A Dash of Trouble
Love Sugar Magic #1
By Anna Meriano
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? (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll notice that more recent reviews are all 4 and 5 stars. There’s a good reason for this. If a book isn’t in that star quality range, then I’m not going to finish reading it. Life is too short for mediocre books.
Leo’s character is the epitome of the youngest child. She doesn’t want to be left behind, she wants to prove how she’s big enough to do anything, and she is riddled with doubts in her abilities.
I had some favorite moments in the story. One is when Leo hides in a cupboard. This scene tickled me because she wants to prove that she’s old enough and big enough to be trusted, but she still fits inside the cupboard and is sneaking around instead of being responsible. I had kids who hid in kitchen cupboards, so I’m sure that’s one of the reasons I loved this scene.
Another favorite scene is when she’s making her first magic cookie in her play oven. I made cookies and cakes in the exact same type of oven as a child. Even my children had one. It’s an iconic toy and gave her the perfect means for her first experiment. It was a reminiscent moment that added to my love of the book.
I told my teenage sons about the scene where the twins are channeling the dead to communicate with their loved ones. They said, “That’s so cool.” I thought this scene had a great tie in with the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.
I also love how Leo keeps trying to solve her problem and everything keeps getting worse. When she finally seeks some help, her sisters aren’t able to do a thing. She has to solve her own problems. But when things have gone so terribly wrong, I didn’t know if she could and neither did she.
The book uses some Spanish without direct translations. I’ve been studying Spanish for about a year (I’m very slow to learn) and there were words I wasn’t familiar with, however, Leo also didn’t know all the words which was a great way to handle things. I was able to understand the majority through inference and Leo’s understanding of the things her family said. The recipes were the most challenging, but never fear, they’re written in the back in English.
This is an excellent debut novel and I highly recommend it.
5 out of 5 stars
If you loved A Dash of Trouble: Love Sugar Magic, try The Dragon With a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis and The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol.
If you can’t find anything to read, send me a message, and I’ll help you find a book. The world is full of adventure, and we all deserve to live it.