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