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Somewhere between bitter and sweet  Cover Image Book Book

Somewhere between bitter and sweet / Laekan Zea Kemp.

Kemp, Laekan Zea, (author.).

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780316460279 :
  • ISBN: 0316460273 :
  • Physical Description: 343 pages ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York ; Little, Brown and Company, 2021.

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
Told in two voices, Pen, whose dream of taking over her family's restaurant has been destroyed, and Xander, a new, undocumented, employee seeking his father, form a bond.
Target Audience Note:
Ages 12+. Little, Brown and Company.
Subject: Restaurants > Fiction.
Cooking, Mexican > Fiction.
Fathers > Fiction.
Family life > Fiction.
Illegal aliens > Fiction.
Mexican Americans > Fiction.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Town of Hanover Libraries.

Holds

  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Howe Library YA FIC KEM 31254003751621 Teen room new shelf Available -

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9780316460279
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
by Kemp, Laekan Zea
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Kirkus Review

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Two Latinx young adults in Austin, Texas, find love at the crossroads of family, food, and self-discovery. Eighteen-year-old Penelope Prado loves working at Nacho's Tacos, her father's Mexican restaurant, and dreams of eventually having her own bakery, but her parents--especially her stern father--want more for her. Xander Amaro is a new hire at the restaurant who gets past Pen's tough exterior with his vulnerability and care. He is from Puebla, Mexico, and undocumented; his father left for the U.S. when he was a boy, and his mother sent him to the States to live with his abuelo. As he holds out hope of locating his father, he is welcomed by the vibrant crew at Nacho's that works, parties, and pranks together. When a lie sends Pen away from her family home and the restaurant, she must face forced independence while managing her mental health. Kemp's evocative writing weaves a tender love story set in a tightknit working-class neighborhood that vibrates with life despite local businesses' ongoing struggles with El Martillo, a dangerous loan shark. Fans of Elizabeth Acevedo's With the Fire on High (2019) will cherish Xander and Pen's love story and Pen's passion for food. This stellar debut offers a cathartic take on a relationship between a father and daughter. Authentic flavor inside and out. (Fiction. 14-adult) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9780316460279
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
by Kemp, Laekan Zea
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Publishers Weekly Review

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Set in a close-knit community in Austin, Tex., debut author Kemp's exquisite YA contemporary romance follows two Latinx teens after their lives intersect at a beloved neighborhood restaurant. When 18-year-old Penelope "Pen" Prado makes the difficult decision to come clean to her Mexican American parents about having skipped a semester's worth of community college classes, as well as her real dream of owning a bakery, she is promptly fired from her father's restaurant, Nacho's Tacos. Mean-while, 18-year-old Alejandro "Xander" Amaro, a new hire at Nacho's, longs to find his absent father and lives with constant worry about his own undocumented status. When Xander runs into Pen on his first--and her last--day working at Nacho's, romance ensues. Told in the protagonists' alternating, refreshingly candid voices ("So I have to decide what's scarier: living a life that doesn't belong to me, or losing the one I love"), Kemp's novel serves up finely rendered, stirring character arcs for both, as well as an intimate portrait of two teens grappling with mental health, complicated family relationships, and newfound love. Much like Elizabeth Acevedo's With the Fire on High, Kemp has created a truly special combination of deliciously described food, expressive prose, and dreamy romance. Ages 14--up. Agent: Andrea Morrison, Writers House. (Apr.)

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 9780316460279
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
by Kemp, Laekan Zea
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BookList Review

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

Penelope Prado is head honcho at Nacho's Tacos when her father isn't there--until he fires her for skipping out on her college classes. Like many immigrants, her parents' cloak their desire for a better life for her under tough love, but she perceives it as a rejection of her dream to open a pastelería. Just as Pen's thoughts of inadequacy begin to take hold, she meets Nacho's newest hire, Xander, who's searching for his estranged father and under the threat of having his undocumented status exposed. When the restaurant is in trouble, the two learn the true meaning of family, both inherited and found. The portrayal of a tight-knit Chicanx community brought together by food and love is at the core of this novel, and Kemp's precise writing flows from Pen's perspective to Xander's effortlessly, even while revealing their individual lives. Some alcohol abuse might push this into older YA territory, and issues of mental health are handled with care. Recommended for readers who enjoy strong stories about found families, expectations, and food.

Syndetic Solutions - School Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 9780316460279
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
by Kemp, Laekan Zea
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School Library Journal Review

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

School Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 9 Up--In Austin, TX, Pen Prado's Mexican American family runs Nacho's Tacos, a popular place to eat and gather and the community hub that neighborhood residents turn to in times of need. Pen's father, Ignacio, can always be counted on for a meal when someone is hungry, quick money for a small job, or steady employment for people with undocumented statuses. Pen has a passion for cooking and dreams of running the restaurant when her father retires, but her parents insist Pen finish nursing school. When they find out that she has been skipping classes, they fire her from the restaurant and let her know that she may continue to live at home only if she finishes school. Xander lives with his abuelo and lives in fear of his undocumented status being revealed. He has worked with immigration lawyers and private detectives in hopes of finding his father, but so far doesn't even know if he's alive. When Xander, who is from Mexico, takes a job at Nacho's Tacos, he finds a place to belong and a family as his relationship with Pen progresses, but those things are threatened by J.P., or El Martillo, a loan shark who has corrupt members of law enforcement on his payroll. In this coming-of-age story told in multiple perspectives, Pen struggles to deal with familial expectations while chasing her dreams of cooking, the heady emotions of first love, and mental health issues stemming from anxiety and depression. Secondary characters are well developed and the plot is a balance of tension, humor, romance, and fear. Lush imagery celebrates Mexican culture and depicts how food can bring people together. VERDICT This #OwnVoices YA contemporary debut is not to be missed; recommended for most collections.--Samantha Lumetta, P.L. of Cincinnati and Hamilton Cty., OH


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