cover image Stay Sweet

Stay Sweet

Siobhan Vivian. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5232-8

Vivian (The Last Boy and Girl in the World) serves a delectable mixture of ice cream and romance in this story about a small-town girl whose life revolves around her summer job at an ice-cream stand. After working for four years at Meade Creamery, Amelia is excited and nervous when the elderly owner, Molly Meade, promotes her to “head girl.” But on Amelia’s first day as manager, Molly dies, leaving the business to her grandnephew Grady, a college student with big changes in mind. As Amelia finds herself falling for Grady, she tries to uphold Meade Creamery traditions without alienating him. Meanwhile, the rest of the employees seem more interested in shirking their duties than saving the shop. Inserting passages from Molly Meade’s diary into her book, Vivian deftly parallels the woman’s WWII romance and trials as a young entrepreneur with Amelia’s story, adding an extra layer of intrigue and suspense. While evoking the warmth of rural life and employee comradeship, Vivian writes an empowering novel for young women with big dreams. Ages 14–up. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Apr.)