Teen Tuesday – Cooking Up a Good Read!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, can thoughts of food be far behind?   Whether you’re a budding chef or just have a tremendous appetite, here are a few tasty books that feature food and cooking.

For fans of reality TV or the Food Network, Kathryn Williams’ newest title, Pizza, Love and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, offers readers a look behind the scenes of a televised cooking competition.  When Sophie wins a spot on “Teen Test Kitchen” she discovers it takes more than sharp cooking skills to keep from getting burned.  Celebrity judges, contestant shenanigans, and a little on-set romance are thrown into the mix, along with a few adventurous recipes like Spicy Korean Chicken Lollipops and Lobster Ravioli with Champagne Cream Sauce.  Readers looking to mix it up in the kitchen should also check out Tucker Shaw’s Flavor of the Week or Tanita Davis’ A La Carte for more recipes wrapped around a fictional narrative.

Prefer to read about food without actually feeling compelled to cook it?  Then consider The Sweet Life of Stella Madison by Lara Zeises for plenty of food talk without the recipes.  Junk food lover Stella gets a summer job writing about food, not exactly her specialty despite being the daughter of a renowned chef and a restaurateur.  With such tasty descriptions, readers may find themselves snacking their way through this story as Stella deals with her parents’ friendly separation and her conflicted feelings for her true blue boyfriend and the hot new chef her mother has hired.  Looking for something with potentially less calories?  Grab a latte and settle down with The Espressologist by Kristina Springer.  Jane works as a barista and finds that she can skillfully match people based on their drink preferences.  When her boss decides to take advantage of Jane’s talent to beef up business, Jane becomes famous.  Too bad she can’t seem to make a match for herself.  This one’s a light, frothy romance perfect for readers looking for something less “weighty”!

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith has all the makings of a “food” book—a family restaurant’s reopening, menu tastings, and a sexy new chef.  But that’s where the similarities end, because this story takes place in an alternate reality where vampires and werewolves exist.  The restaurant in question is being opened with a new vampire theme and menu choices depend upon whether you’re a predator or the prey.  Fans of supernatural horror who like a touch of dark romance will be intrigued by a wildly inventive plot and a list of entrees that could make vegetarians of the most squeamish readers.  Case in point—baby squirrel.  Bon appétit and good reading!

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