Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

stay sweet graphic

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A summer read about first love, feminism, and ice cream.

Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind…

4.5 crowns!

Omigosh, this was so sweet and adorable and I just feel so good after reading it. ALSO EMPOWERED. I wanna go start my own ice cream stand now. But then I would eat all the ice cream so maybe not.

Okay, can we just stop for a moment because I need to proclaim my undying love for the main character. I LOVED AMELIA. I honestly loved reading her voice. She was so caring and passionate, and I GOT her. I felt for her. I desperately whipped out some nonexistent pompoms and cheered her on. She is totally the perfect YA heroine – empowering to the girls reading it, kind and compassionate, but still has faults that make her realistic. I absolutely adored her, and I was dreading this book ending because I was so absorbed in her story and voice that I didn’t want to end.

Also, the feminism? FANTASTIC. The messages were so much brilliance. There was just so much female empowerment. Okay, I did expect a bit more of a female kickbutt team of girls supporting girls, and while it wasn’t quite that, I think Amelia’s own empowerment story AND the messages there were continually brought up were fantastic. There was feminism in a lot of ways, and I was drowning in my bowl of feels for all of the girl power between Molly Meade’s story, the female only company, and Amelia’s story of taking back her power and continuing the legacy that Molly created.

The setting was divine as well. I’m not usually one for lengthy descriptions of things, but I was totally down for Vivian’s descriptions of the ice cream and the process. I loved being in Molly’s old farmhouse or driving down the back roads or being in that lovely stand. I had such a cool, summery vibe the entire time reading it, and I just want to head to some small town with a lake and drown in ice cream. Although not really because I’m sure there will be bugs and bugs are scary.

The romance was so sweet as well. It was like the topping to a great sundae. We didn’t really need it, but it was still fantastic and sweet, and I hardcore shipped the ship. SO CUTE. THE FEELS.

Our MC did side braids as well, so Anna is a super fitting choice.

The only thing that threw me off a bit was the third person narration. I thought it sounded a bit off at times. Third person really isn’t usually a thing in contemporaries since you’re so focused on being in deep with the characters. It got its groove in the middle of the novel, but it was still a bit off sometimes.

Also, I was NOT a fan of Cate. She really rubbed me the wrong way a bit. I thought she wasn’t so bad by the end, but still, I totally was not a fan for 7/8 of the novel.

Overall, this is the perfect book for summer, and I am now swarming with the summer feels. It just brings a smile to your face and makes you feel like you can take on the world. I absolutely adored the main character and her journey to take on Molly’s legacy of empowering women. If you want a dash of ice cream with your feminism or vice versa, please pick up this book and be ready for feels upon feels. 4.5 crowns and an Anna rating!


What do you think? Do you want to eat some ice cream now? What books make you feel good after reading them? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


18 thoughts on “Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

  1. I loved this one too!!!! I think my review is posting on Monday (great minds!). Yeah, I had a ton of issues with Cate too. Maybe I didn’t like the way she needed to be the star all the time. A good friend can step aside and let her bestie have the spotlight some time, but I guess that was part of Amelia’s growth, to recognize and remedy that. I got so many feels every time a Molly thing took center stage. She really was such a phenomenal woman, and left an incredible legacy to her town. When I learned the whole story, I loved her even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesssssssss! I was so intrigued to see what you were going to end up thinking of it. Cate was a lot of issues, and I totally agree about her being the star all the time. But I agree! I understand she had to have some growth to do and that came out with that storyline. And the Molly parts were brilliant and feminist and so wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This book sounds so sugary and sweet! I’m totally in for girl power, and lol you just made me realize that contemporaries are mostly first-person narration; I did NOT think about this before for some reason. 😂 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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