I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Salt and Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho
Published by Inkyard Press on November 1, 2022
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
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The grandchildren of two rival Brazilian bakeries fall in love despite their families’ feud.
Trust neither thin-bottomed frying pans nor Molinas.
Lari Ramires has always known this to be true. In Olinda, Brazil, her family’s bakery, Salt, has been at war with the Molinas’ bakery across the street, Sugar, for generations. But Lari’s world turns upside down when her beloved grandmother passes away. On top of that, a big supermarket chain has moved to town, forcing many of the small businesses to close.
Determined to protect her home, Lari does the unthinkable—she works together with Pedro Molina to save both of their bakeries. Lari realizes she might not know Pedro as well as she thought—and she maybe even likes what she learns—but the question remains: Can a Ramires and a Molina truly trust one another?
I had been excited for this one since I first saw it, and it did not disappoint whatsoever! I entered a giveaway on Bookish First and used my points to make sure I was able to get a copy of this. It reminded me a lot of another YA book about two rival restaurants that I read last year, A Pho Love Story by Loan Le. I loved that one, it was one of my favorites last year. And this one will probably be one of my favorites for this year as well! Not only did I love the story and the characters, but oh my gosh, I MUST find a Brazilian bakery or somewhere I can try all these delicious foods that were talked about in this book.
The rivalry between the two families had such a long and full of misunderstanding or prideful events background, that it was hard sometimes to picture that maybe once they had gotten along. I loved how both families had issues, even when it seemed Pedro was the perfect, popular chef/baker and Lari was a disgrade to her own family with not being able apparently to bake. The family dynamics each dealt with led to both of their problems and teenaged angst and emotions, but also real issues that were keeping their families from being able to be as successful as they could have been.
I guess at first I didn’t realize the book wasn’t set in the US, so it took me a minute, but once I realized that I enjoyed the way the school was different for one thing. The after school cooking club was a neat thing, and it was fun to see how they worked and how they contributed their food to local organizations needing help. The community was totally a character in the story and I loved that. Along the way there were so many moments and characters that surprised me, in a good way, and I loved all of that. I loved how the author was able to drop some really crazy info about what had happened to cause the rift between the families, as well as even the big surprise at the final event with a character that I would never have guessed might show up again, at least not in such an important way.
This will probably be one of my favorites for this year for sure! Now, I’m off to find out where I can try all the yummy foods mentioned in this story.