Friday, August 10, 2018

Sweet Fiction/Nonfiction Mini-Reviews: Everything Is Better With Ice Cream

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian (2018)

Amelia has been looking forward to spending her summer working at the local ice cream stand, but when the owner passes away, leaving the business to her grand-nephew, Amelia's plans are put on hold.

I thought this was a cute story.  I love the idea that the ice-cream stand has an all-female staff, and the girls become very close.  Amelia is very much a rule follower and almost becomes obsessed with keeping the business alive, but I loved her passion.  She kept everything going, even after Grady took over, I felt like he had some good ideas, like incorporating more social media, but he seemed so over his head.  He was trying to prove himself to his father; however, he didn't have the experience or the money to really make the ice cream stand thrive when things got tough.

One thing I didn't care for was Amelia's friendship with Cate.  Cate didn't seem to take anything seriously; even when she became Head Girl at the ice cream stand, she was more interested in having fun and gossiping than making sure the stand was clean and serving the customers.  However, I loved the excerpts from the diary of Molly Meade, the original owner.  I wanted even more of her story.  3.5 stars


Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America by Amy Ettinger (2017)

A journalist with a love for ice cream delves into the history of ice cream and other frozen treats, as well as visiting several ice cream businesses.

I thought this would be a fun summertime read where I would learn a few things, and it was, partly.  The author talked about the history of different large ice cream companies, various types of cold desserts, such as gelato and frozen yogurt, and visited some cool places, such as one that's making ice cream out of water buffalo milk.  I discovered that there's a short college course that one can take at Penn State on making ice cream, and I finally found out what happened to the Chipwich!  For those interested in trying their own hand at making ice cream, some recipes are included.  I appreciated these parts of the book, but the overall tone of the book could be quite negative.  The author comes across as obsessed (seriously, I think her entire life revolves around ice cream and where she can get her next fix), snobbish, and judgmental.  Just one example: upon finding out that most ice cream places don't make their own base (it's an intensive and highly regulated process), she is horrified and sometimes seems to lose respect for the business owner.  Her negativity left a bad taste in my mouth, and I feel sorry if any of the people she interviewed actually read this book.  3 stars

32 comments:

  1. I agree, Cate was sort of toxic. She was not a good friend, and the fact that she could not celebrate her friend's successes showed what a terrible friend she was. I liked Stay Sweet more than you. There was just something about Molly. Her personal struggles, how she made lemonade out of lemons, the legacy she left to these young women via the stand, and the way she saw things in Amelia, that Amelia didn't see in herself. It worked for me.

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    1. I really enjoyed Molly, and I wanted more of her!

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  2. I am excited to get to Stay Sweet. Sounds like I won't like her friendship with Cate either. I don't think I would like the second book - her snobbish tone would so bother me. Great reviews!

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  3. I remember hearing about Sweet Spot during Nonfiction November last year and have it on my list of possibilities for this fall. Might have to rethink that...

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    1. I thought some parts were good, I wish she had maybe put in less of her personal feelings.

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  4. All you're missing is Love & Gelato! It would have gone well with this post (and is an amazing book)! I love Siobhan Vivian (was lucky enough to meet her a few times) and I've been excited to read this book. I'm sorry it wasn't a better fit for you, but unlikable characters can make it hard to fully enjoy a story.

    -- Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I haven't read that one yet, Lindsi! I hope you enjoy Stay Sweet!

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  5. I love the pairing of these two books - so fun! I was hoping to read Stay Sweet this summer, but haven't gotten around to it.....yet! Hopefully soon! I'm glad it was a cute story!

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    1. Thanks, Christina! It worked out well that I read them around the same time! Enjoy Stay Sweet!

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  6. Stay Sweet sounds like a lot of fun overall. I could see myself enjoying that one. It's a shame the negativity of the author of Sweet Spot ruined what sounded like should have been a good read.

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  7. Ahhh now I am craving ice cream. Haha. Those covers are so cute.

    I love the sound of Stay Sweet and all the female friendships. Yay for that!
    Sweet Spot sounds fascinating and I think I'd enjoy all the info, but the author's snobbishness (is that a word?! Lol) would annoy me too.

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    1. Haha, right? Perfect for summer!

      Yes, I love stories that celebrate female friendships! The author of Sweet Spot was definitely kind of a snob!

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  8. These both sound really good! Great reviews for them.

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  9. Lovely reviews! <3 Stay Sweet sounds like a, well, very sweet story overall, but I think that Cate character would annoy me a little bit. I've read some mixed reviews about this book so far, so I think I might wait a little while before deciding to read it, or not :) Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Marie! I hope you enjoy Stay Sweet if you decide to read it!

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  10. I'm sorry to hear Sweet Spot wasn't more of a fun read! I like nonfiction on such specific topics, but it seems depressing for someone to be negative about ice cream.

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    1. I know, right?? I was like, how can anyone be annoyed when they get to eat all this ice cream?

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  11. It's always disappointing when books that discuss food are judgemental. I come across it quite a bit. It does sound like a fun idea to travel around in search of the perfect cone, though.

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    1. I guess maybe that is typical of the genre, or of people who write about food. I love food, so although I could see myself being disappointed, I don't think I would be judgmental.

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  12. I love the idea of traveling around for the perfect cone. I have had an idea that me and my hubby would travel around for the perfect BBQ when we are older and retired. Great reviews!

    Mary

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  13. I also wanted a more of Molly's story. Molly and Amelia were my favorite characters. I had a bit of an issue empathizing with Cate though. Like you said, Cate never seemed to care about anything and is started to grate on me, especially seeing Amelia work so hard to save the stand! That's disappointing to hear about the negativity in Sweet Spot. The college course does sound like a lot of fun though!

    Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

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    1. Cate was a really frustrating character!

      Apparently the ice cream course is very intense, but it does sound fun!

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  14. Everything is better with ice cream sounds sooo cute! Sweet Spot actually sounds anything but sweet. How awful she was so terrible to the people she was interviewing.

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    1. I know, the way she was so disappointed in everything was so off-putting!

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  15. Everything definitely IS better with ice cream haha :) These sound like fun reads, and though Cate sounds pretty bad, I do look forward to reading Stay Sweet.

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  16. The first one sounds cute! Learning the history of ice cream seems interesting, but what a shame that the author was so negative and judgmental. I think that would make me enjoy the book less too :-/

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    1. Yeah, it really did take away from the other fun things in the book!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!