A Dash of Trouble (Love Sugar Magic, #1)
Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake. Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?

A Dash of Trouble (Love Sugar Magic, #1) Details

TitleA Dash of Trouble (Love Sugar Magic, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherWalden Pond Press
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic

A Dash of Trouble (Love Sugar Magic, #1) Review

  • Zoraida
    January 1, 1970
    LOVE LOVE LOVE. A smart, clever debut. Perfect for fans of Wizards of Waverly Place and The Book of Life.
  • Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
    January 1, 1970
    Loved loved loved. A family of brujas who channel their magic through baking, and the youngest member of the family learning how to deal with her newfound powers. So many hilarious moments, and a big focus on family and friendship. Some of the funny moments reminded me of one of my favorite tv shows when I was growing up: Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It comes out in 2018, and I can't wait to reread it when it does!
    more
  • Kaye
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful, warm and utterly brimming over with magic! This is a middle grade that is best served with your favorite sweet treat and a mug of hot chocolate, on a day when you can really sink into your sofa cushions and savor it.
  • Janani
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved this middle grade novel about Leo, a young Bruja who is navigating her newfound powers and family secrets. The dynamics of her large, loving, and hilarious family were an absolute delight to read, and I especially adored Leo's relationships with her sisters. I just want to hand this book to kids everywhere.
    more
  • Paula Stokes
    January 1, 1970
    I was so lucky to read an early draft of this and THIS BOOK IS ADORABLE! It's funny and heartfelt and interesting and diverse and it taught me cool stuff without seeming like it was trying too hard. I almost never read MG, but I cannot wait to add this book to my collection. All the congrats for Anna, who wrote a book that I wanted to hug, but could not, because I read it on the screen. Soon, little pretty. SOON YOU WILL BE MINE! :D4.99 stars** Minus .01 star because this book is full of COOKIES I was so lucky to read an early draft of this and THIS BOOK IS ADORABLE! It's funny and heartfelt and interesting and diverse and it taught me cool stuff without seeming like it was trying too hard. I almost never read MG, but I cannot wait to add this book to my collection. All the congrats for Anna, who wrote a book that I wanted to hug, but could not, because I read it on the screen. Soon, little pretty. SOON YOU WILL BE MINE! :D4.99 stars** Minus .01 star because this book is full of COOKIES and other delicious baked goods and it made me want to eat All the Things so I had to do double time at the gym after reading it ;)
    more
  • Ashley Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    I love a good middle grade and this one was a delight. Leo and her family are brujas who own a bakery and bake magic into sweets. She’s eleven and wants to do all that her sisters do, there’s a good bit of snooping and sneaking around and accidental spells. All of it was fun and sweet and I love that there are recipes in the back. It gave me Coco vibes with the family element and both are set with Mexican main characters. It’s adorable.
    more
  • Elke (BEroyal)
    January 1, 1970
    This was super adorable! A sweet, heartfelt middle-grade story that made me want to eat so many cookies! I loved reading about this family of Brujas and their magical baking. It was so nice to have a book with a large, happy, funny, strange, loving family and I adored Leo's relationship with her sisters. There was a large focus on family dynamics and friendship, and it was just so whole and pure.The part where Leo's mom said being a Bruja isn't defined on its own, like being Texan or a girl, but This was super adorable! A sweet, heartfelt middle-grade story that made me want to eat so many cookies! I loved reading about this family of Brujas and their magical baking. It was so nice to have a book with a large, happy, funny, strange, loving family and I adored Leo's relationship with her sisters. There was a large focus on family dynamics and friendship, and it was just so whole and pure.The part where Leo's mom said being a Bruja isn't defined on its own, like being Texan or a girl, but that it's part of you, and you get to decide what it means was awesome too. I like the freedom it offers and the acknowledgement that there's no one true way to do things, including being a girl. You get to define things for yourself.Very enjoyable, and I would highly recommend it to kids (and everybody else wanting to read middle grade, obviously).
    more
  • Amanda Hill
    January 1, 1970
    Such a fun book with a big, happy family. i loved it so much. kids will really enjoy this one!
  • Sarena Nanua
    January 1, 1970
    A delicious and fun read about family and friendship! 5*
  • Sean
    January 1, 1970
    A story about a little bruja and her family that is just about perfect! Such a fun, beautiful read. Great representation, wonderful family dynamics, and such warmth. I just want to keep this book in my pocket so I can hand it out to kids everywhere. Super sweet. Highly recommend.
    more
  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    Every now and then a book comes along that is just so purely delightful that you can't help but grin while you read it. Anna Meriano's debut novel, A DASH OF TROUBLE, is 100% one of those books. Leo and her large, loving, wonderful family are characters that I already miss, and who I can't wait to meet again in the next book in the series. At times funny (I laughed out loud a TON as I read), at times heartstring-tugging, and at times tender, the voice and the plot in this book perfectly capture Every now and then a book comes along that is just so purely delightful that you can't help but grin while you read it. Anna Meriano's debut novel, A DASH OF TROUBLE, is 100% one of those books. Leo and her large, loving, wonderful family are characters that I already miss, and who I can't wait to meet again in the next book in the series. At times funny (I laughed out loud a TON as I read), at times heartstring-tugging, and at times tender, the voice and the plot in this book perfectly capture what it feels like to be in that awkward time between childhood and teenagerhood, desperately wanting to be treated like a grown-up when everyone around you seems bent on continuing to see you as a little kid. If you're a fan of Stephanie Burgis's KAT, INCORRIGIBLE series, you absolutely must not miss Anna Meriano's A DASH OF TROUBLE. I can't wait to see what comes next in the LOVE SUGAR MAGIC series!!!Also, I now need to go bake myself some gingersnaps.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! It was great to finally see a Hispanic family that looked like my own - with a protagonist that is Texan, Mexican-American and fully Hispanic without also being fluent in Spanish and/or a recent immigrant. That plus the fun magical realism, will surely appeal to Harry Potter fans. Already looking forward to a sequel!
    more
  • Amelinda Bérubé
    January 1, 1970
    This book was like a homebaked cookie fresh from the oven: warm, sweet, and full of love. It's lavish with detail about baking, culture, and character, including a family of 7 with utterly believable and memorable personalities, conflicts, and love for each other. I smiled all the way through this gorgeous story. Don't miss it.
    more
  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    A charming middle grade read with a lot of heart (and lots of cookies)!
  • Mandy Weeks
    January 1, 1970
    "A charming and delectably sweet debut. Mischief, friendship, and a whole lot of heart—Love Sugar Magic has it all." —Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of the Brooklyn Brujas seriesLeonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebr "A charming and delectably sweet debut. Mischief, friendship, and a whole lot of heart—Love Sugar Magic has it all." —Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of the Brooklyn Brujas seriesLeonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake. Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?Debut author Anna Meriano brings us the first book in a delightful new series filled to the brim with amor, azúcar, y magia.
    more
  • Jen Petro-Roy
    January 1, 1970
    So good. An utterly fresh and charming middle grade debut.
  • Shae McDaniel
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely adorable. And I love the way cultural identity was handled!
  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know if it's more telling about [56-year-old] me or this charming [middle-grade] book, but I did NOT see that first twist coming. Such thoroughly engaging portrayals of magic, family, friends and baking! I loved A Dash of Trouble.
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    A magically story about a girl learning about her family and her culture while being an eleven year-old that just wants to grow up. VERY CUTE, and I enjoyed it immensely.
  • Melinda
    January 1, 1970
    What a great debut! I love Leo and her family so much, and this book has a great balance of kid-friendly intrigue, magic, and genuine belly laughs. And so much food porn!!! Looking forward to book 2.
  • Anamaria
    January 1, 1970
    This was so much fun! 9-year-old Annie would have loved it. I wish there had been books like this, featuring Spanish-speaking families, when I was growing up.
  • Amy Layton
    January 1, 1970
    When I picked up this book, I almost couldn't believe it.  A middle grade book with a Mexican main character?  That focuses on the history and traditions of the Mexican culture?  Honestly, incredible.  I knew that when I picked this up, this book was something special.  And reading it was just as magical as Leo's experiences inside.Not only is Meriano's language and plotlines fun and engaging, they're homey, likable, and overall vivacious.  I loved each and every one of Leo's siblings and parent When I picked up this book, I almost couldn't believe it.  A middle grade book with a Mexican main character?  That focuses on the history and traditions of the Mexican culture?  Honestly, incredible.  I knew that when I picked this up, this book was something special.  And reading it was just as magical as Leo's experiences inside.Not only is Meriano's language and plotlines fun and engaging, they're homey, likable, and overall vivacious.  I loved each and every one of Leo's siblings and parents and friends, and empathized with her throughout the story.  What I also really enjoyed was the use of both English and Spanish--I used to take Spanish years ago, so it was kindof like a fun pop quiz for me, while also being a great celebration of the language that Leo so wants to learn. I wish I could have tens of hundreds of copies to give to my friends and family and just random people.  Also, as a fun treat, there are recipes that were made in the book in the back!  Most of them can be veganized, so that's super cool!!  I can't wait to try them out while waiting for the publication of this book and the sequel!!Review cross-listed here!
    more
  • Kamilla Benko
    January 1, 1970
    I fell in love from the very first page! If you're at all a fan of magical secrets, sisters, friends, and flying cookies, you're in for a treat. Anna Meriano's debut is full of heart and hilarity (I laughed out loud multiple times) and contains one of the best magical systems I've ever read. Five glorious sugar-filled stars!
    more
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusLeo (Leonora) is tired of being the youngest of five girls, all of whom get to work at their mother's bakery on a school day the day before the town of Rose Hill, Texas' celebration of Día de Muertos. She is so angry that she skips out of school during the Halloween parade to spy on her family, and finds that there is magic involved in the bakery! When she goes to the celebration, she hangs out with Caroline, who had moved away to Houston but is back after the death of h E ARC from Edelweiss PlusLeo (Leonora) is tired of being the youngest of five girls, all of whom get to work at their mother's bakery on a school day the day before the town of Rose Hill, Texas' celebration of Día de Muertos. She is so angry that she skips out of school during the Halloween parade to spy on her family, and finds that there is magic involved in the bakery! When she goes to the celebration, she hangs out with Caroline, who had moved away to Houston but is back after the death of her mother. Caroline and her father are getting along fairly well, but Leo still feels a bit awkward around her friend. Brent, Caroline's next door neighbor, brought over her homework and visited her every day since the beginning of the school year. Leo feels bad that she wasn't a better friend, and Caroline is thankful that Brent visited but didn't belabor her grief. After Leo finds out about the magic, she tries to get more information from her sisters about what she will be able to do. The girls are not initiated until they are 15, and Leo does not want to wait four more years, so she borrows the magical recipe book and makes some attempts at magical baking which go fairly well. Buoyed by her successes, she decides to tell Caroline about her skills when Caroline mentions that she wrote Brent a thank you note, and he is now avoiding her. Leo tries a romance cookie that makes Brent fall in love with the whole world, and when she tries to remove the spell, things go terribly wrong and she must go to her family for help. In the end, her mother tells Leo that she has to follow the rules of magic and to talk to her family about her plans.Strengths: The Texas setting and the description of Leo's supportive, involved family are very nice. While Leo's sisters aren't mean to her, they do treat her like a small child, and I think that is a realistic family dynamic. Caroline's situation is not overly dramatized, and it's good to see her and her father making small strides toward the new normal. The inclusion of Latinx culture by an #ownvoices writer in a very natural way was delightful.Weaknesses: Leo's pretty bratty, and I was more bothered than I should have been about her flippant attitude toward magic and its dangers.What I really think: This will be good for my students who want magical realism. Callaghan's Just Add Magic, Dunbar's The Truth Cookie, Giada De Laurentiis's Recipe for Adventure series and Littlewood's Bliss series are all very popular in my library, so this will be a good addition to the collection.
    more
  • GeneBWell
    January 1, 1970
    What an amazing book! I could easily see this becoming one of my favorite MG series.Here's what I loved about this book:1 - The voice. MG books are all about the voice and flow of the narration. Love Sugar Magic has an excellent voice that puts you right in the head of 11-year-old Leo. I was a little worried at first that there would be a lot of food-related puns or jokes, but instead the author uses colorful cooking-related similes to describe the character's emotions. It's so perfect! And comp What an amazing book! I could easily see this becoming one of my favorite MG series.Here's what I loved about this book:1 - The voice. MG books are all about the voice and flow of the narration. Love Sugar Magic has an excellent voice that puts you right in the head of 11-year-old Leo. I was a little worried at first that there would be a lot of food-related puns or jokes, but instead the author uses colorful cooking-related similes to describe the character's emotions. It's so perfect! And completely adorable!2 - The focus on family. Leo has a distinct and unique relationship with each of her sisters. I thought the scenes in which Leo is having heart-to-hearts with her sisters and mother were the best parts of the story. Each member of Leo's family has a different way in which they interact with and support her, and seeing all the different forms of sisterly love was incredibly sweet. I absolutely love stories with a focus on family, and this is definitely one of the best in that aspect.3 - The culture. I've never been to a Day of the Dead celebration, and know very little about the culture of Mexico (or Texas, for that matter). But, thanks to the vibrant descriptions used by this author, I was able to look at not just the celebrations but also the emotions and traditions associated with the Day of the Dead. It was very interesting and well-written, and I hope later books in the series go in-depth about other aspects of Mexican tradition.4 - The magic. One thing I honestly wasn't expecting was for this book to have such an intricate system of magic. I loved the fact that I wasn't just seeing the effects of magic, but also learning about how magic works in this world. Some of the most interesting bits don't come up until near the end, though, so here's looking forward to future books that go into even more detail about how it all works.It was sweet, it was emotional, it informed me about another culture, and it made me hungry both for delicious baked goods as well as for a sequel!
    more
  • Sophie B
    January 1, 1970
    This book is absolutely delightful.I haven't read a middle-grade book in a long time, so I was unsure of what to expect when I picked this up. I discovered a sweet (pun half-intended) story about a magical bakery and the family of women that runs it.You can read the sypnosis in other places, so I'll say that between Leo's large family and all her classmates, there's probably a character for everyone. They'ev all got their own quirks that play into the plot, and despite the large number of player This book is absolutely delightful.I haven't read a middle-grade book in a long time, so I was unsure of what to expect when I picked this up. I discovered a sweet (pun half-intended) story about a magical bakery and the family of women that runs it.You can read the sypnosis in other places, so I'll say that between Leo's large family and all her classmates, there's probably a character for everyone. They'ev all got their own quirks that play into the plot, and despite the large number of players, it's very easy to keep track of them all. Everyone has a clear purpose and place, and it makes it even more fun to see what each person's unique personality brings to the story. (I am personally particularly fond of Marisol and the twins, but I'm sure everyone will have their favorites.)The magic system is easy to understand but mysterious enough to keep you guessing. The small-town feel and the close-knit family make it easy to grow invested in Leo's world. The descriptions make you feel warm and cozy, and will also make you want to bake - or at least eat baked goods. As a Texan, the small town was familiar and easy to imagine; as Mexican-American, I recognized the fusion of cultures well. Everything felt very real and authentic, and makes me feel like I could just drive over to their bakery on a whim and get some treats if I wanted.This is a great start to the series. It's a fun, funny page-turner, and if you're anything like me, by the end of it you'll wish you were a Logroño, too!
    more
  • Baby Bibliophile
    January 1, 1970
    Whimsically charming and with plenty of love, Anna Meriano has whipped up a spicy read for cooks and non-cooks alike. This story takes place in a small town in Texas during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. As the youngest of five sisters, 11 year old Leonora is sick of hearing that she is too young for almost everything! When Leo notices suspicious activity in her family's bakery, she is compelled to investigate. Leo discovers that her family has a lot more to them than what meets the eye. Whimsically charming and with plenty of love, Anna Meriano has whipped up a spicy read for cooks and non-cooks alike. This story takes place in a small town in Texas during the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. As the youngest of five sisters, 11 year old Leonora is sick of hearing that she is too young for almost everything! When Leo notices suspicious activity in her family's bakery, she is compelled to investigate. Leo discovers that her family has a lot more to them than what meets the eye. She learns that she is a magical descendant from thousands of witches before her. Leo decides to try out a teensy bit of magic to help out her best friend, but then things don't turn out exactly as expected…In this book even a tiny mishap, can result in complete chaos! Choosing to do the right thing and having the courage to be honest is the message that I got. I loved the strong family connection that is described and I could really relate since my family is the same even though I have no sisters.While reading Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble, I was drooling over the delicious food described wonderfully by Anna Meriano. Could you resist a swirly, gooey, spicy smelling fresh baked cinnamon roll with sugary, white frosting drizzled in a shape of a snowflake? Well, I can't! This book was definitely a page turner, I couldn't put it down! It would make a great family read out loud and delivers the perfect opportunity to learn about a different culture and their traditions. There are also yummy recipes in this book that I can't wait to try!
    more
  • Brianna
    January 1, 1970
    A super cute middle grade read about Leonora ‘Leo’ Logrono and her family of kitchen bruja’s or witches. Even though she’s in 6th grade she desperately wants to follow in her older sisters steps and do more. But there’s a family rule that no magic can be cast by a bruja until she turns fifteen. Her plan to whine and complain to her sisters semi-succeeds in learning a few basic things. Where she gets in over her head is trying to help a boy in her class show affection to her best friend Caroline. A super cute middle grade read about Leonora ‘Leo’ Logrono and her family of kitchen bruja’s or witches. Even though she’s in 6th grade she desperately wants to follow in her older sisters steps and do more. But there’s a family rule that no magic can be cast by a bruja until she turns fifteen. Her plan to whine and complain to her sisters semi-succeeds in learning a few basic things. Where she gets in over her head is trying to help a boy in her class show affection to her best friend Caroline. It works all too well and a hasty reversal spell lands the boy shrunken and in a jar of honey.It’s a cute read and goes by fast. I like how sweet Leo is and her heart is in the right place, even if her spell wasn’t. Also the way Caroline’s mother passing from cancer is well done and has just the right amount of compassion and sadness to convey it all. There’s a lot of Spanish and a lot of the recipes are in Spanish originally with a few translations. It’s nice to make the middle schoolers use some of that language skills they work on. Also a great bonus is some recipes that you can try from home.This is the beginning of a new series and I’m excited to see what’s next for Leo and her family.
    more
  • Christie Allred
    January 1, 1970
    "Love Sugar Magic" fits right in with other magical baking middle-grade novels (I'm thinking of "Pie" by Sarah Weeks, "The Candy Shop War" by Brandon Mull, and "Bliss" by Kathryn Littlewood). It also reminds me of Amazon Prime's original, "Just Add Magic". I especially enjoyed discovering the sweet reason Leo's great-grandmother originally started baking and handing the tradition down to her daughters. There are a couple of reasons that I didn't rate it higher. One, the tent scene where Leo conf "Love Sugar Magic" fits right in with other magical baking middle-grade novels (I'm thinking of "Pie" by Sarah Weeks, "The Candy Shop War" by Brandon Mull, and "Bliss" by Kathryn Littlewood). It also reminds me of Amazon Prime's original, "Just Add Magic". I especially enjoyed discovering the sweet reason Leo's great-grandmother originally started baking and handing the tradition down to her daughters. There are a couple of reasons that I didn't rate it higher. One, the tent scene where Leo confirms her suspicions about her family's magical abilities felt more like horror than middle grade magic, even afterward, when Leo talks her way through it so she isn't scared by what she saw. And two, I like seeing a variety of characters from different backgrounds in children's books these days, but sometimes it feels forced - diversity for diversity's sake. There are some spots where it felt that way in "Love Sugar Magic".However, the strong family message was wonderful. Plus, a glimpse into their celebrations on the Day of the Dead is an interesting, memorable part of the story, and likely new information for many kids who will read it.
    more
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    Check out my blog for more reviews and other bookish posts! This is a spoiler-free review!A Dash of Trouble was absolutely adorable. This middle grade novel, about Leo who discovers her family are brujas, has plenty of funny moments and I adored the family dynamics and female friendships. The magic system is unique, because it is intertwined with baking.I listened to this on audiobook and I would recommend it. Fans of fast-paced magical stories such as Shadowshaper or Percy Jackson and the Light Check out my blog for more reviews and other bookish posts! This is a spoiler-free review!A Dash of Trouble was absolutely adorable. This middle grade novel, about Leo who discovers her family are brujas, has plenty of funny moments and I adored the family dynamics and female friendships. The magic system is unique, because it is intertwined with baking.I listened to this on audiobook and I would recommend it. Fans of fast-paced magical stories such as Shadowshaper or Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief will surely enjoy A Dash of Trouble.The only remark I have, are the love spells. Love cookies make me uncomfortable because they aren't very consensual. Having said that, in this book the character merely wrote love letters, so it wasn't a big deal. Furthermore, I liked that the character who ate them did not only write love letters to girls, but to boys as well.
    more
Write a review