Books on a Theme: YA Food

by | Jul 14, 2021 | Books On A Theme, RA Blog | 0 comments

I’m currently loving books that have food as part of their theme. As a foodie myself- these stories just bring so much extra joy to my reading experience. This year I have read some great novels that have made me want to try all of the food. Some have ignited my travel bug too which is a double bonus. I love to go all the places and eat all of the things!  If you are looking for some light summer reads that will leave your mouth watering for some yummy foods-check out some of these YA books:

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Abstract: Seventeen-year-old Lila Reyes, furious when her parents send her to the English countryside to recover from grief and heartbreak, unexpectedly falls in love with a teashop clerk–and England, itself.

This story made me want a Cubano sandwich ASAP. It’s also inspiring me to try some more adventurous tea flavors. Not sure if I want to head to Miami or England first after reading this novel!


With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Abstract: Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions — doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

I swear that I could smell the dishes Emoni was making in this novel. I absolutely loved this story and how Elizabeth Acevedo used recipes as metaphors for what Emoni was going through in her life.


A Phở Love Story by Loan Le

Abstract:  Bảo Nguye̋n would describe himself as steady and strong: his grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ phở 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 of pursuing a career in art, while working practically full-time at her family’s phở 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? — adapted from jacket
If this book doesn’t make your stomach growl and crave a delicious bowl of phở- well then you definitely have more willpower than me! Also the references to being  a modern day Romeo & Juliet make it a fun read!
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Abstract: “Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father–and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.”–
BRB- going to book my ticket to Tuscany right now. Just kidding! 🙂 But I may be looking up somewhere local to get gelato because- YUM! This story is so cute and one of a few  written by Jenna Evans Welch that makes me want to travel to Europe!
Happy Reading (and eating)!