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With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.
So, this was a hard book for me to rate. I went between four and five stars no less than three times, I swear. I really enjoyed it. The audiobook was incredible, and the imagery and descriptions really transported me. I loved the story. I loved the characters.
But. The ending disappointed me. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, it’s a fine ending!
I just felt like something was missing. It left me really wanting more in terms of Emoni’s journey, and not in a good way.
Besides that, though, I really enjoyed the book. I loved Pretty Leslie’s redemption arc, and when Emoni was cooking, I could truly feel her love and passion for expressing herself through food and creating food that moves people.