Review: A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

Lila Reyes had it all planned, until the trifecta of losses happened. First, her grandmother passed away, then her boyfriend broke up with her right before prom, and the last blow… her best friend told Lila she’s not staying in Miami and is going abroad. So, of course, Lila has a breakdown of sorts, and her family’s solution?

Send her to England for the summer.

Of course, Lila doesn’t want to be there. She doesn’t want to stay in her cousin’s lodge, she just wants to be back in Miami to prepare to take over as co-owner of her grandmother’s bakery. But then she meets Orion, and Orion might be the key to rediscovering herself, her dreams, and moving on from some of that hurt.

I was immediately drawn into the story and I loved Lila as a character, as well as her family. I definitely understand her initial thoughts of betrayal from how they sent her away, but I also understood where her family was coming from. Her relationship with her sister was adorable in the moments seen with them FaceTiming, which made me wish I had a sister like Pilar.

Orion and his friends in Winchester were all fantastic characters as well. Orion was like a ball of sunshine in the cloudy skies of England, and I just easily loved his character. His friends are great too, especially Jules, who seems to kick ass and take names wherever she goes. They were all exactly what Lila needed in her recovery trip, and she didn’t even know she needed them until she met them.

The story itself was just so heartwarming, though I did get teary eyed near the end when Lila opened up more about her grandmother, as it reminded me of when I lost my grandma a few years ago. Other than that, this is a heartfelt story about loss, love, and self-discovery with lots of good pastries mentioned that will have your mouth watering.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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