on April 24th 2018
Amazon // The Book Depository
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…
when i first heard about this book, i wasn’t too excited by the description. to me, it sounded like your typical summer contemporary romance ya — which are awesome !!!! but i’ve read soo many in my lifetime — and in many ways, it was. but at the same time, it was so much more.
i’ll be honest: i didn’t totally love amelia at the beginning of the novel. i thought she was a major pushover and kind of boring, especially compared to her best friend cate. the novel started out reeaaally slow, in my opinion, and i felt myself at a major disconnect with her entire narrative.
but the pace picked up a few chapters in and i found myself itching to read Stay Sweet during any spare moments in my day. the only annoyance was when grady came in to take over the ice cream stand. i felt totally angry on amelia’s behalf but she never stood up to him!!! as their romantic tension and relationship progressed, i became increasingly frustrated with the way he treated the business and meade girls and one question in particular bothered me — how differently would amelia treat him if he was ugly? also, i felt a faint annoyance at amelia for letting cate push her around too, but it wasn’t as bad as with grady.
BUT THEN . . .
Stay Sweet broke free from your average summer contemporary ending and almost did a 360. i realized that everything was meant to be exactly as it happened. i don’t want to spoil the book, but just know: everything that annoyed me became worth it. all the emotion, all the confusion, all the frustration. siobhan vivian meant it all. and through everything, the novel remained incredibly sweet (ha ha ha i’m funny).
it was so feministic in a non-typical lecture-y way and was just extremely well-done. i absolutely adored this novel and might even re-read it when it’s summer time and more suited to the weather around me. i would have loved to get a better glimpse into the other meade creamery girls but i guess that just means there should be a sequel?