I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 24, 2018
Also by this author: The List
Format: Hardcover (368 pages) • Source: Publisher
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A summer read about first love, feminism, and ice cream.
Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind…
I’ve always been interested Siobhan Vivian’s stories because of her close friendship with Jenny Han (and them writing a series together that I STILL haven’t read! Sigh). I thought THE LIST was pretty good for a younger crowd, somewhere between middle grade and young adult, but didn’t resonate with me that much. However, seeing this title got me excited for a litany of reasons. I LOVE summer job stories, especially this one being at a creamery in a lake town. “A summer read about first love, feminism, and ice cream” was all I needed to see. When I got the most adorable package from Simon & Schuster to celebrate the novel early, I was even MORE excited. It came with an ice cream bowl and spoon set, plus a bunch of cute sprinkles!
This book was very Jenny Han-esque for me! I felt like the writing style was incredibly similar – from the descriptions to the “drama,” I could totally tell these two are best friends in real life. The descriptions of the ice cream and the lake down vibes really had me itching for summertime. Overall though, I really enjoyed this story. It was so cute and SWEET (haha I’m so funny). Amelia’s passion for the creamery was awesome and I loved the sisterhood vibes that came along with it. Having a supportive, fun place to work with a bunch of girls must have been life-changing for every creamery alum. From a best-friendship perspective, it’s a little tricky. I liked that Cate and Amelia had a supportive and long-lasting friendship… for the most part. I was constantly on edge, waiting for some shit to hit the fan in one area of her life/summer or another. I thought it was pretty realistic though, the tension building up very slowly. Honestly, it made me keep reading and reading even though I needed to go to bed. I was determined to see how things played out and read the vast majority of the book in one sitting.
The romance was solid, for the most part. It was definitely a slow burn for me and I wish there was more chemistry throughout the book. Delaying a lot of flirty conversation or the little glances at each other made the romance feel kind of sudden when it happened. You knew it was going to happen (if you’ve ever read a contemporary fiction book before!) but there wasn’t enough build to really feel them as a couple until it was happening.
I wish there was a bit more about some of the other girls at the creamery. This is supposed to be a book about feminism but it was really just the girls banding together as employees and friends at the Creamery. There were some good conversations and call-outs about treating the girls as equals or boosting them up instead of tearing them down, but I expected a bit more of that based on the tagline for the book. Definitely ~girl power~ when you think about Molly, her friendship with Tiggy, and a lot of the happenings in her diary, but I guess I wanted just a little bit more. The diary aspects were really great inclusions to the story and I love how everything tied together. There were little mysteries woven throughout and again, I was on the edge of my seat and nonstop reading!
I loved the ending of the story too. Without spoiling anything, I think it was pretty amazing to see the growth Amelia experienced and the choices she made for her future. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book if you like somewhat-fluffy summery contemporary stories, especially if you’re a fan of Jenny Han. There’s a good romance with a cute boy, some girl power and solid friendships put to the test, and an unreal amount of ice cream!
Cover Colors & Summer Vibes
I recently did a mood board for this book in a TTT topic but thought it would be fun to share it again here! (Rest in peace, Polyvore, ugh.) I tried to focus on the ice cream aspects, of course, and match what one might wear while working at a creamery in a lake town, or how they’d dress after their shift and heading to the beach.