Like a Love Song releases on August 3 (aka tomorrow!!) and I couldn’t be more excited to read this YA romcom! To celebrate its release, debut author Gabriela Martins is stopping by the blog today to introduce us to the characters by pairing them with Brazilian desserts—yum!! So without further ado, here’s Gabriela:
A Gastronomic Tour of Like a Love Song Characters
Like a Love Song is a book about music and finding yourself, but as Natalie, my main character, I’m also Brazilian, and we have this strong connection with our food. It’s impossible to go to Brazil without falling in love with its plural cuisine, and it’s impossible to live with a Brazilian and not hear them going on about the life-changing food from their homeland. To honor some of the wonderful desserts we have, for this blog post, all of my main characters become snacks!
What it is: a firm and consistent block of guava, sugar and water, usually eaten in strips.
Padma is the easiest of them all. Like goiabada, she’s sweet, unique and strong. Like the fruit that originates the snack, she is something completely different than you’d probably pin her as. There’s much more sweetness to her soul-of-the-night DJ vibes than one would initially think. Like goiabada goes extremely well with some queijo de minas, she too would find it easier to start a conversation if she’s among her friends.
What it is: condensed milk, butter, sugar, cravos-da-índia and fresh coconut, usually eaten after cold, in little balls.
Contrasting to Padma, Brenda is exactly what she looks like. She’s an explosion of sugar (covered in coconut!) and could be easily compared to beijinho, a dessert typical to children’s birthday parties, where children will run around, uninterested in the food, and the adults will mingle around the dessert table. Beijinho has a surprisingly firm consistency once you take a bite though, so she too is very determined and strong-willed. A secret about what makes beijinho so good, though? Cravo-da-índia. The little mix of flavor, usually placed on top of the dessert after it’s cooled, gives a hint of unpredictableness . . . Just like Brenda.
William: Bolo de Rolo
What it is: eggs, sugar, butter, flour, and your filling of choice. (Typically, guava or chocolate.)
Even though William’s British, he’s a Brazilian cinnamon guava/chocolate roll! This dessert is covered in chocolate after it’s done, and each bite demands the next. You may not give it much by looking at it—perhaps it doesn’t look as sexy as the all-American apple pie . . . but just you wait until you get to know the bolo de rolo. You’ll FEAST on it. Similarly, Natalie doesn’t give William much thought when she first meets him, but as she gets to know him, feelings start to develop . . .
What it is: yolk, sugar, and coconut, usually eaten in small portions.
Quindim is easy to love. What’s not to love about a shiny dessert that melts in your mouth? Well, the thing is, it’s kind of messy too. Your fingers will absolutely be gross if you don’t wash your hands after eating. But it’s worthy. You look at quindim, and it looks like this completely soft thing, but once you take a bite . . . you see there’s some burned coconut underneath. Just like Natalie might seem more vulnerable than she is. Yeah, she’s a teen pop star. But also? She’s got that Brazilian daughter-of-a-single-mom vibe, of someone who can take you down if they only collect themselves first.
I hope you enjoyed the post, and it made you both excited for LIKE A LOVE SONG, coming out on August 3, and hungry for Brazilian snacks!
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Bookshop
This debut paperback original romance follows a Latina teen pop star whose image takes a dive after a messy public breakup, until she’s set up with a swoon-worthy fake boyfriend.
Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star . . . until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William–and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?
GABRIELA MARTINS is a Brazilian kidlit author and linguist. Her stories feature Brazilian characters finding themselves and love. She was a high school teacher and has also worked as a TED Ed-Club facilitator, where she helped teens develop their own talks in TED format to present. She edited and self-published a pro-bono LGBTQ+ anthology (KEEP FAITH) with all funds going to queer people in need. When she’s not writing, she can be found cuddling with her two cats, or singing loudly and off-key. Her YA romances, LIKE A LOVE SONG and BAD AT LOVE, come out summer 2021 and summer 2022 (Underlined/PRH).
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