I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer
Published: Paula Wiseman Books (2008), ARC, 256pg
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction
The Official Rules of the Teashop Girls
1. Teashop girls are best friends forever.
2. Tea is held every week, no matter what.
3. All tea and scones must be split equally at all times.
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. (from Goodreads)
I first learned of The Teashop Girls through the author’s Twitter account, and it’s through that same avenue that I got a copy to review. Basically? The Teashop Girls is adorable!
The Teashop Girls reminds me of a lot of books I read when I was younger. It’s kinda like The Baby-sitters Club with an emphasis on tea instead of babies. It’s sweet and cute and it’s got a lot of moral-type things in it, including how important it is to support locally owned business. Also, friendship. Also, tea. Okay, moving on.
Annie was a great main character. She has spunk and passion, yet she hates change and can’t deal with it when it comes around. Quite realistic, I thought, especially when you throw in her two friends, Zoe and Genna, who are moving forward and growing up, and Annie feels left behind. As Annie puts it: “[…] I still look and feel mostly like a kid, and my friends are starting to seem like, I don’t know…women. It’s weird.” I felt left behind when I got to high school, too! (I still feel kinda lower down on the ladder of maturity, ha.)
Also, my dad totally still calls me “Annie Banannie,” too. Er, so I sympathized with her.
One of my favorite things was actually the relationship between Annie and the annoying Zach– he totally digs her, and I’m hoping Annie gets that in the next book (and that Zach tones down the teasing a bit; girls don’t like it!). It was actually kinda cute, how he kept trying to get her attention by, um, saying mean things about her grandmother’s store. Oy vey, boys.
Besides the main story, of course, there’s lots of extra little things like recipes for tea and snacks, quotes about tea and coffee, plus some lovely pictures of old tea advertisements. Annie collects them, and yeah, she’s completely obsessed about tea. Not that that’s a bad thing– I collect tea tins, myself. And finally, there’s illustrations by Sujean Rim, who does some art for the website DailyCandy. Awesome!
Be sure to check out the website for lots of fun stuff, including activities and free things like autographed samples of tea!
Read: February 2009