Little Willow (slayground) wrote,
Little Willow

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A La Carte by Tanita S. Davis

Lainey, at age seventeen, is an innovative cook. When she whips up tasty treats in the kitchen at home or the restaurant where her mother works, she is content. She scribbles her recipes in a notebook and dreams of having her own cooking program on television. She shares her creations with her classmates and her mom's co-workers. Judging from their reactions, she definitely has a future in culinary arts.

Sadly, her best friend Sim does not share her determination nor her direction. Laine and Simeon were once extremely close, but in recent months, he has been skipping classes and hanging out with different people. Now, whenever he does talk to Laine, it's usually to ask for her science notes. He acts as though everything is okay, but she can tell something's up. Sim sinks deeper and deeper into trouble until he leaves his home, his school, and his town completely. Only knowing part of his plans, Lainey is unsure how much she should tell her mother and Sim's parents.

Lainey is a great leading character. Full of questions and opinions, she is simultaneously looking forward to her future and appreciative of her past. She is proud of her abilities and her chosen career. Handwritten recipes appear through the book, complete with cross-outs, rings of condensation, and smudges, looking as though they were torn out of Lainey's notebooks. I love that she's a vegetarian, and that she tries to make her recipes both as healthy and as tasty as possible. The cooking sequences will make readers hungry, and the overlying mystery/worry about Sim will compel readers to keep on reading.

Congratulations, Tanita!

Related Booklist: Cooking Up a Storm
Tags: books, cybils, reviews

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