I should have known by the title that this book would be too cutesy and surface-level for me, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway. I had to force myself to get through the first few chapters, and once I did that the rest of the book felt so average. I’m honestly really disappointed because I’ve heard good things about Siobhan Vivian and this book, but it felt like it was meant for a more middle-grade audience and just wasn’t right for me.
A 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 of 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 the 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…
First off, I don’t like the summary of this book. It makes Grady out to be someone looking to change everything about the creamery, but he basically just does whatever Amelia wants him to do. The summary in the book itself says that grady has no respect for the Meade Creamery traditions, but I didn’t get that feeling at all.
Second, I think that the backstory to the creamery has more feminist themes than the present-day story. Amelia and her best friend Cate made me cringe so much throughout the book. Amelia tried way too hard to please Cate, and Cate was so immature and petty. I didn’t understand why Amelia tried so hard and why Cate was always so rude.
The one thing I enjoyed about this book was the backstory of Molly and her friends- the real story told at the end of the book. Most of the other female characters in the book seemed so one-dimensional, immature, and annoying, but I actually wanted to be friends with a young Molly Meade. She used ice cream to create a space where she and her friends could get away from the war, she started her own business, she maintained that business and passed it on to younger generations of girls, and she stood up for what she wanted over and over again. She is someone I think the young girls reading this book should look up to. Amelia’s character fell flat for me, and you already know how I feel about Cate.
Oh, and ice cream. I liked the ice cream.
I think this book is great if you truly are looking for a light, fluffy summer read (or something to read in the winter to transport you to summer). If you’re looking for anything more than that, like a driven plot or admirable and well-developed characters, I’d go to a different book.