Avocado Bliss by Candace Robinson and Gerardo Delgadillo

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Dacre Vinson has spent the majority of his life in quite the predicament—even the surf and his books can’t erase his Type 1 diabetes. But when Dacre’s family moves to a new Mexican town, an eccentric girl obsessed with trees offers him a job on the spot, leading to what could be the perfect distraction from his problems.

Salbatora Tames has one true love, her avocado farm. Her family constantly nudges her to be more social, but Sal much prefers the dirt, the sun, and the solitude. Besides, trees listen better than people do.

For Sal and Dacre, their job won’t stay easy breezy for long, not when an avocado delivery to Palenque, Mexico pops up on their radar. Together, they embark on a road trip across the jungle, where they form a tighter bond. However, as obstacles arise, their new-found troubles may lead to more woes than bliss.

14+ due to adult situations

 

Excerpt:

Outside, there’s tree after tree with ripe avocados ready for the picking. I walk out from the covered patio until I’m about four trees in. Something crushes under my foot, and I spot a squished avocado. Shit. I move away from the tree, as if it never happened. Standing below a branch, I look up and stare at it for a moment and think I should have just grabbed some from inside. Or possibly the one from the ground before I crushed it.

Curling up my shirt to gather the avocados, I expose my stomach as I reach up and pluck a green fruit from the branch. I stack four more into my t-shirt before I hear a voice behind me.

“Hey, are you trying to steal those?” a small girl wearing jean shorts and a loose t-shirt says, marching up in front of me. Not as tiny as the one inside, though. She rips one of the avocados out of my shirt and shoves it in my face.

“Oh, you speak English,” I say in English, not sure why that’s the first thing that comes out of my mouth when there’s a piece of fruit pushed at my left eye.

“And Spanish,” she replies in Spanish. Her short black hair has a bandana wrapped around her forehead to the back, kind of reminding me of the young guy from The Karate Kid.

“As do I,” I say in Spanish, mostly to the avocado still moving back and forth in my face. With the tip of my index finger, I casually move her arm away. “Sorry, I wasn’t stealing. I was just picking some avocados to buy.”

“Oh?” Her scowl turns into a somewhat smile. “You actually buy them inside.” The girl places her arm back by her side, still gripping the avocado in territorial mode.

“Hmm, that’s funny. The girl inside—Flor—told me I should come out here and find something extra special. Yet I stumbled upon you.” I automatically realize that came out wrong. “I mean special avocados.”

The girl closes her eyes and lets out a loud sigh, gritting her teeth. “Flor.”

“What?”

Back to casual mode, she waves me off. “Nothing.” She hands me back the fruit. “Just take these inside and you can pay for them up front.”

 

Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings)
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5/5
To Grow a Tree
Written by Ann Keeran on 31st Mar 2020

A wonderful story of two people from different worlds. One from a dysfunctional family and the other from a tight knit farming community. But one thing is dominate in both lives, a disease. Candace Robinson has created a story of love and compassion that will draw you in.

5/5
Quirky contemporary
Written by Kattie on 31st Mar 2020

Grief and diabetes are themes in this YA contemporary book set in Mexico. It has all the quirkiness and quick witted banter I have come to expect from a Candace Robinson novel. Plus it has a very authentic feel since one author is from Mexico, and the other has a husband dealing with type 1 diabetes.

5/5
Fantasic Book!!!
Written by Patricia on 31st Mar 2020

This book takes you on an amazing adventure with a love story added. It was such a great book, I loved both of the main characters. Getting to live both their stories in the book and seeing how they both feel about the same situation is so wonderful. I fell in love with both of their stories. I just couldn't seem to put this book down. I wanted to know what was going to happen next!

5/5
An enjoyable read...
Written by Tess on 31st Mar 2020

Robinson and Delgadillo do it again! These authors have knack for fleshing out fun characters who have a quirky dynamic and share witty dialogue. Dacre and Sal are complex and realistic, full of angst and spunk, all at the same time. I love how this book tackles loss, heartache, and illness, as well as the excitement of meeting someone new. Robinson and Delgadillo capture magic of getting butterflies from the promise of a budding romance really well. The backdrop of Mexico adds such a wonderful flavor. Fans of young adult fiction will thoroughly enjoy this read.

5/5
Adventure!
Written by sassy lashes on 31st Mar 2020

This was such a cute/fun book and exactly what I needed right now. Sal is pretty content with her life, but her friends and family are nudging her to be less robotic and more "normal" when it comes to socializing with those beyond her beloved avocado trees. Dacre is less than pleased with recent life events and would prefer to put walls up and keep others from getting too close. But a seemingly straightforward avocado delivery bring adventure, danger and the two of them together in a way that neither expected. ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary ARC of this book.***

4/5
Nice story with some interesting scenarios and settings
Written by Shayay19 on 31st Mar 2020

A nice story with a bit of adventure and romance. The story takes place in Mexico, where Sal works on her family’s avocado farm. She’s a bit quirky with her slight avocado obsession, but she still has her teenage angst. She meets Dacre when he comes to buy some avocados, she offers him a job at the farm and the two become friends over time. Dacre’s parents are divorced, so he spends time in the States with his dad and the other time with his mom in Mexico. The book starts with Dacre and his two brothers returning back to Mexico to stay with their mom. Their mom has a new 21 year old boyfriend that they are now going to live with, but Dacre being almost 18, isn’t too happy that his mom is dating someone so young, so he accepts the job at the farm to get out of the house. Dacre also has to deal with having Type 1 diabetes; he needs to take shots of insulin daily, so he decides to hide it from those at his new job so they don’t treat him differently. When Dacre and Sal have to go on a road trip to deliver some avocados, things don’t exactly go as planned. An entertaining, interesting read. I liked all the characters and the story is something different, so it’s nice to read something unexpected. I didn’t quite connect with the characters; there’s a lack of depth to the emotional impact of the story, so I didn’t really find myself invested in the story fully. Still enjoyed getting a glimpse into the unique world of Sal and Dacre. Voluntarily reviewing an early copy

5/5
Wonderful
Written by Vicki on 31st Mar 2020

Life hasn’t been easy for Dacre Vinson. Growing up with type 1 diabetes has its own set of struggles. Sharing time with his divorced parents He, along with younger brothers Lachlan and Ezra, make their way to Mexico to visit their career driven mother. Upon arriving, they meet their mother’s handsome and much younger boyfriend Francisco. Desperate to get away from home, Dacre ventures out on an errand to an avocado farm. But he finds more than just avocados. Dacre is offered a job on site by a girl he just met. Salbatora “Sal” Tames runs the avocado farm with her widower father. Sal has fallen into a monotonous, almost robotic-like life tending the trees on the farm. At least that’s what her father thinks. So he sends her on a 2-day long journey out of town to make their biggest delivery yet. Only thing is she’ll need a companion to ride along with her. That’s where new hire Dacre comes in. Avocado Bliss was absolutely delightful. Extremely lighthearted and touches on some very real very raw life occurrences. I loved the complexity of the characters. The Mexico setting was very fun and different.

5/5
Hard to Not Fangirl About!
Written by Emma Katherine on 31st Mar 2020

Opinions: I can't remember the last time I read a book as rich and stimulating as Avocado Bliss! Each page was more exciting than the last and a range of emotions were drawn forward by the complex and realistic protagonists. Rage, anticipation, sympathy, fear, excitement, and utter bliss just begin the list of things I felt during this rollercoaster of emotion! As a reader, I enjoyed multiple things about the book. Setting aside the entertainment aspects (because those are a given with anything written by Robinson or Delgadillo) I was most impressed with the themes taught in this YA contemporary! I learned a lot about getting over stupid mistakes, accepting yourself and each other for your differences, and taking baby steps until you're comfortable in a relationship. Avocado Bliss lays everything out on a table and normalises it for teens! This is also a very engaging feature, as young adult readers will feel more at home with the characters. Guess what, parents? Teens ponder, worry about, and even imagine sex, and so do these characters! Everything about the characters, relationships, setting, and conflicts in Avocado Bliss is entertaining, representative, thematic, and heartfelt. This book will definitely be added to my all-time favourites list! Is This Book For Me? Sometimes, it's difficult to make up our minds on whether to read a book or not. Here are a few notes regarding whether you should or shouldn't read Avocado Bliss! Should: If you the type of reader who laughs, cries, screams, and throws books across the room out of emotion! Shouldn't: If you're here to learn about avocado recipes. Should: If you could do with learning a bit about self respect, the effects of nostalgia, and first love! Shouldn't: If you're looking for intense, steamy, full-on romance. Should: If you've read and loved anything else by either author! Recommended For and Similar Reads: Avocado Bliss is a down-to-Earth, emotionally stimulating, meaningful story that will melt your heart. Every character, every location, and every moment has meaning. You can't pass it up! I strongly recommend this book to anybody who has read and enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, or Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.

5/5
Excellent Story With Tons of Love, Fun and Surprises
Written by L. Carmichael on 31st Mar 2020

Avocado Bliss is the latest novel co-written by Candace Robinson and Gerardo Delgadillo. Like some of their previous work, it revolves around young adults from (or living in) Mexico who deal with the art of growing up, identifying with different cultures, and figuring out how to balance falling in love and not getting hurt. I've read several books by both authors and always enjoy them, and this is definitely the case again. I highly recommend this book, and let's talk a little bit about why... Dacre, who must manage Type 1 diabetes, is the oldest of three siblings whose parents live separately in the US and Mexico. On a return trip back to Mexico, Dacre learns his mother has a much younger boyfriend, and he's having none of it. Upon arrival, he tries to stay far away and ends up accepting a job at an avocado farm where he gets more than he bargained for. Meanwhile, Sal, who runs the farm for her widowed father, is tough and robot-like, according to her friends. He encourages her to let loose more, but she's reticent ever since her favorite aunt died from Type 2 diabetes recently. When she has to take a trip to deliver avocados to a somewhat dangerous area, several scary and funny scenes occur. Will these two end up together? You'll have to read the book to find out! So... these characters are quite lovable. Dacre is generous and witty. Sal is stubborn and thoughtful. In Sal's world, her father and her flirtatious friend Flor balance out the rough edges. In Dacre's world, his brother Lach provides the drama. There's a little bit of everything from dangerous gang fights to sweet love and first-time heartbreak. It's fantastic to see how two writers with similar and different styles merge their work into a story that really makes you think and worry about the characters. I felt the suspense when they were in danger, and I wanted them to fall in love while tending to the avocados. That's a sign of great authors! So... light but full of strong messages and emotions, this book will make you feel happy and sad, but it's authentic and surprising at the same time. I read it in two sessions, and I only stopped because it was time to cook dinner and have a bit of a break from sitting still. Definitely give this one a chance, and you'll find two authors with a charming style and excellent sense of storytelling. I can't wait to see what they dream up next!

5/5
Avocados!!
Written by Amber Hodges on 31st Mar 2020

What a wonderful book. Ill be honest and say my life is utter chaos right now but this book gave me smiles and warm fuzzies in a time i needed it the most. I loved Dacre from the very beginning and found myself drawn into every one of his chapters needing more more more! Sal was a treat of a female character that was refreshing to say the least. She felt real and her robot persona made you wanna laugh as you kept reading. The romance that builds is one that makes you smile and have faith in the world again. It is definitely a book that will live forever on my shelves.

5/5
A favorite of 2020!!!
Written by Donna on 31st Mar 2020

I loved this book!!! It drew so many feelings out of me!!! I absolutely loved BOTH main characters, not to mention some of the side characters. Dacre and Sal both overcame feelings of insecurity, feelings of worry and sadness in their family, and dangers they went through. But through it all they became friends, and then more than friends. It was moving and I admit I got teary eyed more than once. Robinson & Delgadillo write so well together. Everything flows beautifully and they write such great characters. Bacon Pie was their first book, which I really loved. Now Avocado Bliss was AMAZING!! I think they both love food!!! Lol