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When Life Gives You Lemons Instead of Lattes – Book Review and Giveaway

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Title: When Life Gives You Lemons Instead of Lattes

Author: Rayna York

Pages: 316

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Publisher: Toad Tree Press

Pub Date: July 2, 2020

What if losing everything you have is exactly what you need?

Kylie’s summer after high school graduation was supposed to be celebrated in Europe, not some podunk town in Ohio. But when the FBI shows up at her parents’ California beach house looking for her father, the life she’s known, suddenly disintegrates.

With the family assets frozen and her father on the run, the only place left to go is a dilapidated house that once belonged to her great-grandmother. Now her family is broke, her social status is in ruins, and the only internet access is at a café where a nerdy barista boy wants to be her new best friend.

But life has a funny way of teaching its lessons, and being catapulted into this new reality might be the help she needs to learn that sometimes you have to let go of everything you know to discover what is real.

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Continue reading to see my review of When Life Gives You Lemons Instead of Lattes.


I did not think I was going to enjoy When Life Gives You Lemons Instead of Lattes when I first started reading it. From page one, I could tell that our main character Kylie was a stuck up rich kid who did not understand the way the world works. I was so frustrated every single time she opened her mouth and spoke to her mother like she was better than her. But alas, I held out and gave Kylie a chance, and I’m glad that I did.

Kylie’s entire life is thrown into chaos when the FBI comes knocking at the door for her father, who is nowhere to be found. She refuses to believe he has done something wrong, but nevertheless, the FBI gives Kylie, her mother and sister three days to move out of their house in Santa Barbara before it is seized. With no other choice, they drive across the country to the former house of Kylie’s great grandmother.

Like a stereotypical rich California kid (I can speak from experience, Californians are an extra level of special) Kylie is disgusted by small town life, and can’t believe where her life has brought her. One of the funniest moments is when Kylie wears her typical California attire (a cropped shirt and shorts that don’t exactly cover her) into town, and her younger sister points out that she’s basically naked. Only then does Kylie realize that the standard clothing for girls her age in her new Ohio town is not what she’s used to.

After some time, Kylie starts taking to her new home and new friends she makes along the way. I thought Kylie showed amazing growth, though compared to where she started, it really didn’t take much for her to improve. She learns to appreciate her mother, how to take joy in selfless acts, and overall becomes a more thoughtful person.

I really enjoyed this fun summer read. I give When Life Gives You Lemons Instead of Lattes 4/5 stars.


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About the Author

Rayna York grew up with hippie parents that liked to adventure, so being the new kid was always a challenge. Where change was the norm, books were her constant–a way to escape. As an adult, many careers came and went, but writing has always been her passion. Everything I knew to be true is her first published novel.

By Bailey Riddle

Bailey Riddle is a 22-year-old college student studying Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts at San Francisco State University. She loves all things fandom, and can often be found with her nose in a book. When she isn’t busy with school and being a professional fangirl, she likes to cook food, read, and work on catching up on many hours of sleep.

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