Title: The Secrets of Ice Cream Success
Author: AD Hartley
Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary supernatural
How I got the book: I got a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Carlo never wanted to take over the family ice cream business, at fourteen he already had school and the terror of talking to girls to occupy his ever anxious mind, but when the odious Haverton Hill tried to buy the factory from him after his father’s death, an unexpected sense of defiance arose.
With the “help” of his friends, Carlo sets out to cope with incompetent staff, sabotage, spooky goings on in the basement, a diary with a mind of its own and the knowledge that those little specks in the vanilla ice cream may not be as innocent as they seem… Oh, and he’s just been asked to a party by a girl! Summer holidays were not supposed to be this interesting.
Whilst battling against vomit, cockroaches, squat dictators and first dates, will the secrets Carlo uncovers within the factory lead to success or failure?
This book was certainly not what I expected, but in a good way.
Carlo’s mother has passed away and soon his father dies as well. Now he has to run the ice cream factory that his father took care of for so long. Being at the age of fourteen, Carlo is hesitant to take on the factory. That is until the competition steps up and Carlo realizes the ice cream factory is more important than he thought.
With the help of his friends, Carlo tries to keep the factory running even as people try to sabotage him.
The overall plot was unique as you don’t often see too many teenagers trying to run their family’s ice cream business while there’s a ghost in the basement. Yes, there are supernatural elements to the story which makes it that much better.
While Carlo was developed nicely through the course of the story, I felt as though his friends were just there for the ride. Granted, they’re not the main characters, but I felt like they were there for comic relief. Sometimes it worked, sometimes they were just immature. Then again, they’re fourteen and that’s what teenagers do.
The writing itself was good. The story flow was great and easy to read for the most part. I received a digital copy from the author and there were a lot of grammatical errors and typos. It made the story hard to read at times because some sentences didn’t make sense because they were written in two different tenses. I wonder if I got a different version of the story before the final one.
Overall, the story had an interesting plot with memorable characters. There were supernatural elements as well as mysterious elements which kept me on my toes.
The Secrets of Ice Cream Success by AD Hartley gets 3 out of 5 stars.
“‘How do you get anything done?’
‘We’re fourteen. We don’t.’” –AD Hartley, The Secrets of Ice Cream Success
About the Author:
AD Hartley studied animation at University and used that training well by stumbling into IT Finance. At various times, and often briefly, he has been a baker, turkey butcher, cinema usher, TV game show researcher, language school receptionist, website sports columnist, youth charity team leader, business consultant, overseas expedition leader, project manager for environmental or social impact charities and latterly Asia operations manager for an international youth development organisation. That animation Degree has served him well. In 2013 he founded Dragon Social Responsibility, which keeps him busy when he isn’t writing.
At various times he has lived in Middlesbrough, Hull, London, Kenya, Borneo, Cambodia and now lives in Kuala Lumpur.
His first book for young adults, The Secrets of Ice Cream Success, was based on a short story he wrote many moons ago, which was in turn based on an animation script written many moons before that. See, there was a point to that Animation Degree.