Stay Sweet by Siobhan VivianStay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet

bySiobhan Vivian

Hardcover | April 24, 2018

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From the author of The Last Boy and Girl in the World and The List comes a bold and sweet 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 for 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 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…
Title:Stay SweetFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 inPublished:April 24, 2018Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1481452320

ISBN - 13:9781481452328

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great summer read This is a cute summer read! I liked the characters in this story. Amelia seems like a simple girl, but she handled tough situations really well. She didn’t expect to be made Head Girl at the ice cream stand, but from the way she reacted to problems, she earned that position. Cate was a great contrast to her. She was much wilder with a carefree attitude, but very outspoken. The story had some great twists right at the beginning. Molly’s death was quite a surprise. It made the story very serious for a while. But then it picked back up. It was also a twist that the stand was no longer be run solely by women. This was a great twist since women in higher positions in business is an important topic in the world today. I also loved how the story included some of Molly’s perspective in the form of her diary from when she started making ice cream. It demonstrated that though Amelia and Molly were born decades apart, they were connected through their dedication to the business. This also kept Molly in the story after she died. I really liked this story. It would be a great beach read this summer! I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley.
Date published: 2018-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Super Cute and Sweet YA Summer Contemporary Stay Sweet reminded me of myself, my friends as well as the meaning and gift of true friendship! This was such a cute and fun summer read! My favourite aspect had to be that it revolved around an ice cream stand and had me craving ice cream 24/7 ever since I started reading it. I felt very connected to Amelia as a character. She was so nervous about her best friend and her going off to college and how that would affect their friendship since she didn’t want anything to change. She wanted every summer to be the same and to always work at Meade Creamery with Cate. I saw a lot of myself in her as I too felt that way when getting ready for university. Their friendship as well as all of the girls relationships working at Meade Creamery were really special and I liked that the book really pinpointed that. I was not the biggest fan of the romance in this book. I felt that it happened almost too quickly and that the male character’s personality didn’t change enough before hand from being arrogant to kind and respectful (when you read this book, which you should, this will make more sense). By the end of the book I was on board and thought it was really cute but I could have gone without it. Molly’s diary entries were definitely a highlight of the book. I became so connected to her character and I looked forward to each diary entry that came along. Since we learn early on in the book how Molly’s story ends, it made each entry emotional no matter the content. The way each entry tugged at my heart strings really added to my overall enjoyment and connection to the characters, the business of Meade Creamery as well as the story. I won’t talk about the ending here because I don’t want to spoil it but you need to read this book for the ending! It made me feel so many things and I loved it! Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone looking for a cute, summer contemporary with strong female characters and friendships as well as emotional tie-ins of World War 2. Pick this one up to laugh, smile, cry and eat ice cream! *I received an arc from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Date published: 2018-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just fluffy enough, just feminist enough, just romantic enough, and just nostalgic enough to make you feel all the summer feels. Stay Sweet is a book all about teens and ice cream that belies it’s true feminist nature. Siobhan Vivian has put together a fantastic read that is just fluffy enough, just feminist enough, just romantic enough, and just nostalgic enough to make you feel all the summer feels. Stay Sweet centres on 17 year old Amelia Van Hagen, who’s been working at the local ice cream stand, Meade Creamery, for the last four summers. The stand is run entirely by girls, and steeped in girl-power traditions. Working at Meade Creamery means you work hard, but you make girl friends who will help you out, in good times and bad, whether you need advice on a new lipstick, a romance, or you’re going through a hard time. Amelia sees these summers as formative. This is her last summer as a Meade Creamery girl, and it’s bittersweet to be saying goodbye to not just her favorite job, but also her town, and her best friend Cate as they move on to separate universities. Things change rapidly when Meade Creamery’s owner and founder, Molly Meade, passes away and leaves the ice cream stand to her great-nephew. Grady Meade is a business major, and he decides to try his hand at keeping the stand alive. The problem? No one has the recipes for Molly Meade’s famous ice cream. Oh and also, Amelia’s original, coveted job as Head Girl (aka the manager) is threatened by Grady’s presence. Grady is trying a lot of new things to make changes to the stand that threaten it’s place as a Sand Lake institution. HOW MUCH DO I LOVE THIS BOOK? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS: The focus on a female friendships. Without a doubt, this is my favorite part of the book. Amelia and Cate are the oldest girls at Meade Creamery, so they’re known as seniors. They were both in line for the Head Girl job, so there’s tension there. Responsible Amelia has always felt a little inferior to Cate, so even she questions why Cate – the more fun, flirtatious, and popular girl didn’t get it the job. This tension made for a really authentic friendship story. Ice cream. If you love anything about ice cream, you’ll love reading this story. From homemade waffle cones to the science of ice cream formation to perfect scooping, this book is a dream for an ice cream lover. 50s teenagerdom. Stay Sweet cycles between Amelia’s story and Molly Meade’s story, which Amelia accesses through her diary. It’s cute to see how it all comes together. Author Siobhan Vivian actually bought vintage Seventeen magazines to get the voice of Molly just right. Realistic romance. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that a romance brews between Grady and Amelia. I love how it’s slow and a secondary plot. It’s swoony enough that you want them to have that happy ending but realistic in that they’re both teenagers at the cusp of something new. Entrepreneurship. Between Molly Meade starting her own ice cream stand to Grady trying to take over, there’s a lot about running a business in this book. But it’s not boring, I promise! Stay Sweet gives you a really good sense of how much work and passion needs to go into doing something you love. It’s unpredictable. Full disclosure: I went into this book thinking it would be a cute, flirty summer romance. And it IS. But it’s also WAY more than that – it’s empowering and feminist and about taking control of your life and making it work for you. And doesn’t everyone want that in their summer romance, too? THE FINAL WORD: Look, I know a YA book about girls who work coveted jobs at an ice cream stand already SCREAMS Tiff. So I guess it’s no surprise that STAY SWEET by Siobhan Vivian is definitely going to be on my best-of list for 2018. Perfect for any contemporary reader who loves summer romances, but especially ones who appreciate that a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream can have hidden depths. Stay Sweet reels you in with it’s ice cream and cuteness, then draws you deeper with the complexity of it’s true flavour: feminism. And it does it all in a way that leaves you wanting another whole scoop (or carton!) of Meade Creamery after you’re finished. (Sequel, please?)
Date published: 2018-05-15

Read from the Book

Stay Sweet CHAPTER ONE AMELIA VAN HAGEN IS KNEELING on the floor in her bra and a pair of khaki shorts, brown hair neatly split into two fishtail braids, a polo shirt draped over her lap. She smooths it, then gently plucks off a tiny fuzz ball and flicks it away. When Frankie Ko gave her this Meade Creamery polo on her very first day, it was the exact same shade of pink as a scoop of strawberry ice cream. Now, four summers later, and despite the dim morning light of her bedroom, she sees that the pink has faded to a much softer hue, a color closer to cotton candy. There are lots of summer jobs for the teens of Sand Lake and each comes with its own perks. Being a lake lifeguard means your tan lasts until October. The mall is air-conditioned and employees get a discount at the food court. Babysitters can make serious cash, especially if they get in good with the tourists. But Amelia always dreamed of being a Meade Creamery girl. The Meade Creamery ice cream stand has employed all girls and only girls since it opened, way back in the summer of 1945. And though the draw of the place is solely the ice cream, each time her parents would take her, and as soon as the line would bring her close enough, Amelia would lift up on her toes and study the girls working inside. Though the faces changed each summer—as the oldest ones left for college and the newbies struggled to keep up with the pace of things—the vibe between the girls stayed the same. Amelia liked how they talked to each other, a mix of codes and inside jokes, how gracefully they moved in such a cramped and frenzied space. How much fun they seemed to have, despite the heat and the crowds, despite their crappy radio with the foil-covered antenna. Amelia pulls the pink polo over her head. It sort of feels like cotton candy too, soft and light from what probably adds up to a billion trips through the wash between her very first day and this one, a Meade Creamery girl’s endless fight against the speckling of caramel dip, of hot fudge, of the bright red juice that the maraschino cherries float in. What hasn’t paled, not even four summers later, is the thrill she gets from wearing it. Frankie Ko handed this very shirt to Amelia four years ago. Frankie was Head Girl that summer, and she had been lying on top of one of the picnic tables, sunning herself while she waited for the newbies to arrive. Her shiny black hair was as long as her perfectly frayed cutoffs were short. She wore ankle socks with little pink pompoms at the heels and she had four, maybe five, woven string friendship bracelets tied around each wrist. She was half Korean, impossibly beautiful, effortlessly cool. That’s how every newbie feels about the Head Girl her first summer, but Frankie, Amelia’s sure, broke the mold. Amelia cringes, remembering with embarrassing clarity how she herself looked four years ago, getting dropped off by her dad, lips slick with the peachy lipstick she’d bought to match her eighth-grade dinner dance dress, hoping it would make her seem older and cooler. Funny that it never occurred to her to remove her retainer, which she was so dutiful in wearing that most of her classmates hadn’t yet realized she’d gotten her braces off. A few weeks later, Frankie pulled her aside and gently suggested that cooler tones might flatter her skin more. She presented Amelia with a new lipstick—a berry red called All Heart—which was a freebie that had come with Frankie’s recent Clinique purchase. Frankie helped Amelia apply it, too, taking twice as long to do it as Amelia did when she put it on herself, and the other girls working that shift nodded in approval. Frankie Ko had made seventeen look the way it does on TV shows—a flower blooming with confidence and beauty and wisdom. Straightening her collar in the mirror, Amelia wonders what this summer’s newbies will see when they look at her, because it feels impossible that she’s as old today as Frankie was then. But prom is over—and graduation, too. Amelia’s opened every Hallmark card from her relatives and put the cash away for textbooks and a cafeteria meal plan and a real-deal winter coat, one that can stand up to the New England nor’easters people keep teasing will probably kill her. Earlier this week, Amelia got an email from her future roommate at Gibbons—Cecilia Brewster, an English lit major, from Connecticut, on a partial tennis scholarship, with a long-distance boyfriend until further notice. After the introduction, Cecilia let Amelia know that she had already bought them a mini-fridge for their dorm room, and so it would be great if Amelia could get them a microwave (see helpfully provided links for style and color suggestions). Amelia’s reread this email so many times. Cecilia seems fine, way better than some of the dorm mismatches she’s heard about when former stand girls drop by for a visit and a free waffle cone. Though she’s drafted some potential replies, she hasn’t sent one. It feels like the starting gun for a race she doesn’t want to run. Unfortunately, Amelia’s last first day at Meade Creamery is undeniably the beginning of the end. “Amelia?” Cate Kopernick emerges from a heap of blankets and pillows on the floor. Her long blond hair is looped in half with an elastic and it hangs over her shoulder like a golden lasso. She makes the screen on her phone light up and, after wincing at the glow, casts it aside. “You’re going in already?” “I couldn’t sleep. I’m too nervous.” “Nervous?” Cate laughs. “Come on. Seriously?” “I know, I know.” Amelia says it as quickly as she’s moving now, standing up, taking her tote bag off the back of her desk chair, wriggling her feet into her Keds. “I heard you downstairs last night.” “I was baking blueberry muffins.” “At two in the morning?” “I thought it’d be nice to give the girls something to eat before I start assigning chores.” Cate rolls her eyes. “Don’t worry about being likable. Everyone already knows that today and tomorrow are going to suck.” She yawns again. “Just give me ten minutes to shower, and I can drive—” “I’ll ride my bike. It’ll help me clear my head. Really. Please go back to sleep. I’ll see you in a few hours.” “Hold up. Where’s your pin?” “I guess I forgot to put it on.” Amelia blushes because she is a terrible liar and makes for the bedroom door. Cate grabs her ankle. “Amelia! Quit acting weird!” With a halfhearted shrug, Amelia goes to her jewelry box. Inside, mixed in with her nicer jewelry and the tassel from her graduation cap, is a gold flower pin the size of a Snapple cap, a clear rhinestone anchoring the petals. She hasn’t touched it for nearly a year, not since it was given to her last August. The girls were celebrating the end of the season with a sleepover down at the lake, a Meade Creamery tradition. Amelia was standing next to her half-set-up tent, having temporarily given up on putting it together in favor of using bits of broken sugar cone to scrape out the streaks of chocolate from their last remaining drum of ice cream. Heather, who was Head Girl last summer, had just picked up the final paychecks from Molly Meade’s farmhouse and was handing them out. She paused when peeling Amelia’s from the stack, a funny look on her face. Then she shook the envelope so Amelia could hear the clinking inside it. Amelia froze. A drip of chocolate rolled down her forearm. “Amelia,” Heather said. “Put the ice cream down and get over here!” Stiffly, Amelia did as she was told. She chased the drip with her tongue, put the bite into her mouth, and forced a swallow. Setting the cardboard drum in the sand, she snuck a look over to the campfire and watched Cate, in a baggy sweatshirt worn over her bikini, toss on another log, sending up a burst of sparks. The other stand girls huddled around her, faces glowing. Amelia opened the envelope. Inside were her check, the flower pin, and a key to the ice cream stand. “Are you sure this is supposed to be mine?” Amelia asked, incredulous. “Did Molly say anything to you?” Heather looked surprised at the insinuation. “Amelia, I haven’t spoken to her all summer. Like, not once. Last week she left me a note to turn in my pin. I had no idea who she was going to pick.” Heather shrugged, then gave Amelia an encouraging shoulder squeeze. “The envelope has your name on it. And you did have a fifty-fifty shot, right?” Though it may technically have been true, it didn’t feel that way to Amelia. Ever since their first summer at Meade Creamery, Amelia had believed Molly would choose Cate as Head Girl when the time came. Definitely Cate. A thousand percent Cate for a thousand and one reasons. And Amelia wasn’t alone. She could see it in Heather’s face, the surprise at how this was playing out, because Cate was the fun one, the girl everyone loved being around. Cate must have realized what was going on while Amelia was talking to Heather, because she came sprinting over and wrapped Amelia in a big, bouncing congratulatory hug. Amelia still doesn’t know how long it took Cate to come to terms with not getting the Head Girl pin, but it pains Amelia to think of Cate hurting over it, even if only for a millisecond. And yet Amelia finds Cate’s excitement for her right now only slightly less excruciating, as Cate leans forward, her chin in her hands, waiting. “How about I wear it on opening day? That way, it won’t get messed up,” Amelia says, hesitating. With a groan, Cate rises to her feet and takes the pin from Amelia’s hand. “You’re not officially the queen until you put on the crown.” Amelia averts her eyes as Cate examines the pin for a second before she feels a tug on her collar. “There,” Cate says, pleased. “Now it’s official.” Amelia starts to protest, “It should be you,” the way she has countless times since getting the pin. Cate’s usually good about letting her get this perceived injustice off her chest, and Amelia always feels better afterward. Like she has voiced a truth that, deep down, they both know. This time, however, Cate shushes her. “Not today, Amelia.” And she guides Amelia back to the mirror. “What do you think?” Amelia glances over her shoulder at Cate. For the rest of Amelia’s life, she knows she will never find a friend better than Cate Kopernick. Using Amelia’s braids like handlebars, Cate steers Amelia’s head so she’s facing the mirror. “You look amazing,” Cate says, stepping aside so she’s out of the reflection. “Just like Frankie Ko.” Amelia laughs, because again, yeah right, until, finally, she looks, focusing not so much on herself as on the pin. Though it’s small, it really does sparkle.

Editorial Reviews

Stay Sweet will inspire ambition—and ice-cream cravings”