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…
Siobhan Vivian is the author of THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD (April 2016), as well as THE LIST, NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL, SAME DIFFERENCE, and A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE. She also co-wrote BURN FOR BURN series with her best friend JENNY HAN. She currently lives in Pittsburgh.
This was cute! I liked the concept of the ice cream stand and how tradition was being shaken up a little bit and how much that shook the main character. I think she experienced a lot of growth which was nice to see. Grady was a good counterpart to her and seeing their partnership was fun and interesting. I loved the excerpts from Molly via letters, but I do think it would've been kind of fun to actually get her perspective. But that's just me loving historical elements. But you could see how important the stand was to the coastal town, and in particular the girls who have been spending their summers running it. Overall this was a cute summer read. It didn't blow my mind but it was a lot of fun!
Here is a short version of this review: “I have never in my life yelled at a [book] like this. When my mother yells like this it’s because she loves me. I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! How dare you! Learn something from this! When you go to bed at night, you lay there and you take responsibility for yourself - because nobody’s going to take responsibility for you. You’re rolling your eyes and you act like it’s because you've heard it all before, you’ve heard it all before. You don’t know where the hell I come from, you have no idea what I’ve been through, but I’m not a victim; I grow from it and I learn. Take responsibility for yourself!” -Tyra Banks / me about this book
And now here comes the long version.
ATTENTION, EVERYONE LOOKING AT THIS BOOK ON GOODREADS! YOO-HOO! I must issue an important correction.
The synopsis of this book, to be blunt, is utter bullsh*t.
Allow me to show you the error of its ways.
The existing synopsis, along with the cover, are a lovely little pastry puff of wonder and delight and ice cream and friendship and summertime and romance and everything you could ever wish for.
Delete all this from your brain or you will surely find yourself in a state of despair.
This says it’s about feminism but it’s actually about a girl who ditches her job, responsibilities, and friends for the shittiest boy in world history.
He forces girls to do his work for him, he doesn’t believe in a $15 / hour wage for his employees, his dad pays for everything he does even though he’s 19 years old, he starts a relationship with his subordinate and says it can’t be an imbalance of power because she’s pretty, he manipulates our main character into doing everything for him in a way that is never addressed, and worst of all - he dresses like he wants to single-handedly open a male version of Lilly Pulitzer.
If I wanted to spend an excessive amount of time being forced to hear out a business major wearing boat shoes, I’d go to a frat house on an Ivy League college campus and yell that poor people deserve rights.
Truly there were so many things I disliked about this book that I felt stressed while reading it. How can I possibly remember everything that sucks about it and then translate all of that suckage into a review!!
Some of this stuff was resolved in the last few pages (literally), BUT NOT ENOUGH. There’s horrific best-friendship drama, a manipulative and yucky foundation for a romance, and A WWII ERA SUBPLOT to resolve, and our author waits until the literal last minute to do so.
Spoiler alert: It doesn’t work.
Every single character in this, for example, was somehow both totally flat and completely intolerable. An Olympic-worthy feat of gymnastics. (Have you ever noticed how weird the word gymnastics is? Something to consider. You can do so instead of reading this book, for instance.) Can’t resolve that sh*t in the last 7 pages!
But inexplicably, despite all the last-minute problem-solving, this is an extremely long book. If I didn’t have to force myself through every single paragraph, I’d never believe it’s 400 pages long. Nothing happens.
This is the most pointless book in the world.
I never DNF, and then I read a book like this one and think “maybe it’s time to change my ways.”
Bottom line: WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, TIFFANY!!!
this book doesn't DESERVE to be about ice cream.
review to come / 1 star
reading this in hopes i can trick myself into thinking it's summertime
As a small business owner, there was so much about this book that I enjoyed. Seeing how the ice cream stand began back in the 40’s, reading about a young woman starting a business when no one but her friends believed in her, how that business continued to be successful and beloved over many many years, all the lives it touched (both employees and customers)...I loved it! I loved the focus on female friendship and ladies doing things for themselves. And I love how the book ended, but I won’t spoil that here. The one thing I could’ve done without was the romance. It was okay but felt unnecessary; I think the book would’ve been stronger without it. But it was a great summery read!
This was mega cute and sugary sweet. Definitely the perfect book to read outside this summer! I will say though that I wasn’t at all a fan of the romance in this one; I was WAY more invested in the status of the ice cream shop itself and the bond between all the Meade Creamery Girls tbh. If you’re reading this one hoping for a swoon worthy romance, I would maybe adjust your expectations a little, but overall still a very fun read!
Such mixed feelings about this one! I really enjoyed reading about how the ice cream stand came to be & the process of making ice cream but everything else fell flat. The romance was not believable and way to rushed, the main female friendship was catty and our main character Amelia just tried way to hard with her friend Cate. This is a fast, enjoyable read but and perfect for summer but I was left very underwhelmed...
but it makes me want to make and eat ice cream so there's that!
I really enjoyed this! it was the perfect light read that I needed right in the moment. The story within a story about Molly, the ice cream stand owner, was AMAZING. I WANT MORE OF HER PLZ. I really liked seeing Amelia grow as a character and learn what she wanted for her future. I also liked Grady and also liked that the love story wasn't really at the forefront of the book. Overall, a fantastic summer read!
This was cute, and sweet, and filled with ice cream - exactly what I was looking for! I wasn’t expecting too much from this except that I wanted a cute, fluffy contemporary to read in the hot spring sunshine. When I came across this novel which deals with girls working in an ice cream stand for a summer, I knew this was it. Some reviews and synopses say that this is a book of feminism which I think is stretching it a bit. Yes, it is about girls having control over an ice cream stand, but the story of it is that everything started because girls back in the days needed to have something to do while their sweethearts were at war. However, I wasn’t expecting a strong, feminist story, and I ended up quite enjoying it. It is very YA-ish with a focus on romance, girl drama and best friends, but that’s what I was in the mood for so I was happy and satisfied :) Now I need to go get myself the fifth ice cream of the week........
"But maybe the only thing stopping her were the limits she put on herself."
This book is as sweet as the ice cream it sells! The Meade Creamery has been open for business every summer since 1944 and after decades of ice cream and satisfied customers, they have become an essential summer must have. It's not officially summer unless you take a bite out of their delicious homemade ice cream - vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or home sweet home. This summer Amelia has been promoted to head girl. This is her last summer with her bff Cate before they enter college and she wants to make the most of it. When the owner, Molly Meade, dies right before the stand opens, Amelia is in disarray. But when Grady (Molly's grandnephew) arrives with plans to open up the stand with fresh and new ideas, hope blooms in Amelia's heart.
Grady and Amelia's relationship had a rocky beginning. Initially, I felt that Grady was dismissive towards her but after working together for countless hours and being his only support he eventually realized what a gem Amelia was. When they finally got together they were so sweet. I really loved the romance in this book but for me, it was just a sweet romance novel. It wasn't groundbreaking or thought provoking or even life changing. I know the author tried to insert feminist themes in this book but it was buried under all the romance.
*I would like to thank Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing for providing me a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book and the opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
While I was reading the book, I craved for ice cream the whole time. I suggest you guys have a tub of your favorite ice cream before starting this book because you will need it. This book is such a refreshing contemporary read like no other.
The last summer before she heads to college, Amelia made sure it will be well spent together with her best friend Cate and, of course, her last year at her summer job at the Meade Creamery as the Head Girl. Everything was going fine but then Molly Meade died just a couple of days before their opening. Amelia's dreams and plans crashes down, saying goodbye to that perfect summer she's aiming for.
The characters were realistic enough; teens being teens, figuring their selves out, even though there were times that I got annoyed by some, they eventually developed and were interesting. Amelia grows and was able to handle the hurdles that came to her way. There was a part where I hated Cate because she was being immature and jealous of Amelia. Cate was throwing tantrums and giving cold shoulders to Amelia while she was looking for the recipes to save the stand.
I adore the friendship of the Meade Creamery Girls - the kind of friendship a sorority girls have; not the hazing and other stuff, but the bond they have even though they graduated from the stand, they still have each other's back from generations to generations. I'd love to be a part of the Meade Creamery Girls to be honest!
I love how Siobhan incorporated a bit of World War II life through Molly Meade's written diary during 1940's. It was written in the diary how Molly started the Meade's Creamery as well as her life as she waits for the love of her life to come back home after the war. I got to know Molly more and her story was included bit by bit through out the book. Molly's back story is probably my favorite part of the book.
This book is about empowering young women about aiming their dreams and discovering their selves all the way through. Feminism was also presented in the book through the Meade Creamery Girls, which is something I love. The book also showed the feeling that things will never be the same after summer is over.
This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I was not disappointed. A perfect summer read for the upcoming summer so you guys better get a copy because this is one of the books you wouldn't want to miss! I can't wait to get a finished copy and reread the book.
This is one sweet book indeed. Everything about it is sweet from the title, the main character, up to the ice cream- they’re all simply sweet for a perfect summer read (cheesy rhyming, I know, lol!) which I think is a huge change in the author’s usual themes in her earlier novels.
Even though the plot might seem superficial-basically about selling ice cream, the history behind it made it very substantial giving the main story a deeper sub-story written as diary entries by Molly Meade the owner of the classic Meade Creamery of Sand Lake.
I’m impressed at how the author plotted a supposedly linear story about ice cream and summer but she made it work giving the plot a nice upward curve when Amelia, Molly’s chosen Head Girl and Grady, Molly’s grandson face the problem of possibly running out of ice cream to sell when Molly passed away of old age. Consequently, from this dilemma sprouts the rich history of Meade Creamery which is truly more than just an ice cream stand but a symbol of hope, friendship and self-discovery.
I did have a little problem with the writing because it was almost too easy to read to the point that I got just a little bit bored sometimes but I guess it’s just because the target audience is middle grade and up. Thankfully the plot took an unexpected twist towards the end which I find a very pleasant surprise and a perfect ending to the story.
Amelia starts off her first day as Head Girl for Meade's Creamery by finding the dead body of owner Molly Meade inside the ice cream stand. Thinking this is the end to her summer job and the business, she accepts the truth that her planned summer has been broken into shambles until Molly's great nephew arrives in town. A young entrepreneur, Grady announces that he's taking over the business and the girls sprint around to make the stand presentable for opening day. Everything runs smoothly until Grady and Amelia realize that they are running low on the ice cream that Molly prepared, and without the recipes to replicate the ice cream, the business is going to tank.
I only had two problems with his story. The first was the complete lack of chemistry between Grady and Amelia. They only talked about the ice cream stand, how to make a profit, and searched Molly's house for the missing recipes for 65% of the book. This book didn't even need a romance component since it stressed the importance of feminism. Why not a story about girls banding together to save a business centered around the principle of female intelligence?
The second issue was Amelia's best friend Cate who was utterly immature, self-absorbed, and hypocritical. Cate gives Amelia the cold shoulder and throws tantrums because Amelia spends her time looking for the recipes and making ice cream in hopes to keep the business afloat and the girls (including Cate) paid their $15 an hour salary which is ludicrous since all they did was scoop ice cream, laugh, blast music, and chatter. Amelia even sacrifices her title as Head Girl and transfers it to Cate to appease her jealous BFF, but Cate is an awful boss who doesn't know how to do anything and then throws a party in the ice cream stand, invites half the school, let's 13 year olds drink alcohol and then leaves the stand looking like a pigsty for Amelia to find the following morning. Cate had to be the center of attention, and when Amelia dedicated so much of her time to keep the business afloat, Cate whined and stamped her feet and then ignored Amelia until Amelia apologized for hurting Cate's inflated ego.
I couldn't stand Cate and wish she had been written differently because she's currently a dead weight to the story.
4.5 stars!! I absolutely LOVED this book it was exactly what I needed this week and I’m such a sucker for a good summer contemporary. I realized when I was toward the end of the book that one of the reasons I liked it so much was that I really related to Amelia as a main character. I also love all the other characters in the book as well, and I LOVE Grady so much my goodness. The setting was also really nice I love the idea of Sand Lake. If you’re looking for a cute contemporary to kick off your summer reads I highly suggest this one!!!
This might be my favorite Siobhan Vivian yet! It's very in the style of her other books, but with a sweeter edge to it (and still packed with well-drawn, head-strong, complex feminist characters). What I love about Vivian's books is they're so YA -- these are teens being teens, figuring out their teen stuff.
When Amelia is offered the role of Head Girl at the local ice cream stand -- a legend in the small town she's from -- she's excited. It's a job everyone loves in a place everyone loves to work. But when she discovers that the founder of the shop has died suddenly, everything is up in the air about that summer. Will the shop open? Who will be the owner?
And when it's a young college boy who takes over, well, things might no longer be what they were.
Written in third person, this book's voice and style are refreshing. It'll hit perfect notes with fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson. Amelia's relationships with her best friend Cate and with boss-and-cute-boy Grady are complex, imperfect, messy, and real. Amelia grows tremendously during this summer, and we as readers get to see it. What the end of summer holds is likely easy to see for readers who are along for the ride and believe in Amelia, but there's something really satisfying in knowing that's how things will settle.
LOVED the use of a diary in this from Molly Meade, the founder of the shop. Her story is as fascinating as Amelia's, with her shop becoming the love of her life and her feeling that her beau -- who was off at war at the time -- wasn't supportive of her dreams.
Be prepared to crave a lot of ice cream with this one.
I knew I needed Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian the second I heard about its publication. This book has everything you could possibly want: summer vibes, ice cream, feminism, and friendship. I loved the ice cream parlour setting, and the main character is a strong leader. This book is cute and has an empowering message, and I would definitely recommend it.
I really liked STAY SWEET, friends, and not just for the ice cream (though the ice cream part was obviously amazing). It’s the kind of contemporary I enjoy, with a summer of change, growing pains and still a lot of fun details too.
I actually really liked this one. STAY SWEET is the best type of YA contemporary – it reminds you of all the great things about summer, explores a variety of different relationships, and is just an overall sweet read (you had to have known there was going to be at least one sweet joke here). It reminded me a lot of my favorite Morgan Matson novels like THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING.
While I never had the opportunity to have a fun summer job by the lake selling ice cream, this book made me feel like I did. The story starts off with our main character, Amelia, who is excited to return to her summer job at Meade Creamery as the Head Girl in her last summer before she heads off to college. Of course, nothing goes quite as planned and the death of founder Molly Meade changes everything, especially when one of Molly’s relatives shows up wanting to take over.
Although there was definitely a lot that I liked about this book, my favorite thing had to be the ice cream. The fact that I felt like I was tasting creamy, delicious (nonexistent) flavors such as Home Sweet Home really says something about the writing. STAY SWEET managed to be perfectly descriptive without being wordy, and I found that the writing was easy to fall into and flowed so well that it was actually hard to put down, which is something I’ve probably never said of a contemporary novel.
I also liked that while there was a romance, it didn’t overshadow the actual plot but enhanced it. It doesn’t have a whole lot of development, but it doesn’t come out of nowhere either. It feels natural and the two are able to support each other in all the right ways. There was also a focus on the friendships between all the girls at Meade Creamery, and the relationships the main characters had with their parents that eventually led to a lot of character growth.
There were more than a few smaller plot points that came together in the end that tied the book together, which hints at how well-thought-out the entire story was. I do have to say that I’m not sure if I would consider this book feminist as the blurb advertises. Amelia is a strong character, but I feel like her and the other girls sometimes fell into a lot of stereotypes.
Overall, I would recommend this book as a cute and fun summer read that also has some depth to it – I really enjoyed it.
This book is the story of two women: in the past, there's Molly, who starts an ice cream stand in a lakeside town while she and the girls in her community wait for their sweethearts to come back from the war. And in the present, Amelia, who has worked at the stand every summer and has finally made "Head Girl." Until she makes a shocking discovery that turns her entire summer into question.
A huge Thank You to Simon & Schuster Canada, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian in exchange for an honest review.
My thoughts on Stay Sweet prior to sitting down and reading the book are that even though the premise for Stay Sweet is interesting, I wanted to keep my expectations low. I thought that Stay Sweet would be a story overflowing with fluff. Kind of like a dreamy summer read. Instead, Stay Sweet was more down-to-earth, more realistic. Amelia has graduated high school, and this summer, she’ll be working at the Meade Creamery before she’s off to college.
Molly Meade dying was something that I don’t think ever crossed Amelia’s mind. However, when Molly is found dead, Amelia’s world seems to come down around her. From then on, the book has it’s high’s and lows.
I honestly tried to keep my expectations of Stay Sweet low. I didn’t want to be disappointed by the end of the story. However, the more and more I put off reading Stay Sweet….the higher my expectations became. So while I did get a reality check while reading this book, I can say that I enjoyed almost every minute of Amelia’s story.
The beginning of the story was cute, and the prologue really set the theme for what the Meade Creamery ice cream stand stands for. Which is a moving part of the story!
Reading Stay Sweet made me want to go out and buy an ice cream maker and make ice cream!! When I read Stay Sweet, I had to take breaks in between, just because I was so immersed in the story and Amelia’s feelings would become my own. Which is a compliment to Vivian’s writing style, but a downer for me, since Amelia’s anxiety and stress became my own stress until I could separate myself from the story.
I actually really enjoyed Amelia’s point of view. I enjoyed getting to know Amelia’s character and getting to know her fears, how she deals with stress, and the likes of friendship with Cate.
I found that Amelia and Cate’s friendship was incredibly realistic, and I myself did not like Cate at some points, but that is just me. Something about Cate feels off, and I cant describe it. Like, if Cate were a person in real life that I knew, I’d probably be distant towards her.
For the few first chapters, I think until chapter 8, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m glad to say that the shoe finally drops in the 9th chapter.
Something that I absolutely loved was the fact that while there is some romance in Stay Sweet, it’s not the main plot of the story. The romance doesn’t take a huge focus of Amelia’s life. Nor does she immediately become jealous and severely attached to the love interest. I’ve got to say though, I called it when I thought that Amelia and her love interest would be a thing. Overall, I really wanted to end up giving Stay Sweet 5 stars. While I genuinely enjoyed it, the story was somewhat of a miss for me.
I was actually really looking forward to reading Stay Sweet. I’ll admit that this book would have been better, had I not gotten my hopes up.
I like what happened in the story: Amelia grew into her own skin + found out what she wants to do in college, and Amelia doesn’t become overly attached to her love interest (saw that coming miles away).
3.5 stars So this book was a nice summary read, it was so simple and drama free and I liked the atmosphere with the Ice cream stand and the girls friendship in there, it made me nostalgic to things in my own high school days, the simple story was fluffy and the romance was nice .. but nothing was really happening in the book .. up until the end .. I liked Amelia as a main character and her relationship with Grady is also nice and simple but I wish if it was all about Molly and her story how she opened the stand, it would've been much more interesting to me overall if you're looking for a quick read on the beach to waste some time this is the perfect thing for you :)
I really enjoyed the ice cream stand storyline. However, I disliked the growing tensions when it came to the friendship between Amelia and Cate. I liked Amelia's character and I loved seeing her dedication and passion towards running the ice cream stand. On the other hand, I thought Cate was being really immature at times and it was frustrating. I wish we could've gotten to know more about the other Meade Creamery girls and their friendships with one another instead of the focus on the problems that Amelia and Cate were having. It felt like the author was constantly telling the reader that the Meade Creamery girls have a very unique and special bond/friendship with one another rather than showing it.
I also loved the inclusion of snippets of Molly's diary, detailing how the ice cream stand came to be. I thought the romance was cute and sweet. ;) It was nice that the romance wasn't the main focus of the story.
Gah! This book was SO CUTE!!!! And it was based around ice cream so hello perfect book right here! I loved the friendship relationship of this book too. Cate and Amelia’s relationship as best friends was entertaining and sweet to watch unfold. Also Grady was a great male lead. He seemed real and so did his and Amelia’s relationship which was nice!
I would recommend this book if you like friendship, ice cream, and love!
Das Buch war leider überhaupt nicht das, was ich mir erhofft hatte und so habe ich es nach ca. 60 Seiten abgebrochen. Der Prolog, in Tagebuchform der Eisdielenbesitzerin Molly geschrieben, war noch ganz süß, aber direkt danach habe ich gemerkt, dass mich der Schreibstil überhaupt nicht catchen konnte. Er wirkte irgendwie altbacken, nicht frisch und jugendlich, ein bisschen so, als würde man ein Jugendbuch aus den späten 80ern lesen. Zudem war auch das Setting nicht so, wie ich es mir vorgestellt hatte. Gerechnet hatte ich mir einem hübschen Eissalon, der vielleicht schon etwas in die Jahre gekommen ist, in dem aber mit Liebe gearbeitet wird. Bei dieser Eisdiele handelt es sich aber eher um einen Schuppen mit Wellblechdach in der Nähe eines Ackers – da kam bei mir einfach keine Stimmung auf. In Kombination mit dem mir missfallenden Schreibstil habe ich einfach gemerkt, wie mich nichts zu dem Buch hinzieht und ich habe es abgebrochen, bevor es meinen Lesefluss blockiert oder mich sogar in eien Leseflaute bringt. Schade, denn das Cover ist wirklich hübsch und dadurch, dass die Autorin auch bereits Bücher mit Jenny Han geschrieben hat, hatte ich mir einfach mehr erhofft.