The Secret Recipe for Moving On / Karen Bischer / Book Review


When Ellie signed up for home economics, she had everything: the perfect boyfriend, the perfect friend group, and the perfect path through senior year. She was set to coast until graduation and then off to bigger better things. She thought she'd be learning to bake alongside her boyfriend and his friends. She thought she wouldn't be a virgin anymore.

But when Hunter dumps her over the summer for his childhood best friend Brynn, everything changes for Ellie. No longer a part of the cool kids group, Ellie has no friends, not in class and not at school. She ends up paired with the misfits and slackers instead: the biker, the loner, the stoner. Worse, she has to watch Hunter and Brynn bake and flirt each and every day.

Ellie prepares for this class--and this year--to be utterly painful, but she realizes she may have misjudged friends old and new. Suddenly, the misfits don't feel so strange anymore...



Fun Team Players Ellie's home ec class splits into teams for the semester, and these teams become their "families." When she's cast out of her group of fair-weather friends, Ellie finds herself teamed up with the misfits. But these misfits make up a jokey, fun, and lighthearted cast of characters. They add good banter to the mix, and they team up with her to make class projects a competition with her new ex. This setup is a lot of fun, and her teammates add good masculine energy to the book as well--a type of energy usually missing from rom-com style books like this one.

Good Pace Once you get started on this one, the momentum really carries through to the end. This book isn't a hard read by any means. It is lighthearted and easy to churn through. It could definitely be a one-sitting type of book, which makes it perfect for that type of reading mood.

Low Income Representation Any representation in a low-key love story like this one is nice, and in this particular book, we've got some low-income representation. Representation of down-on-their-luck families is rare in this genre. So that's pretty nice.


The voice of this book is very juvenile. It reads like a contemporary or rom-com Middle Grade voice, unfortunately. And this is especially a problem because the subject matter is most definitely not Middle Grade. The narrator mentions sex on the very first page, so it's not really meant for the 8-12 category. If only the voice had communicated as much. The heaping melodrama surrounding the breakup solidified the juvenility and made it altogether off-putting. Mixed Voice and Tone

There are mean girls, and there are Mean Girls. The Mean characters in this book were utterly irredeemable. They were uselessly mean about any- and every-thing. It was just too extreme. This hyperbolic nature just added to the middle-school-esque voice of the narrative. Hyperbolically Mean

Rebound romance just isn't my thing. It has to be done really, really well for me to overlook the rankling I feel whenever it rears its ugly, rebounding head. Unfortunately, that absolutely-perfect execution wasn't the case here. Ellie is sad and mopey until she finds someone new to love. Then she's happy once again, and that's just not a narrative I like. Rebound Romance



Fans of the sugar-and-spice, whimsical romance of Elise Bryant's Happily Ever Afters should check out this new home economics love story. Those looking for a safe, low-end YA romance like Julie Halpern and Len Vlahos's Girl on the Ferris Wheel will find a couple to root for in this book.


Publisher: Swoon Reads
Date: March 23, 2021
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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