Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Ninja Reviews. . .Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Katrina has spent her entire life in Nordby, a cute and cozy Norwegian-founded town located in the Pacific Northwest. She helps her Grandma Anna run their family business, Anna's Old World Scandinavian Coffeehouse. Business at the coffeehouse isn't so hot because the only customers they really have are the old folks in town who prefer Anna's coffee and Norwegian snacks while the rest of the town frequents trendy, always-bustling Java Heaven. . .which is right next door to Anna's!

When the story begins, Katrina is getting ready to open shop one morning when she discovers a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind the coffeehouse. She's a little bit scared and calls her best guy friend Vincent to come over and keep watch. Before Vincent shows up, Katrina decides to slip a bag of pastries, some chocolate-covered coffee beans, and a steaming cup of coffee just outside the door to the alleyway. The guy might seem a little scary, but he almost might be hungry.

From there we get a very sweet and sometimes funny story about wishes, dreams, and, ultimately, forgiveness. It turns out that the homeless guy might not exactly be homeless after all. He just might be an angelic messenger who, because of her kind deed, must now give Katrina whatever she desires most. If only Katrina knew what her deepest desire is! She's not really good at anything. She's not a fantastic, medal-winning swimmer like her best guy friend, Vincent. And she's not a talented, outspoken artist like her best girl friend, Elizabeth. Does she desire money to keep the coffeehouse afloat? Or does she desire fame so that she's noticed for actually being good at something?

I read this book in one sitting (really!) and really enjoyed it. This was a really nice change of pace from the very dark, angsty teen fiction I often read. I loved the setting, which was almost a character itself, and the entire time I read the book I swear I could smell coffee brewing! Katrina is a very likable character. She's loyal and hard-working and kind, but she does screw up and make mistakes. There is obviously a little bit of supernatural stuff going on in this book, but that's not really what the book is about.

If you need something light and sweet to read, I highly recommend reading Coffeehouse Angel. . .preferably with a mug of coffee and maybe a delicious krumkake. Visit Suzanne Selfors' website to learn more about the town for which Nordby is based.

Want another sweet read? Try one of these!

Getting the Girl
by Susan Juby

Donut Days
by Lara Zielin

Hope Was Here
by Joan Bauer

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