Monday, August 30, 2010

Review of Coffeehouse Angel

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Pages: 276
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: August 21, 2009
My Rating:

Goodreads says, "From the author of Saving Juliet comes a romantic comedy that is good to the last drop. When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down.  Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be."

Katrina lives with her grandmother, Anna, above their family owned coffeehouse.  Katrina's parents died in a car accident when she was a young girl so her grandmother is her the only family she has ever known.  Their old world coffeehouse is struggling a bit ever since Java Heaven moved in next door which caters to a trendier crowd with their fancy drinks and organic coffee.  To make matters worse, the owner of Java Heaven's daughter, Heidi, is in Katrina's grade and drives Katrina nuts, especially when she shows an interest in Vincent, one of Katrina's best friends and a popular swimmer.  Katrina also has a supportive best friend in Elizabeth who is a gifted artist that is driven and confidant.  Katrina lacks self-confidance and feels, in comparison to her best friends, that she isn't good at anything.  On what seems to be an average day in Nordby, Katrina opens the coffeehouse early and finds what appears to be a homeless man, named Malcom, squatting in their alley.  She leaves him a pastry and a coffee and as the day goes on, she realizes he has come to find her to reward her for her good deed. Katrina is convinced that he's a psycho, but could he be what he claims to be...... an angel? Suzanne Selfors book, Coffeehouse Angel, is a charming read and as comforting as a warm cup of old world cocoa.  

This book radiates small town charm. I adored the quaint setting of Nordby. I imagined myself walking down the streets admiring the shops all while sipping a yummy coffee.  I pictured visiting the harbor or spending an afternoon reading my favorite book in Katrina and Anna's coffeehouse.  It was such a endearing town and where magical things can actually happen to good people. Reading this book was like living in Pleasantville or a set from Disney's Hollywood Studios.  

I loved the character of Katrina. I know a lot of other readers had a problem with her self-depricating ways, but a lot of teenagers are tough on themselves, just like Katrina. I feel as though a lot of my students can relate to Katrina and her self-confidance issues.  She truly comes full circle by the end of the book, which was also nice to see.  Katrina also has a great best friend in Elizabeth, which is wonderful, because in YA lately female best friends have been falling short.  Also, Vincent was a good friend to Katrina for the most part, but their relationship struggled a bit towards the middle of the novel.  I was glad that this wasn't going to be one of those novels where the protagonist realizes she loves her guy best friend and Selfors is sure to tell her readers that it isn't one of those stories. PHEW!

The interaction between Malcom and Katrina was sweet and completely appropriate for younger middle school students. I can happily display this book on my classroom library shelf at the start of this new school year without any hesitation.  However, because this book it is deemed tween appropriate, some readers have complained the pace is slow at times, but it honestly didn't bother me as it was a welcome change from all the edge of my seat books I've been reading lately. 

Suzanne Selfors' Coffeehouse Angel is a light read that is sure to please readers that are looking for a soothing read.  Selfors takes us to a place where everything ends happily and all things work out in the end.  I finished this book with a smile on my face, which lately in the world of fast-paced series and suspenseful cliffhangers is rare.  


  1. Cute review and very good point about teenagers :)

  2. I think that I would love this. I have no issue with twenny books and it sounds so sweet with an important message. Great review.

  3. JuJu- Thanks! I appreciate it.

    Becky- Thanks! :) I think you would really enjoy it as well. It's such a sweet read!


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