Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Sugar and spite by Gail D. Villanueva- Tbr and beyond tours

Hello and welcome to my stop for “Sugar and spite”! A huge thanks to Tbr and beyond tour for the opportunity and to Scholastic Press for the chance to read and review this book!

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy
Publishing date:  April 20th, 2021
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Can a bully be defeated by a magical love potion?
Jolina can’t take Claudine’s bullying any longer! The taunts and teasing are too much. Though Jolina knows she’s still in-training to use her grandfather’s arbularyo magic, she sneaks into his potions lab to get her revenge. Jolina brews a batch of gayuma, a powerful love potion.
And it works. The love potion conquers Claudine’s hateful nature. In fact, Claudine doesn’t just stop bullying Jolina-now she wants to be Jolina’s BFF, and does everything and anything Jolina asks.
But magic comes with a cost, and bad intentions beget bad returns. Controlling another person’s ability to love-or hate-will certainly have consequences. The magic demands payment, and it is about to come for Jolina in the form of a powerful storm…
Magic and reality mingle in this brilliant new middle-grade novel by Gail D. Villanueva that asks whether it’s ever okay to take away someone’s free will.

Thank you so much, Scholastic Press, for the chance to read and review this book!

TW: bullying, death

Jolina can’t take Claudine’s bullying any longer, so she decides to brew a batch of gayuma, a love potion, conquering Claudine’s nature. Not only the girl stops bullying Jolina, but also wants to be her best friend, doing everything she asks. While slowly getting to know one other, Jolina starts to regret her action. Controlling someone’s feeling will have consequences and maybe Jolina isn’t ready to pay them. Magic always has a cost.

I really liked reading this cute and funny middle-grade novel! In a wonderful island, with a really evocative setting, Jolina is a smart and brilliant main character, an arbularyo-in-training. She loves her family, she has a tight bond with her dog Kidlat, she loves learning from her grandfather’s magic, but, since she moved there from Manila, she feels like an outsider and Claudine, daughter of a rich family, isn’t helping her feeling welcome. She feels she doesn’t belong there, struggling to open up and making friends and when she decides to get her revenge everything changes. She’s forced to understand what it means taking someone’s free will, while, also, getting to know the real Claudine. I really liked how they start to become friends, away from their prejudices and insecurities.
I also loved Jolina’s relationship with her parents and grandfather and, above all, the connection between her and her dog. It was so moving and sweet! The food, too! I loved reading about the cooking and the magic!

Magic and reality are mixed in Sugar and Spite, in a loving story about friendships and prejudices, socioeconomic differences, love, family and free will.

“Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it’s cool to think that I’m the daughter of Rain and Sunshine.”

“After all, anyone who likes animals and can actually have animals like them is usually a good person.”

“Mom tells me that friendship is also a kind of love.”

“Like Lolo Sebyo said, there are people who have forgotten how to express their kindness even though they’ve always been kind deep inside.”

“Whatever you give, you’ll also receive. Do good, you get rewarded with with fortune. Do bad, you get punished with bad.”

Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipino author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer and an entrepreneur. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken. Her debut novel My Fate According to the Butterfly (Scholastic, 2019) was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, an Amazon Best Book of the Month Editor’s Pick, and a NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Gail’s next book, Sugar And Spite, will be published by Scholastic on April 20, 2021.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

One last thing!

One person will win an annotated ARC from the author. The giveaway starts on April 19th and ends on April 26th

Direct Link:


What you should know about me is: I'm in love with books. I love diving in them, living my heroine's and heroes' adventure, discovering new worlds and characters. I've always loved reading and writing. The idea of creating is thrilling and scary at the same time. 'I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still."

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