Book Review: Sugar Spun Sister (Sweet Dreams #1) by Anna Garner

Life isn’t exactly sweet for Cricket Whittier. Her boss hates her, her work is soul-destroying, and the sexy guy she’s hooking up with doesn’t want to date her. But this girl is far from hopeless. When Cricket’s in the kitchen with her ice cream maker and a few choice ingredients, her troubles slip away as she becomes a delectable dessert-designing powerhouse. She loves it so much, she dreams of opening her own ice cream shop one day.

As it turns out, “one day” just might be closer than she thinks. Propelled by the help and encouragement of her best friends, Lindsay and Nora, Cricket starts making plans to set up shop. Which is easier said than done what with the internal squabbling, the sky-high costs, her parents forecasting failure and her increasingly complicated love life. Despite all these hurdles, will Cricket be able to make her sweet dreams come true?

Release Date: 
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli

This is my second time reading Anna Garner (read my review of Lying to Meet You here) and I loved Sugar Spun Sister just as much as Lying to Meet You---something I really didn't think could happen!

Sugar Spun Sister is Cricket Whittier's story.  Cricket has a boring job with a boss who hates her.  Her boss thrives on making Cricket's life miserable.  To top that off, Cricket's flame, Jimmy, just wants to be "friends with benefits" while she wants a relationship.  But, Cricket has a something of her own: her passion is creating unique ice cream flavors out of her kitchen at home.  It's her outlet, her way to de-stress and work through her troubles.  Cricket is creative with her flavor combinations, and her friends and family laud her creations.  Cricket dreams of having her own ice cream shop...someday.

Cricket's two best friends, Lindsay and Nora, are very encouraging of Cricket's ice cream dreams (I'm sorry, but I could not help the rhyme!).  In fact, Nora practically railroads Cricket into making her dreams a reality.  But it's all done in friendship and Cricket ends up happy for her friends' help.  

What I loved about this book was that it was so much more than a love story.  It's a story about a woman following her passion, doing what inspires her, and making her dreams come true.  I love that Cricket works so hard on her ice cream shop: nothing falls in her lap or is given to her.  Every success she has is a result of her hard work and dedication.  

Besides Cricket's career aspirations, Sugar Spun Sister is a story about three best friends and the men in their lives.  And what interesting men they were!  From Cricket's relationship with Jimmy, to Nora's clueless husband, and Lindsay's pseudo-boyfriend, there were a lot of love stories to follow in this book.  I loved that Cricket is surprised at the end, by realizing that what she thought she wanted out of a relationship was not what was best for her at all.  

Cricket's family life was another source of humor and levity.  Her parents live off the land in a sort of hippie lifestyle.  Her siblings are all very uniquely named, and they were very interesting and unique characters. 

I love Garner's pacing.  It's perfect, and her writing continually has me saying, "just one more chapter," until I look up and it's hours later and I've finished the book!  There were many finely-tuned details that made this book special.  From the yoga instructor coming to help the girls relax before their opening, to the guys they hire to man the ice-cream shop, and the inclusion of the recipes at the beginning of the chapters, Garner excels at adding these special touches.  The addition of the recipes made this story even more creative (I kept wondering if Garner came up with the flavors by herself, because if she did, she is certainly multi-talented).  By the way, the recipes were completely mouth-watering and had me standing in the ice cream aisle at my local grocery store, wishing for one of Cricket's exotic flavor combinations.

I love that Sugar Spun Sister is the first in a series.  Each book will feature one member of the  trio of best friends.  I can't wait to read more about these funny, confident and smart women!  

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