Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer

From the Publisher's website:

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.

I adored this book! It definitely soared above my expectations! It was sweet and warm and just all things good!

The book centers around Annie and her beloved Steeping Leaf that her grandmother owns. She loves the Steeping Leaf so much she wants to get her very first job there, and it doesn't hurt that a cute older boy named Jonathan also works there! Her initial meeting with Jonathan is too funny! Everything is going well until one day the power goes out and Annie finds out that her grandmother has been having problems paying all her bills. Annie and her friends become determined to save the Steeping Leaf!

One of my favorite things about this book is all the old tea leaf ads and recipes. When Annie was younger she and her friends started a scrapbook of all things tea and these are clippings from it! The book is also full of beautiful watercolor illustrations. These just add to the experience of an already great book!

I had assumed it would be alternating perspectives based on what I read in the synopsis but that wasn't the case and it did not matter at all. Through Annie's voice we definitely also get a sense of her family and friends, Geena and Zoe. The cast of secondary characters were great. I especially loved the "very annoying" Zach!

I really hope this is just the beginning of the Teashop Girls adventures and that there are more books to come! Fingers crossed! This book has definitely peaked my interest in tea and I definitely hope to try a variety of teas in the near future!

The Teashop Girls is released on December 30th!

5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher

What's your favorite tea? I want to try some but don't know where to start! Does anyone know of a great sampler pack I could purchase? Or a particular brand that's great?

18 comments:

  1. What a great review. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

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  2. Anonymous6:51 PM

    Thank you for the kind review! It's so wonderful to hear the positive feedback. I hope this is the first of many Teashop Girls adventures, too.

    Yay!

    ~Laura Schaefer

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  3. This sounds sweet. And how nice to receive a comment from the author. Lucky you!

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  4. Sounds like a very cute book. I'm a big fan of tea, but I'm not exactly a connoisseur. I stick to brands like Bigelow or Celestial Seasonings. :)

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  5. Yay! This is one my bookshelf, Laura (so nice) sent me a copy. I'm glad to hear your feedback, too! Can't wait to start it!

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  6. Well first you need to get yourself a steeper if you don't have one already. My secret santa introduced me to adagio.com which has amazing loose leaf tea. They have a bunch of different sample packs. My favorite tea is their royal early grey. Plus, their shipping is pretty cheap and super fast.The chocolate tea is great but some people might think it is weird.

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  7. my favorite type of steepers are these:http://www.quickspice.com/scstore/images/tea-ball-01_lg.jpg. I bought some on ebay.

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  8. oh and I must get this book!

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  9. Great Review! I'll be looking for this book. It sounds wonderful. I am a tea lover and my current favorite is Madagascar Vanilla Red by Celestial Seasonings. I love to add sugar and milk and it's delish.
    I also like English Breakfast Tea.
    I think that you need to try different kinds of tea to find what you like. I'll be interested to see what others recommend.


    How nice that you had a comment from the author!!

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  10. What a great review! The book sounds adorable -and since I'm attracted by bright and/or shiny things, I'll probably get it since the cover is so freaking cute.

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  11. I am not sure, but I think I read a review of this book at some place :( I can't remember where though!

    But this book sounds so good! so cute :)

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  12. Great review!!! You've sold me. I'll be heading to the bookstore in early January to look for this!

    Thanks!!!

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  13. If you want to start simple, try something like Constant Comment (they have an Orange Pekoe that is pretty mild with just a hint of cloves). But if you ever get the chance, there's nothing better than hitting a *real* tea shoppe where you can pick up the canisters and smell all of the amazing fragrances. They'll even let you sample the teas and explain all of the different kinds! It's like heaven!!!

    I will definitely be adding The Teashop Girls to my reading list!!

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  14. Its so funny, I just finished this one also! We often seem to like the same type of books. I did not love it as much as you, but I did like it.

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  15. Sounds like the perfect book for this time of year. :)

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  16. Celestial Seasonings have great sampler packs. Personally I like peppermint tea.

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  17. Hey Alea--
    I just posted about this on my blog. (Yes, I finally finished!). It was great--I loved it, too! Sooo sweet and warm, and yes--the old clippings and ads definitely added to the charm. (:
    Best,
    B.

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  18. Laura- You are very welcome, I adored it and am so glad to hear that this probably isn't the last we will see of the Teashop Girls!

    Everyone- I hope you all enjoy it as well!

    And thank you so much for the tea suggestions, I've been going around trying different teas and I'll definitely be referring back here over and over again for suggestions! We have gotten the Celestical Seasonings sample pack and I've been trying teas at a friend's house too!

    So far my main problem is I think it all tastes like water (apparently I don't know what water tastes like :P) but i am determined to find something i love!

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