Happy 4th of July, Independence Day to all of those in the USA! Here's my review of Latte Daze, which is the second book in Erynn Mangum's fabulous "Maya Davis" series:
Four months have passed since we last saw Maya and her friends in Cool Beans (the first book in this series). Since then, she's started dating her best friend Jack, but things between them aren't much different than they've always been...their dates mostly just seem like two friends hanging-out. Jack was the one who confessed "more than friends" feelings, and Maya's still not sure what to think. Obviously she likes Jack, he's been her best friend for years....but more than that? Maya's just not sure...
Then there's Jen, Maya's long-time roommate. She's dating Maya's ex-boyfriend (aka high school flame) Travis, and things are pretty serious between them. So serious, that when Travis pops the question to Jen, Maya is hardly surprised. But what catches Maya off guard is the intensity that the wedding plans take on. And when Jen's rude and impossible-to-please mother moves in and starts criticizing all of Jen's dream wedding plans, everyone's patience is put to the test.
Although I liked Cool Beans (the first book) just a little bit more, I still really enjoyed Latte Daze. I was kind of bummed to see Jack leave the coffee shop to start a new job since that meant there weren't as many opportunities for Maya/Jack banter. Although his new job at the zoo did end up providing quite a lot of opportunities for good-natured teasing and humorously cheesy jokes, I still missed his presence at the coffee shop. But as Maya is starting to find out: everything and everyone changes, and it's good if you can hold it together and not freak out about it. The best thing you can do is support the ones you love and not hold them back. (Even if it seems everyone around you is changing and growing while you remain stagnant!)
I said this in my review of the first book, and I'm going to say it again: if Maya was a real person I feel like I'd be friends with her! Sometimes I can't even believe how similar her thinking patterns are to mine, it's actually quite funny! :) But back to the review...Maya is still as spunky as ever, and she still has a love for movies, the food network, her dog Calvin, and of course coffee! Like the first book, this one is also loaded with great spiritual truths and applications for life. It's so awesome when you can be entertained and at the same time be learning things of value and not even realize you're learning, because it's all just woven together so nicely. I received (along with Maya) a great lesson on kindness: it's not a lack of action, such as simply keeping your mouth shut instead of mouthing off, but rather kindness is an action, an effort on your part. This is the type of stuff that we can all use reminders on.
If you've already read Cool Beans (the first book), I definitely recommend that you check out Latte Daze as well. And if you haven't already read the first book, Latte Daze does have enough of a recap that I guess you'd be okay to read it on its own... but Cool Beans is really a fun read too, so just make sure you don't miss out on it! These are some of the most lovable and entertaining characters I've run across in a long time, and it's just a pure joy to follow Maya's (or as Jack would say, "Nutkin's") story. This author has found a new fan in me, and I'm anxious to see what happens in the third book, Double Shot!