Posted 20 hours ago

A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

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Except no amount of food and family could heal my heartbreak, so like a plotline from one of Mami’s telenovelas, they tricked me instead. But it’s hard not to feel that two of Lila’s ‘traumas’ (a breakup and a friend not joining her for college) are pretty run-of-the-mill for teens. Happening right now—a Miami girl in an English club listening to an English band, sitting on an English boy’s lap, his sweater warm around me. Both settings where Lila bakes (the bakery at home in Miami and the inn where she’s living in England) are developed as plausible businesses – she doesn’t make a living selling cupcakes in a seaside town of two hundred inhabitants.

Lila Reyes’s senior year was marked by three losses: the death of her grandmother, being dumped by her high school boyfriend, and having her best friend decide to join an overseas charity program instead of joining her for college. He believes in superstitions (because of his mum’s situation), but still a self-assured boy who goes out of his way to help his neighborhood and friends. I’d flopped onto her bed the same way I always had, except now, an enormous duffel bag swallowed Stef’s area rug.Find a seat in the parlor while I fetch the tea Polly made for us,” Cate says and gestures to the archway before scooting off. And that forms a core part of her personality, taking what her grandmother has taught her and continuing it. A charming, heartwarming story following a Miami girl who unexpectedly finds love - and herself - in a small English town.

Her worried family decides that she needs a change of scenery and ships her off to stay with extended family in England. I also hate that I'm giving this such a low rating because a lot of the authors personal life went into this book. I can see why Owl and Crow guests rave about the afternoon tea served in the parlor, but there’s too much sugar in this scone. Traces of Mami’s lemon-vinegar tile cleaner and my gardenia-scented room spray cling to all the contents I’ll need tonight.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. It’s un recuerdo of huge proportions, a memento of a best-friend plan I’m not quite ready to stuff into a drawer. I loved that there was so much care put into developing each of them and their own stories, but you also see how well they fit together. I am conflicted about wanting to see more of Lela and Orion's story, but thinking it ended perfectly.

Two hours later, after a near-silent bus ride followed by a totally silent cab ride, the driver drops us off at a place I’ve only seen in pictures. Laura Taylor Namey is the New York Times bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club pick A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, The Library of Lost Things, and When We Were Them. Worried about Lila's mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset.While there’s a lot I loved about this book I would have enjoyed just a bit more scenes of baking (they were some of my favorite scenes) and more Lila/Orion adventures because they were cute together and were just fun to read. Like that historic space, this parlor, with its icy blue walls and brocade fabrics, seems more like a painting than a room.

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