"Stay Sweet," the fifth book by YA author Siobahn Vivian is the perfect 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…
Do you know how to make ice cream? Everybody knows how, right? Okay, home-made frozen deliciousness is one thing, but when we're talking about making gallons and gallons to sell, then it's a very different story. For that, you need a machine worth thousands of dollars, walk-in fridges, good dairy providers, non-dairy ingredients, and a great business plan, among other things.
In Stay Sweet, a young-adult novel by Siobhan Vivian, Molly, a teen girl, faces a huge dilemma: Learn the ice cream business in record time, or suffer an epic failure that may affect her potential scholarships. It sounds doable - piece of cake with a cherry on top. How hard could it be?
But let's backtrack a bit. During summers, Molly works at the most prestigious ice cream stand in town to the point she becomes the "head girl", which means, big responsibilities, almost like being a manager. But that's nothing compared to what happens after the owner passes away suddenly, and Molly is confronted with everything that involves running an ice cream stand.
What I love about this book is how hard Molly works: She's driven, humble, and knows what she wants. In summary, she's extremely likable. Also, the story is about perseverance and facing adversity with the right attitude and a smile.
Going back to the first question: Do you know how to make ice cream? This novel shows how hard it is from Molly's point of view. From flavor matching, to costs and logistics, and even finding the right mix and temperature. Hundreds of little details.
Stay Sweet will give you a different perspective on the ice cream industry.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
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