Welcome to another Marvelous Middle Grade Monday!
I’m following up my interview last Friday with author Anna Meriano. The third in her series of LOVE SUGAR MAGIC books has been released and I have a review of A MIXTURE OF MISCHIEF coming right up…
No need to worry if you’re new to the series. The tale reads fine on its own with tidbits from the previous books thrown in. They will certainly entice new readers to find the magic in those as well. Here’s the book jacket background for A MIXTURE OF MISCHIEF:
It’s spring break in Rose Hill, Texas, but Leo Logroño has a lot of work to do if she’s going to become a full-fledged bruja like the rest of her family.
She still hasn’t discovered the true nature of her magical abilities, and that isn’t the only bit of trouble in her life: Her family’s baking heirlooms have begun to go missing, and a new bakery called Honeybees has opened across town, threatening to run Amor y Azúcar right out of business.
What’s more, everyone around her seems to have secrets, and none of them want to tell Leo what’s going on.
But the biggest secret of all comes when Leo is paid a very surprising visit—by her long-lost Abuelo Logroño. Abuelo promises answers to her most pressing questions and tells Leo he can teach her about her power, about what it takes to survive in a world where threats lurk in the shadows. But can she trust him?
The setting in a bakery will have your mouth watering to get a bite of the delicious breads and treats the family makes. Fortunately recipes for Leo’s Piñata Cookies and Caroline’s Cinnamony Churros are included in the back pages.
Leo’s birth power is revealed and it’s quite surprising. The frustration she goes through getting it to work along with who to trust in her circle of family and friends makes for a splendid plot mover. Is it her grandfather the one with bad intentions or maybe one of her cousins? Leo has a tough time figuring it all out.
It’s the family connections I enjoyed the most. Loving parents and older sisters are always nearby with subtle nudges as to what is wrong and right. Leo wants the bakery to thrive and with the mystery of who is trying to ruin the business has everyone on edge. Told in third person, the 22 chapters are a testament to family and relationships. A sweet story in more ways than one.
The magic will also have you looking at your spice rack a bit differently.
PUBLISHED: February 4, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 304
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
LOVE SUGAR MAGIC – A MIXTURE OF MISCHIEF
- Leo is a great character with a lot of heart. She makes the typical mistakes any young girl might make but also learns from her sometimes hurtful reactions.
- Her cousin JP was a nice addition to the story. He’s clueless as to how all this magic works, but his gentle personality and humor make Leo appreciate him more than ever.
- Leo’s family have nice character arcs, especially her sisters and Mama. It’s nice to see someone other than the main character have a change in how they see themselves.
- Abuelo Logroño has just the right amount of creepiness as the grandfather. He’s scary but not enough to give anyone nightmares.
- Oh that bakery bread! From the first chapter onward you know the pangs of hunger will be a special accompaniment as your mind unravels the plot.
All ABOUT ANNA MERIANO (from her author website)
I grew up in Houston with an older brother and a younger brother and a large but close-knit network of aunts, uncles, and cousins spreading across the state of Texas. I graduated from Rice University with a degree in English, and earned my MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in writing for children from the New School in New York. There I was lucky to meet CAKE Literary founders Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra, who started me on the Love Sugar Magic journey.
I live in Houston with my dog Cisco. I have taught creative writing and high school English and currently work as a tutor for students of all ages across Houston. In my free time I love knitting, playing full-contact quidditch, and singing along to songs in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
I received a copy of the book from Walden Pond Press for my honest critique. Comments are welcome below.