Review of Avocado Bliss by Candace Robinson and Gerardo Delgadillo

Sometimes it’s great to step out of your usual genres. I’m not a huge fan of young adult contemporary, and if I’d realized that’s what this book was I might have skipped on Avocado Bliss. I would have missed out on a really sweet and charming story!

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.

Available on Amazon.

The story opens with 17 year old Dacre as he herds his brothers through the air travel process of returning to Mexico from Texas. The multiple challenges he faces as a Type 1 Diabetic are immediately clear as he must be with his needles and insulin at all times.

Earlier this year there was a diabetes and the family awareness initiative and a family from my children’s school was featured on a local television show. Although neither parent is diabetic, all four of the children are. I was astounded at what their daily routine looks like as a result. From the meals, to meal prep, medication monitoring, medication delivery, doctor’s visits and general constant health checks. Those children are all pre-teen, so I was very interested in reading about the disease from an older teen’s perspective.

Even at just 17 years old, Dacre is cognizant of how short his life could be and of the intense responsibility he has in maintaining his own health. He is also unwilling to allow anyone else to shoulder that responsibility with him and recoils from anyone’s excessive concern. He wants to be treated like everyone else and so he when he starts his new job on the avocado farm, he tries to hide his reality from everyone.

Sal is one of the cutest, sweetest heroines I’ve read in a while. To say this young lady is obsessed with avocados would be putting it mildly, and yet would also understate her vocation. She’s in love with her family farm and has a real drive to create a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle. She talks to her trees and fruits. Whether it’s out of just love or out of a kind of loneliness, we have to figure out. Her father teases her about being a robot as she takes a determined, logical, no nonsense approach to life and work. That’s Sal’s battle to fight. How can she come out of her shell; how can she allow anyone to see the real her. She’s also dealing with the loss of her (mother figure) aunt who died of complications from Type 2 Diabetes. So, you can see how these two teens have a lot to bond over, if only they ever open up to each other.

The only downside to this story is the pace. It’s slow, especially before the characters get started on their big trip. That first third or more is very heavy in setting the scene and establishing the relationships between the central characters and those around them. Some of it even seemed a bit repetitive but, overall, good for getting a solid feel for all the players.

I absolutely loved the road trip. From the immersive descriptions of the scenery, the people and the culture, I thought I got an awesome sense of the Mexican landscape. Although Dacre has lived in Mexico for much of his life, Sal is the born and bred Mexicana and plays the tour guide allowing the readers, too, to get an insight into a wonderful culture.

Overall, Avocado Bliss is a delightful story of two teens who discover they are stronger than they think they are and develop a beautiful friendship in the process. I give this story 4/5 blissful espresso shots.

12 thoughts on “Review of Avocado Bliss by Candace Robinson and Gerardo Delgadillo

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  1. First off: I LOVE avocados so Sal’s obsession seems completely warranted in my mind. Can you imagine having a farm of them? They’re ridiculously expensive where I live and having them free anytime you want sounds like bliss (and possibly bad business 😛 ). I enjoy YA comtemporary and Dacre and Sal’s story sounds so sweet! I’d love to give this a try sometime 🙂 Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I know what you mean about the avocados! I wish good quality ones were more accessible. Haha. The last two I bought weren’t all that great. This is definitely a sweet story.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. If I’d known it was YA I would have skipped. I usually can’t connect with the characters… especially if it’s a romance. But… this one was different and the focus wasn’t so much on the romance as the friendship.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I get you… and no. I think Dacre dealing with his diabetes was very mature… Also, Sal is actually quite confident, just very happy to keep to herself and her emotions in check.


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