May 18, 2018

Abbreviations #53 | Brooklyn in Love, Ash Princess + Stay Sweet

Years after her stint living and working in Paris, Amy Thomas has settled back into life on the island of Manhattan. Brooklyn in Love chronicles a new chapter of her journey as she embraces marriage, motherhood and moving out of the city. To preface my thoughts, I must tell you how I adored Paris, My Sweet, which was a lovely combination of memoir and food recommendations told in an easy-to-read way. So, when I learned that Amy was writing another book with a similar set-up, I was excited! Brooklyn in Love was definitely an interesting new chapter in Amy’s personal life (a chapter that I could relate to in a number of ways, since it’s close to where I’m currently at). While it didn’t quite match the charm and easy flow of its predecessor, I still appreciated the glimpse at what Amy was up to and her recommendations for places to check out around New York (especially as a local).

Brooklyn in Love: A Delicious Memoir of Food, Family and Finding Yourself by Amy Thomas | Publisher: Sourcebooks | Publication Date: February 6, 2018 | Source: Downloaded on NetGalley (Thank you!)

Theodosia lost her home, her mother and her name on the day the Kaiser invaded her kingdom. Now known as the Ash Princess, Theo has lived as a captive of the Kaiser’s court for ten years, enduring all of the abuse he and his court inflict on her. But when the Kaiser finally pushes her to an act that puts blood on her hands, Theo realizes that she can no longer stay powerless and must do all she can in order to regain her crown, her kingdom and her freedom. Theo’s journey from powerless captive to embracing what power she does have as she joins the fight for her freedom and kingdom is essentially the core of Ash Princess. I will say that I ultimately liked this one enough to consider picking up the next book. However, this YA fantasy didn’t quite live up to my expectations (which were pretty high, admittedly). Though the story itself is objectively good, it was comparable to a lot of other YA fantasies that I’ve read in the past in terms of characters, their motivations and the plot. It didn’t help that I wasn’t particularly fond of the way this was written either. Still, there was something about it that kept me going all the way to the very end. So, to sum up my feelings, while I see how this appeals to other readers, it ultimately ended up feeling pretty middle of the road to me.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian | Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #1 | Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: April 24, 2018 | Source: ARC received at NYCC 2017 (Thank you!)

Meade Creamery is a Sand Lake institution, a local ice cream stand founded by Molly Meade in the 40s that has been exclusively owned and run by local girls every single summer. Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand for three years, and this is their year of seniority - including Amelia becoming Head Girl. But when Molly, who makes all the ice cream herself, passes away, the future of the stand is unclear. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady takes over the business. It’s a summer where everything is changing, and Amelia will have to figure out exactly what it is she wants for herself. Stay Sweet is a lovely warm weather read, and not just because it’s about an ice cream stand. Granted, the ice cream stand is one of my favorite things about this story, as I’m sure it’ll be for other readers. But this story is about more than just a summer working at an ice cream stand. It’s about a girl experiencing a summer of change, including the growing pains that come with integrating the new and clinging to the old. It’s about a girl who is making sense of the ‘new normal’, including the mistakes she makes along the way. I tend to really get into stories like this one, and that’s essentially what happened with Stay Sweet. While the writing style was not 100% my cup of tea (and ultimately why I couldn’t give this one a higher rating), I still enjoyed it and would definitely recommend picking it up.

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: April 24, 2018 | Source: Hardcover received from the publisher (Thanks!)


  1. I really enjoyed Ash Princess but haven't gotten to Stay Sweet yet- I like that it's a summer book with substance so I will hopefully read it soon!

  2. Ah, yeah. Ash Princess. I thought it would be amazing too. It ended up being a one star for me, hahaha. It was so not good at all :( I'm still disappointed about it. Gosh. Feeling kind of happy that you did not love it either, hih. <3 Awesome reviews, though, sweetie :D Thank you for sharing. <3


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