Thursday, February 25, 2010

High School Picks

Coffeehouse Angel
by Suzanne Selfors.
Scholastic, 2009.
276 pages.

In this second novel, Selfors has a real gem. Instead of writing yet another para-normal vampire or werewolf romance or adventure, Selfors bucks the trend toward dark fiction and writes a sweet novel about a girl, a boy, a failing coffeehouse, an ailing grandmother, a mute waitress with a secret past, a small Norwegian-American town, a mean shopkeeper with an agenda, oh, and an angel. Selfors even pokes fun at the vampire trend, when Katrina thinks,"There are so many stories about girls dating vampires...Angels are supposed to be pure and sinless...It was kind of a relief that I wouldn't have to fend off blood-sucking or enchantment on our first date."

Katrina is a likeable girl who helps her grandmother run a small coffeehouse called Anna's. The problem is that a new coffee shop with lattes, mochas, and imported coffees has opened across the street and wants to put Anna's out of business. Katrina sees a homeless man sleeping the alley behind the shop and gives him free coffee and day-old pastry. Little does she know, he's an angel and now must grant her heart's desire. She has a hard time figuring out what her desire is, and the angel won't take "no" for an answer.

Readers will like Katrina and want the best for her and her grandmother. A surprise ending will delight. Recommended for YA readers. Those who like humor and light romance will likely enjoy this read. Grades 7-high school.

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