Thursday, March 24, 2011
Review: The Crepe Makers' Bond
Published by Milkweed Editions, estimated publishing date April 5, 2011
I got this via Netgalley. This is an MG title.
Synopsis via Goodreads: Ariel is the head chef in her family kitchen. Cucumber salads, fettuccine carbonara, fish tacos, and peanut butter pie are just a few of the dishes she crafts when she’s feeling frustrated by the world. And it’s turning into a frustrating year. Ariel, Nicki, and Mattie have been inseparable friends since they were little kids, but now Mattie’s mom has decided to move away. It’s the girls’ last year in middle school, and they can’t fathom being separated. The friends concoct a plan that will keep Mattie in the Bay area — she’ll move in with Ariel and her family. But before you can say "bff," the party is over. Everything Mattie does gets on Ariel’s nerves, and it’s not long before the girls are avoiding each other. This was supposed to be their best year ever, but some painful lessons are threatening to tear their friendship apart. Can the girls scramble to make things right before the bond crumbles?
I thought that the plot of this novel was interesting. It is the story of three best friends at that age when being a girl is beginning to get complicated. I thought the protagonist Ariel was very unique as well. She's a novice chef of sorts. She's won some contents and cooks to relieve stress. I can relate to the latter. Cooking and baking is just one of those soothing things that I love to do. Another great thing about the novel is that all the recipes that are mentioned in the novel are included in the book. (In the ARC they preface each chapter).
One of the things that I did like about the novel was that the parents were not "the bad guy". That's one of the cliches that sometimes throws me off of a book. The whole "my parents don't understand me", "my life is horrible". The Crepe Makers' Bond doesn't do that at all. Even if in some situations the parents are not ideal, they are not actively trying to make things horrible for their child. This novel is a great example of how parents often do the best that they can within their means, and go out of their way to do what's best for their family. Ariel's father is a very comedic character, which I found to be very refreshing, rather than the bumbling embarrassing dad.
The pacing of the novel was pretty good as well, until the climax of the novel. Then things seemed to wrap up, both too quickly and unrealistically. But the ending of the novel was still an unexpected and happy surprise. I liked that each of the girls had their own stories and attributes that made them unique, but you could also obviously tell why they were friends.
One of the things that I felt was the most important in the novel was Nicki's secret and how her parents react to that secret. I think it's a common problem among young girls and teenagers and I love that it was addressed in the novel in such a way. I think this novel is a great read for younger girls. Well worth the read.
I give this novel 3 dog-eared pages.