Wednesday, November 17, 2021


By Estela Bernal


ISBN:  978-1-55885-915-9

Publication Date:  May 31, 2021

Bind:  Trade Paperback

Pages:  200

Imprint: Piñata Books

Ages:  11-16



Engaging novel for teens explores a girl’s determination to be a chef.



Seventeen-year-old Lucy Sánchez’s world is turned upside down when her grandmother dies. Nana was instrumental in teaching her how to cook and encouraging her dream to become a chef. More importantly, her kitchen was a safe haven from the dysfunction at home.


When Lucy becomes the target of her father’s physical abuse, she is forced to escape sooner than she’d planned. “I’m going to be a chef,” she keeps telling herself while on a bus headed to Los Angeles. Her life changes forever, though, when she sees a help-wanted sign in a restaurant window and impulsively gets off the bus in a small Arizona town.


Lucy is thrilled to get the job, even though she’ll start as a dishwasher, working for room and board. When the owners of La Cocina discover her cooking skills, they promote her to assistant chef. Before long, word about her culinary talents begins to spread. But conflict with a jealous waitress and her sleazy boyfriend escalates as they harasses Lucy at every opportunity. Is it too much to ask to cook, take classes at the local community college and get to know the cute guy she met there?


“In this tale of resilience and recovery, Bernal keeps the pacing tight and brisk, mapping out Lucy’s arc from scared adolescent to triumphant yet cautious chef-in-progress. A well-rounded feast for the heart.”—Kirkus Reviews



ESTELA BERNAL, a South Texas native, is the author of a novel for young adults, Can You See Me Now? (Piñata Books, 2014). She lives in Portland, Oregon.

No comments: