Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso (+ Giveaway!)

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso

Think Star Wars gone cute! 

About Return to Cardamom (Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2) by Julie Anne Grasso*: Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

My two cents

I enjoy a good read of a children's book every once in a while and when Mother and Daughter Reviews had this one up for review, I found the title cute enough to want to read it! Cardomom is a place? It must smell wonderful there!

Think Star Wars gone uber cute! This is a sci-fi story for children and it incorporates elements of sci-fi (intergalactic travel, computers, modes of transport, hints of genetic engineering), spice names and home cooking (cardamom, caramel) and also the traditional stuff of childhood (elves, kings and queens, crushes, do you dance the krump?) that will definitely appeal. I thought it was such an odd but interesting combination; I found it immensely fun, imaginative, and a wonderful to get kids interested in such a wide range of things! For example, elves are the stars and they sing to cardamom plants so they grow better. If that doesn't pique your interest, then let me go into the storyline.

This is about an elf called Caramel (yummy name!) who is extremely special in her family and her planet -- she is off to save the day again (as she did previously in book 1) based on her suspicions that someone is sabotaging their beloved cardamom crop, which is their planet's livelihood. So off she goes to unearth the truth ... which brings into the plot the role of family and family loyalties, trusting your gut instinct, and of having a sense of purpose and adventure.

The story may be a little complicated for very young kids but it is a perfect middle grades reader. It would be fun reading for bedtimes as the chapters are nice and substantial. There are enough twists and turns to make the kids hang on to the edge of their seats, enough laughable moments to keep them laughing, and extremely relatable characters.

This is a super cute and super positive read. In fact I found it unfailingly chipper ... kind of like the feeling you get when you smile so much that your cheeks start to hurt, in a good way. I highly recommend it!

Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso

Title: Return to Cardamom (Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Book #2) 
Book Depository*

Author: Julie Anne Grasso 
Publisher: Independent 
Publication Date: July 17, 2013 

Pages: 136 (Paperback) 

Recommended Age: 9+

The Buzz about Book 1
Escape From the Forbidden Planet
Escape from the Forbidden Planet by Julie Anne GrassoBook Depository*

"Julie Anne Grasso has created an action-packed story featuring a range of interesting and imaginative characters (i.e., elves, the Alexanders, and other creatures), intergalactic travel, advanced medical and scientific technology, and complex environmental and conservation issues. Escape From the Forbidden Planet contains an intricate plot which slowly unfolds until you're hooked and you are left on the edge of your proverbial seat wondering what will happen next." - Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars

"It's part geeky, part science, and part fun, all brought together to become this awesome book called Escape From The Forbidden Planet. I would recommend this book to reading age kids and adults who like sci-fi kids books. Definitely something different. I really enjoyed reading it!" - Michael S., Amazon, 5 Stars

"I loved this book. Super great series for middle graders. I loved Caramel. She has a great attitude and determination. I really admired how she was focused on getting home, saving her family but also made the best of being stuck on an alien planet. Definitely a book with great role models for kids. I really hope there is more to come where this came from. Kids need books like this with catchy stories, solid characters who have good values that they can relate to." - Unorthodox Mama, Goodreads, 5 Stars

About the Julie Anne Grasso

Julie Grasso - Author Julie Anne Grasso is an Australian author with a background in paediatric nursing. She spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. Add in some very funky technology, her love of science fiction and desire to impart great values through her little girl elf named Caramel and there you have it, the Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy was the result. Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle. Most days she can be found sipping chai lattes, chasing a toddler, and dreaming up wonderful worlds that often involve consumption of cupcakes.  

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour

Return to Cardamom Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

July 17
Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)
The Wise Owl Factory Book a Day (Review)
Jemima Pett (Review)

July 18
July 19
July 20
July 21
July 22
July 23
July 24
July 25
July 26
July 27
July 28
July 29
July 30
July 31


Prize: One winner will receive a copy (print in U.S./Canada & e-copy internationally)
+ a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash 

 Contest runs: July 17th to August 7th, 11:59 pm, 2013 
 Open: WW 
 How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 

 Terms and Conditions: A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner.

I received an Advance Review Copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Oh, I love that: Think Star Wars gone cute!! I'm sooo tweeting that! Thank you for your wonderful review Aloi. We are so glad you took part in the Return to Cardamom blog tour. :)

    1. Thank you for having me! And more good kidlit is coming ... I just know it!

  2. What a fun review! The book certainly has the right recipe to become a middle grade favorite....yummy names included!

    1. It was a fun read! So it was fun to review! :)

  3. Just stopping by to thank you for joining in my blog tour and for such a lovely review. I am so grateful that you have taken the time for me. Best wishes, Julie Grasso

    1. You're very welcome, Julie. I look forward to what's in store for Caramel in the last book!

  4. OK this one sounds cute--if it's not too, too cute. I'll have to check it out.


© guiltless readingMaira Gall