Book Review: “Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble” by Anna Meriano

Cover of "Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble" by Anna Meriano
Cover of “Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble” by Anna Meriano

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Love Sugar Magic: A Dash Of Trouble” by Anna Meriano! It’s been a while since I read some baking-related fiction, let alone children’s fiction, and this looked like the perfect opportunity to pick up something that checked off both categories!

“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?”

Worldbuilding Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading about the brujas and how they worked, as well as how they were connected to the characters and the overall family line. I thought that was a clever way to establish the family bonds and relationships between members, as well as inform the reader about how the magic worked.

The main issue I had with the worldbuilding was that some of the information was info-dumped at times. A lot of the worldbuilding was mainly given through conversations for the sake of moving the plot along. I understand that Leo had a lot to learn from the more experienced family members on using magic properly. However, I wish there was some other way for her to figure it out so those similar plot points weren’t so repetitive.

Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed the concept of the overall main story and enjoyed reading it overall. However, I do think the story suffered from some slow pacing issues, especially from the middle to the last third of the book. It was filled with some fun baking scenes, and the food descriptions were very nice to read, so it helped ease the slowness of the pacing at times.

A plot point I wished the book touched on more was the boys bullying Caroline over her crush on Brent. It was somewhat dropped in favor of the main storyline. I wish there was some opportunity to resolve the bullying issue. Even though the main story was solved, with Brent getting back to normal after all the baking shenanigans and so on, I wish there was a chance for Caroline and Brent to formally reconcile with each other over the earlier events. It would tie up all the loose ends that the beginning of the book created.

Character Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading Leo and her friend Caroline, as well as the rest of Leo’s family. There could have been more development for Brent and his personally.  I felt this was important since him being magically tampered with via magic baked goods was a major plot point. I also wish that he and Caroline formally/officially made amends with each other after the main story’s issues involving him were resolved.

However, Leo felt well-developed, and I like how the family members all realized that their secrecy from each other just led to consequences. The family members affirming to be more honest with each other by the end of the book was nice to read in the end.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

I thought this book was fun to read overall. It’s definitely written for a younger age group, which doesn’t surprise me considering that this is children’s fiction. However, I think this book was cute to read overall. I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to read some fun and magical baking-related fiction.

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