Friday, February 21, 2014

Straight Reading from the Library: The Recipe by Maisy Dee


The Library was sent a copy of The Recipe for review. Maisy will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can see the other stop here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/12/virtual-nbtm-review-tour-recipe-by.html.

READ THE BLURB


Craig has pined for Emily since the fourth grade. Imagine his surprise when, when at the start of his junior year, he discovers that she has finally noticed him. When Emily returns to school the fall of her junior year, she finds that her old friend Craig has transformed from a gangly, brace-faced adolescent into a blue-eyed babe who is making her insides tingle.

Craig and Emily stir up a sweet and sexy adventure, exploring new recipes both in and out of the kitchen. But when things heat up on New Year’s Eve, Craig is not sure he can stand it. Is he man enough for Emily? And what recipes have his closest friends Ryan and John been cooking up without telling him?

In alternating points of view, Emily and Craig search for the secret ingredients of friendship, love and intimacy. This isn’t really a book about cooking. Recipes, however, are included.

READ THE REVIEW


Reading this book put me right back in high school again, feeling all the emotions of friendship and love for the first time. It's not a book that shies away from the tough subjects: drugs, drinking, and sex. As Craig and Emily share those first stirrings of growing from love to friendship, the readers gets to share those experiences with them.

The book is told in alternating first-person chapters, so we get the picture and the story from both sides--and there were times I wanted to shake both of them, until I remembered what it was like to be a teenager.

The book is very well-written, but it's not for the younger set, because of the subject matter. I recommend this book for teens (boys and girls) 16+ and their parents. There are many portions of the book that could lead to some good discussions about safe and unsafe behaviors...without being preachy.

MEET THE AUTHOR


It was Back to School Night, and my parents were headed to the High School. I looked up from my book long enough to describe all my teachers. For example: “My science teacher will be wearing black chinos pulled waaay too high and a short-sleeved button-down with pens in the pocket. He has Mr. McGoo glasses and a three-strand comb-over. He’s totally weird.”

My parents returned to tell me a) I was grounded until I brought my grades up, and b) I had an uncanny ability to describe people. The teenage me, stressed out from deciding who I was and what I was supposed to do, snapped, “Yeah? Well, what job does that get me?!”

My mother gazed at me calmly. “You could be a writer. But for now, you’re grounded.”

I have never forgotten that moment. I took creative writing classes in college and continued to read a lot, but it wasn’t until I had children of my own that the idea for “The Recipe” came to me. My girls are avid readers, and I spent a lot of time hanging out in the youth room at the public library. I read a ton of current YA novels, and reread books from my teenage years. I began to look for contemporary stories about early sexual experiences that were as honest and non-judgmental as Judy Blume’s Forever. I didn’t find any, but I did find a dangerous mixed message.

On the one hand, overwhelming, irresistible (even paranormal) passion is presented as the ideal romantic experience. That unrealistic expectation, along with all the other unrealistic sexual images they find in books, movies, cable tv, and the internet, is bound to result disappointment in the real thing.

On the other hand, sexually active teen characters in books are invariably punished with pregnancy, violence, humiliation, heartbreak, or a sexually transmitted disease so virulent that it will not even let you die. Yes. If our teens give in to their normal, healthy impulses, they will surely become vampires.

So I decided to write a book about first love and “the first time” that would offer my daughters one story that is a little closer to the truth–things are bound to be less than perfect, and that’s not the end of the world (or the beginning of life after death, no matter what the French call it.) The process was difficult, rewarding, and a lot of fun, and there’s a good chance my daughters will never read it, because who wants to read a book about sex that your mother wrote. Gross.

I’m currently working on my second novel, and yeah, there will be more teens having sex in that one too.

www.maisydee.com
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7 comments:

  1. A very helpful review thank you. Happy to read about high school, would not want to relive it.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. If you read it, let me know what you think!

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  2. It does sound like a book that young people would enjoy.

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  3. Thanks so much for hosting and reviewing!

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