Life my feelings for a cup of coffee itself, I had high expectations before opening the book’s cover, but I wasn’t convinced Coffeehouse Angel was for me. At first it seemed kind of bitter, but quickly the story grew on me until I was hooked.
Suzanne Selfors’ latest book tells the tale of teenager Katrina Svensen as she faces some typical and not-so-typical growing pains. Like most teenagers, she is trying to find her place in the big world. She constantly worries about finding her hidden talent, and seriously believes that it may not exist. When she isn’t worrying about herself, she worries about her grandmother and their family’s struggling coffee business.
As luck would have it (or maybe not), a messenger angel enters Katrina’s life as these concerns about herself and her family become almost overwhelming. Malcolm, the angel, insists on rewarding Katrina for her kindness towards him. He refuses to give up until he has given her what she most desires. So what is Katrina’s biggest desire? Could it be fame, fortune, or a boyfriend?
The path to discovering what she most desires leads to some unexpected troubles that just seem to make matters worse. Along the way, supporting characters begin to adjust their places in Katrina’s life. Her relationship with her best male friend, Vincent, is tested when he starts dating her overachieving foe, Heidi. Katrina's best female friend, Elizabeth, becomes even more important as she helps Katrina achieve things she didn’t believe were possible. Some of the characters were a little difficult for me to relate to (such as Vincent and Heidi,) but I think this could be a function of my age and not the author’s talent. (It has been a decade since I was in high school.)
At times, I wasn’t sure whether or not the author supported progressive ideals because she seemed to scoff at organic and fair trade products while at the same time relishing in small, family-owned businesses. However, as you read you learn an ugly truth about Katrina’s business rival that boasts environmentally friendly beverages. So you see the author doesn’t have anything against organic coffee, but she certainly doesn’t like dimwitted jerks who scheme there way to high profit margins while leaving honest people in ruins.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Entertaining plot twists kept me intrigued, while subtle messages about growing up, developing confidence and the importance of community made the book genuinely meaningful. Most telling is that I would encourage my daughter (if I had one) to read it as well.