For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart. 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. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell. A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.
I got pulled into this book because multiple of my friends fell in love with it. I enjoyed The Library Of Lost Things, but it wasn’t a book that I fell head over heels in love with. Because of that, this book was really only on my radar on a backburner. But, with so much love for it from my friends, and online in general, I thought it would be worth it to give it a shot! Trigger warnings: grief, self-destructive behavior
When I got a copy of this book, it made me happy just from the colors on the cover. I knew it was money well spent even if that was all the book did for me. But oh woah, this book is just as delightful as its cover, even more so really.
This book feels like a hug, like a cup of a favorite cup of tea, like something full of sugar, but not too much sugar. It was the tang of Miami and the crisp chill of Winchester. It’s sweet and adorable and full of pastries. Simply put, it’s an all around incredible book.
The highest compliment I can give this book is that I loved the fact that Lila is a baker, and an all around incredible cook. Being the picky (and I mean PICKY) eater I am, food descriptions are usually just there for me. But oh, the way that the passion that Lila has for craft bleeds into everything she does and everything that this story is about. It makes them all the more magical. It’s a show of love, of hard work, of emotion, and honestly I just thought it was amazing to read about all different kinds of pastries.
Speaking of Lila, I want to talk about how freaking much I adored her. She was such a fabulous main character that it’s sort of hard to describe her. She is the story and she makes it as wonderful as it is. She’s hurting, but she’s also finding herself at the same time. She lights up the story and I just fell completely in love with her.
And let’s talk about everybody else as well, because they were just as awesome. Orion, who is seriously the sweetest, and just an honest, earnest, and all around solid guy. I love him and his collecting of superstitions and willingness to pick up running to spend time with Lila. I loved Jules and her commitment to her song writing and I loved her boyfriend, Remy. I love Gordon, who blasts music too loud. And I loved Flora, who is dealing with her own emotions and trying to muddle through them.
Another huge compliment I can give this book is that it made me fall in love with England a bit. I usually find it kind of boring when it’s the setting of a book. I AM SO SORRY, I KNOW. It’s interesting, but I just never found myself completely enraptured by it like so many people seem to be. But, I get the appeal now. The setting was just gorgeous and I loved exploring it along with Lila.
I also loved Lila’s journey to healing and figuring herself out. She doesn’t set out to figure herself out, which I think is the best part. It sneaks up on her, which allows everything else to blossom.
All in all, this book was absolutely wonderful. I truly does feel like a hug, and now that I’ve read it, the cover makes me scream a little bit. It’s full of sweetness (with not too much sugar), a top notch romantic relationship, letting go friendships, but forming new ones, and tons of cooking and baking. Just all around amazing.