Recipe for Disaster

Recipe for Disaster

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by Maureen Fergus
     
 

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Francie's life was almost perfect before the new girl showed up. She had her own business as a weekend baker whose scones almost caused stampedes, a best friend named Holly and a deeply fulfilling crush on Tate Jarvis. She dreamed about the day she'd be famous and have her own baking show. But the new girl at school, Darlene, thinks Francie's obsession with baking

Overview

Francie's life was almost perfect before the new girl showed up. She had her own business as a weekend baker whose scones almost caused stampedes, a best friend named Holly and a deeply fulfilling crush on Tate Jarvis. She dreamed about the day she'd be famous and have her own baking show. But the new girl at school, Darlene, thinks Francie's obsession with baking is weird, she acts like Holly is her best friend, and she's somehow managed to steal Tate's attention away. Suddenly, everything is unravelling. Unable to stay focused, Francie's pastry-filled dreams are starting to slide.

Then Francie gets a chance to meet the sexy celebrity baker Lorenzo LaRue, whose toned pectorals inspire Francie as much as the baking tips she picks up from his TV show. Francie is sure that if Lorenzo could only see how passionate she is about baking, he would help launch her career, and possibly marry her when she reaches legal age. It won't be easy - but Francie is starting to understand that although trying won't guarantee success, quitting will guarantee failure. Young readers will gobble up this hilarious exploration of a girl's recipes for friendship, dating, fame and coconut-drop cookies.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
While turning up the music and dancing around the kitchen may be perfectly normal behavior for a fourteen-year old, few teenagers are as productive about it as Francie Freewater. Francie bakes while she dances and sells her creations at her parents' cafe. When the chance comes to appear on TV with Lorenzo LaRue, her celebrity baker hero, she is willing to do anything to seize the opportunity. The new girl in town threatens to ruin everything, though. She steals Francie's best friend, Holly, along with her chemistry partner crush. She also thinks Francie's baking dreams are stupid. Will Francie overcome her insecurities and make her dreams come true? This quick-paced story is light and fun, yet Francie grows steadily throughout her experiences. Her friendship with Holly is resolved well, and other relationships are smoothly developed. Francie, however, was difficult to sympathize with for the first half of the book. She often overreacted to perceived affronts from teachers and other students. Her motivations may be clearer to an adolescent reader than they were to this adult reader. She was likable by the end of the book, and she finally figured out the solution to a school project that is clear to readers from the minute it is assigned. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Ninth-grader Francie Freewater is most at home in the kitchen: dashing from the counter to the stove, perfecting her recipes, and performing a cooking show for Nana's parrot, Rory. When she's not hanging out with her friend Holly, she's watching celebrity chef Lorenzo Larue's show with Nana and entering his cooking contests, as well as keeping busy making a fool out of herself in an attempt to impress her crush and chemistry partner, Tate. The status quo is shaken, however, when a new girl at school squeezes into Holly and Francie's friendship and wreaks havoc on Francie's boyfriend ambitions. She has started playing the clarinet in order to be in Holly's class, and a music competition paves the way for the teen to travel for free to the same town as Lorenzo Larue's traveling show. One part Alice McKinley, two parts Georgia Nicolson, Francie is a delight. Her own special brand of humor touches every aspect of the tale, from her inner monologue during Lorenzo's shirtless cooking to the way she responds to Harold Horvath's advances and how she lights her beautiful hair on fire with a Bunsen burner. More character- than plot-driven, this breezy, appealing read covers personal growth, the sacrifices of friendship, and the mistakes made along the way.—Jennifer Barnes, Homewood Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Talented baker-entrepreneur Francie's comfortable perch at the margins of ninth-grade social life-half-heartedly playing clarinet in Performance Band to ensure class time with best friend Holly, flirting surreptitiously with adorable dolt Tate Jarvis-is upended by the unnervingly self-possessed newcomer Darlene. Darlene is a frenemy par excellence, sowing jealousy and discontent in Francie and Holly's solid friendship and manipulating Francie into one humiliating situation after another. This drama doesn't ever reach a satisfying pitch, however, because there are too many competing narrative threads: The mean girls' plot threatens to overtake Francie's quest for fame as a celebrity baker, which is facilitated in part by a slow-burn romance with hilarious oddball Harold Horvath. Overplotting ensures that no single strand of the story reaches a completely satisfying conclusion, and readers will recognize the stock characters and familiar situations, but Fergus makes the main lessons-true passions are worth pursuing, real friends stick by each other and failure can yield inspiring opportunities-ring true enough. Most readers will wish for a Harold Horvath-focused sequel, or a cookbook detailing Francie's scrumptious-sounding recipes. (Fiction. 12-15)
Booklist
... Fergus has written a character-rich novel about teen talents and ambitions, peer pressure, friendship, and priorities ...
From the Publisher
... Fergus has written a character-rich novel about teen talents and ambitions, peer pressure, friendship, and priorities ...

... this breezy, appealing read covers personal growth, the sacrifices of friendship, and the mistakes made along the way.

... this breezy, appealing read covers personal growth, the sacrifices of friendship, and the mistakes made along the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554533206
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/28/2009
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
723,456
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
1130L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Author Maureen Fergus has written the YA novel Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Goodlooking) Hero, Recipe for Disaster, and Ortega. The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten is her first picture book. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada.

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Recipe for Disaster 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Angeline_Walsh More than 1 year ago
This was just an OK read for me...some parts were pretty good and pretty funny, but not "laugh out loud" hilarious. The protagonist was sometimes annoying, though I did appreciate her passion for baking and her big dreams. What I didn't appreciate about this book was just how strange it was at times...like the chapter with the pool party, the main character's best friend strips in the locker room in front of everyone, and then so does the main character, and I thought that was kind of gross. There were just little bits here and there that kind of irked me. I think the writing was alright, the characters were so-so. Overall, very mediocre, but etertaining just the same. (PS - I also enjoyed the creative little inputs and fictional quotations at the start of each chapter, that was quite clever)