Salt and Sugar gives Romeo and Juliet a Brazilian twist

Two families alike in dignity, in fair Brazil, we set our scene. Salt and Sugar by Rebecca Caravalho is an up-and-coming young adult contemporary set to release this November. I received an advanced reader’s copy for this one, and let me tell you, it’s a must read if you love R & J stories, enemies to lovers, baking, and latine(x) stories.

Thank you Netgalley and Inkyard press for this Advanced Readers copy. Salt and Sugar is out everywhere November 1st.

Summary:

Larissa and Pedro have been rivals since they were children, their feud extending as far back as their great grandmothers. And the tension only increases between the families when a superstore moves into the neighborhood and slowly begins bankrupting every business. Then Larissa’s teacher convinces her to join the school’s cooking club, and she agrees, only to find that Pedro is the head chef in charge.

Setting aside their feud is one thing but learning to trust each other is simply impossible. But the club offers both of them a glimpse into the life of someone they always hated. 

Thoughts:

Salt and Sugar is such a cute romantic contemporary. I loved that this novel takes place in Brazil, and the small-town vibes just made this novel feel very cozy.

This is a Romeo and Juliet retelling, so of course there will be a sprinkle of generational trauma in this story. I liked that the author took the Romeo and Juliet trope and reinvented it. As we all know, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet focused a lot on the feud. However, in Salt and Sugar, the feud between families is exacerbated by the stress of their bakeries closing.

Additionally Pedro and Larissa are not love at first sight type of lovers. Throughout the novel they have to learn to trust each other and work together. I think this works perfectly because it makes the romance a secondary focus. The main theme of this novel relies more on community and the ability to help your neighbor during hard times. 

Although the novel doesn’t exactly end with a healing feud between the families, it does emphasize a new beginning for both of them.

I mentioned that generational trauma is also a theme in this novel, and it ends up connecting to the feud. Pedro dreams of reinventing the recipes at Sugar, but his grandfather berates him for it because he fears the bakery will lose customers if they change their sweets. Similarly, Larissa never learned to bake because her mother wanted her to focus on her studies and fulfill her father’s dream of attending university. Additionally, Larissa’s mother refuses to burden her daughter with Salt’s debt. But Larissa dreams of baking because she feels it connects her with her grandmother. This results in Larissa’s disastrous skills in the kitchen and her consciously hiding it. 

Salt and Sugar is a cozy read for any time of year. I recommend it especially for fans enemies to lovers and bakers.

CW: death of a grandmother, mentions of a dead parent, emotional abuse, car accident, some bullying.

Until next time you can find me living in libros,

Gabriela (bad bunny’s fave)

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