Book Tour: Sugar and Spite by Gail D. Villanueva

Sugar and Spite by: Gail D. Villanueva

Release Date: April 20th, 2021

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary Fantasy

Pages: 208

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cover Artist: Abigail L. Dela Cruz

Cover Designer: Bailey Crawford


Can a bully be defeated by a magical love potion?

Jolina can’t take Claudine’s bullying any longer! The taunts and teasing are too much. Though Jolina knows she’s still in-training to use her grandfather’s arbularyo magic, she sneaks into his potions lab to get her revenge. Jolina brews a batch of gayuma, a powerful love potion.

And it works. The love potion conquers Claudine’s hateful nature. In fact, Claudine doesn’t just stop bullying Jolina-now she wants to be Jolina’s BFF, and does everything and anything Jolina asks.

But magic comes with a cost, and bad intentions beget bad returns. Controlling another person’s ability to love-or hate-will certainly have consequences. The magic demands payment, and it is about to come for Jolina in the form of a powerful storm…

Magic and reality mingle in this brilliant new middle-grade novel by Gail D. Villanueva that asks whether it’s ever okay to take away someone’s free will.


Thank you immensely to TBR and Beyond Tours, author Gail D. Villanueva, and Scholastic Press for gifting me an ARC of this novel. Please check out the rest of the Tour Schedule here!

I have always loved Middle Grade books and I still love them so much to this day. However, I haven’t read many of them since I started back reading again last year. Villanueva’s new Middle Grade novel is the perfect book to launch myself back into reading MG. This Own-Voices novel wonderfully presents Filipino culture and unapologetically tackles many issues including bullying, colorism, loss, and natural disasters. Villanueva’s writing is perfect for Middle Grade readers and beyond. She will have your laughing one minute and frowning the next (but in a good way!).

Jolina is a fantastic character! She is caring, smart, and just an all-around likeable character. Having to move from one place to another is not an easy task for anyone and having to deal with bullying on top of it just makes it even that more difficult. The way that Jolina handles her bullying situation is really the substance of the whole story, but it makes for one wild and fantastical ride. Jolina has to come to terms with the decisions she has made and it was heartwarming to watch her journey throughout this book.

I would definitely recommend this book to young readers who are looking for a a fun, magical adventure that tackles real-world issues as well.

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Meet the Author

Gail D. Villanueva is the author of Sugar And Spite (Scholastic, 2021). Her debut novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly (Scholastic, 2019), was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, an Amazon Best Book of the Month Editor’s Pick, and a NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. Born and based in the Philippines, Gail’s daily routine includes running a web design company with her husband while trying to keep up with the shenanigans of their many pets—dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and random birds they befriend in the backyard. Learn more at

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook

Meet the Cover Designer

Baily Crawford is an illustrator and designer and writer and dog mom and runner and karaoke enthusiast. She attended Pratt institute in Brooklyn, NY where she studied communications design with an emphasis in illustration and a minor creative writing. Currently she works in animation, as a background layout designer for Augenblick Studios. Before that she worked in publishing for 4 years as a book designer at Scholastic Publishing.
Baily is eager to learn as much as she can. She’s excited to push the envelope, and has a quirk to her work that is uncompromising. She prides herself most in her conceptual thinking and her ability to communicate ideas through artwork and about it. She’s been featured in Spine Magazine, 3×3 magazine and she won the student scholarship to SCBWI LA (She’s still holding on to that.)

Website | Instagram | BeHance | Fem Foundry

Check out my other blog posts here!

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