Title: A DASH OF TROUBLE (LOVE SUGAR MAGIC #1)
Author: Anna Meriano
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Date published: 01/02/2018
Rep: Latinx, single parent households (side characters).
Goodreads synopsis: Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.
Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake.
Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.
And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?
I knew my first five star read of 2018 would be a middle grade, and I kind of had a feeling it would be this book.
And I was right.
Our book follows Leo, the youngest of five sisters, as she tries to find her place among her older sisters and prove she’s not just the baby of the family. I really enjoyed the family bonds and how real the family felt. I loved, loved, loved Marisol (the rebel of the family) and her gruffness with Leo but how her love for her little sister still came through.
This book also explores friendships and how their are some things that just don’t need to be meddled with- especially when it comes to other people’s feelings and emotions. I don’t want to get to into the plot (since the best part of the story is the little twists), but this is a great book to teach kids that sometimes you have to stop and ask for help when you make a mistake instead of pressing forward and possibly making things worse (as Leo does several times).
It was also nice to see that Leo was conscious that what she was doing (with the sneaking, stealing, and lying) was wrong and felt bad for actions and was willing to atone for it when she was caught.
And hello Halloween vibes! The majority of our story takes place on Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, and it launched me into some serious Halloween feelings (I made Halloween treats after reading this). This is going to be a great reread in October.
There’s also so much baking in this book and a few recipes at the end! I can’t wait to try them.
I loved this cute, magical book so much! Definitely recommend this to fans of Anna-Marie McLemore. If you like families, baking, and flying pig cookies… this might be the book for you!