Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with that I'd like to feature some books that will make you hungry as you read. For even more books that will make you wish you could jump into the pages and share a meal with the main characters, check out our curated book list SJPL Picks: Foodie Teen Reads.
Radha & Jai's Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma
To All the Boys I Loved Before meets World of Dance in this delectable love story that combines food, dance, and a hint of drama to cook up the perfect romance. Radha is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest Kathak dancers in the world . . . until a family betrayal costs her the biggest competition of her life. Now, she has left her Chicago home behind to follow her stage mom to New Jersey. At the Princeton Academy of the Arts, Radha is determined to leave performing in her past, and reinvent herself from scratch. Jai is captain of the Bollywood Beats dance team, ranked first in his class, and an overachiever with no college plans. Tight family funds means medical school is a pipe dream, which is why he wants to make the most out of high school. When Radha enters his life, he realizes she's the exact ingredient he needs for a show-stopping senior year. With careful choreography, both Radha and Jai will need to face their fears (and their families) if they want a taste of a happily ever after.
Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond
A stunning collection of short stories about the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives in teens, from bestselling and critically acclaimed authors, including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco.
A Ph̉ơ Love Story by Loan Le
High school seniors B̉ao and Linh, whose feuding families own competing Vietnamese restaurants, conceal their budding romance, as well as Linh's desire to become an artist. B̉ao Nguy̋en would describe himself as steady and strong: his grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents' ph̉ơ restaurant-- as his parents' fifth favorite employee. Linh Mai would describe herself as a firecracker: stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She dreams pursuing a career in art, while working practically full-time at her family's ph̉ơ restaurant. Bao and Linh have never even had a class together-- but after a chance encounter, sparks fly. Can this relationship survive their families' feud.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing high school and her dream of working as a chef.
North of Happy by Adi Alsaid
A wealthy dual citizen of Mexico and the United States rebels against his family's strict plans for his future in the aftermath of his older brother's tragic death, an event that compels him to secure a job with his favorite celebrity chef.
Where There is a Whisk by Sarah J. Schmitt
Peyton Sinclaire wants nothing more than to escape her life as a diner waitress in her small, North Florida town and attend culinary school. Top Teen Chef, Food TV's new show that pairs reality TV drama with a fast-paced culinary competition, is her ticket out of her boring future. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make her dreams come true and Peyton is determined to prove to herself, and the world, that where you're born does not determine where you can go. However, once on the show, Peyton quickly discovers that there is more to the competition than just a well-seasoned dish. As things start to heat up on and off the set, Peyton will have to prove to the judges that she deserves to win while trying to untangle what is real and what is scripted drama, and decide what she is willing to risk to win before her dreams end up on the chopping block.
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp
Told in two voices, Pen, whose dream of taking over her family's restaurant has been destroyed, and Xander, a new, undocumented, employee seeking his father, form a bond.