Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman

Hi everyone, this week is a review of an ebook I read over lockdown last year. This week’s selection is actually a teen read with stories that have a culinary theme running through them. However friends, beware… for this is not an ordinary book… but one of… well… why don’t you click below to find out…

cover image of different dishes on purple background. three sets of hands picking food, holding chopsticks and holding mug. white letters in middle read Hungry hearts.
A feast of short stories

Title: Hungry Hearts

Editor: Elsie Chapman

Genre: Fiction – contemporary (short stories)

Publication details: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 2019

ISBN: 9781534421851  (Hardcover)    9781534421875  (ebook)

What this book is about: A brilliant collection of short stories about the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of teens. A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the pastries she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that can cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life. Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one in the same. Told in interconnected short stories – Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home. 

Authors: S.K. Ali, Adi Alsaid, Elsie Chapman, Rin Chupeco, Jay Coles, Sara Farizan, Sangu Mandanna, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sandhya Menon, Phoebe North, Karuna Riazi, Caroline Tung Richmond, Rebecca Roanhouse 

My review: What a gorgeous set of tales!! All set in the same town but with different characters from varying cultures. I won’t give away details but a few words of advice to the type of short stories you’ll find. Some take different genres such as fantasy or horror, while others have similar contemporary coming-of-age narratives. Some excellent writing here by this amazing group of writers. There’s a tendency for a bit of confusion but the caliber of writing gives a veritable smorgasbord of tales for the ardent reader to devour!! Mind you folks, if you’re like me and horror is a bit daunting, please take care…this is meant for a teen audience so some descriptions are a bit graphic!!

My rating: 4 ⭐

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