
- How well the first and last chapter mesh.
- Thy author's acknowledgements.

“Yes!” She hurriedly got under the covers. “Bed. Bed is what I will go to.” She raised her voice. “Dud and I will both go to bed.”
Her father gave her a wink. “But not together, right?”


  1. Omg the humour sounds AMAZING!! And epic parents?! I'm so down for that! 😂 I wasn't really sure if this'd be my kind of book but it sounds really fun and a good fun read is always a win. :D

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Omg isn't it??? So adorable! hahah. Hope you love it, Cait!

  2. This sounds SO funny! I wasn't sure about it because... like, it kind of also sounds weird? But I laughed out loud at just the little bits you shared here so... yeah, looks like I need to read this one! I LOOOVE when there are good parents and friends in books! The teacher thing DOES sound creepy though. But I assume it didn't end up being *that* bad since you gave it 3.5 stars? I am definitely adding this to my wish list! Great review!


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