Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Teashop Girls - Laura schaefer & Sajean Rim [Illustrations]


Pages: 250
Published: December 30th 2008 by Simon & Schuster
Genre: Y.A/ Contemporary
Format: Hardback
Acquired: My own TBR shelf
Date Finished: 7th April 2013

Annie, Genna, and Zoe have been hanging out at the Steeping Leaf since elementary school. The Teashop Girls do everything together -- at least they used to. With the end of eighth grade approaching, Genna's too busy with theater, Zoe's always at tennis, and Annie feels totally left out. What happened to tea every week, no matter what?
When Annie convinces her grandmother to give her a job as a barista at the Leaf, things begin to look up. In between whipping up chai lattes for customers, and attempting to catch the attention of her Barista Boy crush, Annie is finally beginning to feel as grown-up as her best friends. But an eviction notice spells trouble for the Leaf and unless they can turn the business around, the teashop will have to close its doors forever.
Fresh, honest, and sweet, Laura Schaefer's debut novel is sure to resonate with readers everywhere.

Buzz Words: Teashop, Friendship, Crushes, Scones, Family, Barista, Drama.

I have had the Teashop Girls on my contemporary to be read shelf for some time. I do love a good historical fiction or a paranormal romance, but sometimes a girl just needs a good fluffy contemporary book to relax, unwind and to really get absorbed in without having to stress about damn cliff hangers or intense plot points. If you are looking for a clean, exciting and deliciously tempting read to break away from your usual genre of choice or are a lover of contemporary novels featuring tasty beverages, friendship, family and a little bit of drama and romance then I definitely suggest picking up The Teashop Girls. I did and I loved it.

If you didn’t already know I am a sucker for books that mention tea, coffee any kind of pastry, cupcakes, cookies or well- food in general so when I heard about this book from R.J Gonzales a while back I knew I had to have it for my own collection. I love having books like this on my shelf for time times when I am in need of a little escapism from heavy handed plot lines or intricate character explorations, so I just could not wait to get started on Teashop Girls. Initially I thought it would be pretty standard in everything, but I was pleasantly surprised by the characters, the atmosphere and the subtle messages throughout the book. I do love a good book that teaches me things and also reminds me what to be grateful for. Each character was a joy to read, some more fleshed out than others, but each one added a great element to the story, and I especially loved Anne, the main characters eccentric but loving and charming family; her dad and his shirts had be cracking up and Louise her grandmother reminded me so much of my own it made me feel right at home at the steeping leaf.

When I was young  I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, going to the ‘adults’ places for tea and scones which we would bake together in her kitchen at home, so one of the most enjoyable parts of the story to read about was the relationship between Anne and her grandmother. Their combined passion, easy personalities and loving old souls really drove me to love this book a whole lot more.
The romantic elements irked me a little. Anne was so determined to make Jonathan fall in love with her despite the obvious signs. Then when l looked back at my own early teenage years and how I approached crushes, boys and love in general I have to say Laura wrote a pretty damn good depiction of teenage girls. I am glad it wasn’t the overall theme of the book and only played a small part.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the paraphernalia and quotes scattered throughout the book. Being a collector of ephemera myself I delighted in all the tea ads and recipes and the lists that Anne stuck into the Teashop girls handbook. I am a sucker for any book that adds a little whimsical flair, and I have to say I am excited to try a few recipes. I also learned a lot about tea from Anne’s essays and short stories and got a great new list of tea to try out which is always fun. I can definitely confess that I wasn’t without a cup or two while reading this book so for those tea lovers out there be prepared to fill up the pot and unwind.

Overall I found Teashop girls to be a humorous, quirky and fantastic read. I would certainly recommend it and I cannot wait to pick up the next book, a continuation into the life’s of the same characters from The Tea Shop girls. Laura’s writing style is easy and breezy and I really enjoyed the reading experience.
P.S: Finally a cover that matches the contents of the book. I just adored the illustrations on top of each chapter and throughout the book to, kudos to the illustrator Sujean Rim. And who could not love the cover – ah- Love it.

I am giving this one:
Pots of Peach Paradise Tea


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