Romeo and Juliet inspired YA

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The families that own two neighboring bakeries, Salt and Sugar, are in a feud that has spanned generations when big changes happen that threaten both businesses. Lari’s grandmother just passed away. A huge supermarket chain moved into town and is forcing many small businesses to shut down. Can Lari from Salt and Pedro from Sugar find a way to work together to save the bakeries despite the rest of their families at each other’s throats?

SALT AND SUGAR is a YA romance with an enemies-to-lovers trope. The premise in the synopsis was enough to catch my attention but overall, this book did not deliver for me. I found the world building to be lacking. I kept forgetting where the book was taking place as the setting didn’t seem to strongly or consistently speak of Brazil outside of the food. There wasn’t significant character development and the family feud was overly dramatic. The constant yelling or miscommunication got to be a bit much. An overwhelming amount of time was spent detailing food. The first ¾ of the book was very slow paced and didn’t feel like much was driving the plot forward. It was great that themes of grief, family, and community were included, but it felt like they got lost within the drama and cooking descriptions. The last part of the book finally picked up in action, culminating in a somewhat rushed feeling conclusion.

SALT AND SUGAR was a cute concept for a YA romance but ultimately wasn’t a favorite of mine. Fans of Romeo and Juliet retellings might enjoy it more.