I am so excited to share my first review of Latinx Heritage Month for book 2 of the Love Sugar Magic series, A Sprinkle of Spirits!
It’s no news that I adored A Dash of Trouble, which I picked up back in March and gave 5 stars (read my review here)! So I was really looking forward to reading this sequel, because I’m really motivated to finish the series I’ve started this year, and also because everyone kept saying it was better than the first book. And…well, I slightly agree, but not really. It’s complicated! Just know I loved it just as much!
P.S. I think I forgot how to write coherent book reviews and this is very rusty and messy, me thinks. So if you agree, just look away 🙈
Leonora Logroño has finally been introduced to her family’s bakery bruja magic—but that doesn’t mean everything is all sugar and spice. Her special power hasn’t shown up yet, her family still won’t let her perform her own spells, and they now act rude every time Caroline comes by to help Leo with her magic training.
She knows that the family magic should be kept secret, but Caroline is her best friend, and she’s been feeling lonely ever since her mom passed away. Why should Leo have to choose between being a good bruja and a good friend?
In the midst of her confusion, Leo wakes up one morning to a startling sight: her dead grandmother, standing in her room, looking as alive as she ever was. Both Leo and her abuela realize this might mean trouble—especially once they discover that Abuela isn’t the only person in town who has been pulled back to life from the other side.
Spirits are popping up all over town, causing all sorts of trouble! Is this Leo’s fault? And can she reverse the spell before it’s too late?
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It is hard to determine whether A Sprinkle of Spirits is superior to its predecessor, but damn, it definitely lives up to it.
The second book in the Love Sugar Magic series doesn’t fail to capture one’s heart. In A Dash of Trouble, we got to meet a young, curious Leo who felt excluded from her family because she wasn’t old enough to take part in bruja activities and help out at the family bakery. She resorted to secrecy and mischief to figure out magic all by herself. In this installment, she is still young and curious, but has finally been taken under the wing of her elders to be taught the proper ways of magic and so she can find out her birth-power, and is basically being a stellar student so far!
While Leo was selfish and stubborn in Dash because she was lonely, now she has finally been initiated into the family. But now that she’s officially a bruja, she has more responsibilities and finds herself at a crossroads on what she should place first: family or friendship.
This conversation added a level of maturity to the book, and also many layers of confusion and angst, as we learn the balance between family and friendship, and that we shouldn’t choose between them; they’re equally important in all of our lives. As cheesy as it sounds, love is one of the greatest forces that is always there to keep us going and just doesn’t fail to make us strong.
All of the lovely characters that we get the chance to meet in the first book, from tiny Brent to broody Marisol, make a triumphant return to help Leo in this one-day adventure full of spirits that need to be sent back to El Otro Lado, or else they’ll wreak havoc, and also vanish into thin air. No biggie, right?
The pacing was quite different but it worked. I loved how Leo faced panic, but used logic in all her decision-making and showed that it’s okay to rely on your friends and ask for a hand when you’re in trouble. And also, even though she made mistakes, she felt remorse and regret. (Look at how far she’s come uwu!) And, even though this is set over the course of a day (not more than 12 hours actually), there was a lot of character development!
We get to dive deeper into the magic of the Logroño family and how it all works, and it’s all so well-constructed and thought out that you never get confused. There’s still that amazing focus on baked goods, but getting to explore the other sides of the magic system was fascinating and a ton of fun. This made me wanna learn all about herbs and candles, ngl!
Another aspect I really enjoyed was the way it tackled grief. Don’t get me wrong, this is very much a light-hearted story, but there are still many, many layers to it, such as this one. Caroline, Leo’s best friend, basically evades all conversation regarding her mom in the first book, and getting to see a better look at what she was still going through and how she was coping with it and how her grief tied into how she felt about her Costa Rican roots was beautiful. This storyline is one of the reasons why middle grade is SO great and I appreciate it so much.
It’s hard to discuss A Sprinkle of Spirits without spoiling it, but it is simply fantastic, and a great addition to Love Sugar Magic. All the charm, charisma, and personality present in A Dash of Trouble is here too, and you’ll get to reunite with the Logroño gang and their iconic familial dynamics, experience the greatness of bread and pastries once again, and envelop yourself in a world inspired by Mexican culture, but this time, the celebration of unity, love, and brujería is even bigger in the cozy town of Rose Hill, with a nice dash of Día de Reyes preparations (!!!) and of course, a sprinkle of some very unique spirits.
A Sprinkle of Spirits is not to be missed, a perfect read for the fall and the Halloween season that is sure to envelop fellows of all ages with tons of warmth!