For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why comes a journey of family, food, romance, and self-discovery as Olivia, a teen chef living in L.A., finds a vintage cookbook and begins a search for her birthmother that will change her life forever.
Olivia doesn’t believe in psychics. But the summer before her senior year of high school, she meets one in an elevator. This summer will be pivotal, the psychic warns. Please remember—all your choices are connected. Olivia loves her life in Silverlake, Los Angeles, but lately, something’s been missing. And after getting this strange advice, her world begins to change. A new job leads Olivia to a gorgeous, mysterious boy named Theo. And as Olivia cooks the recipes from a vintage cookbook she stumbles upon, she begins to wonder if the mother she’s never known might be the secret ingredient she’s been lacking. But sometimes the things we search for are the things we’ve had all along.
“Kissed with hope and possibility . . . the sort of book that makes you believe in the magic of everyday life and love.”—Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds
“A delicious story. You’ll devour it.”—Melissa Kantor, author of The Darlings in Love
“It doesn’t get any better than this—a touching tale of first love, family, and finding out who we really are.”—Alissa Grosso, author of Popular and Ferocity Summer
“Lewis offers a thoughtful story about food and family.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Nuanced characters, including the talented protagonist and her loving but realistically flawed family, are the stars of this introspective and poignant coming-of-age tale.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Olivia is a sympathetic protagonist and her struggles to find her place will resonate with many readers. Enjoyable chick lit.”—School Library Journal
About The Secret Ingredient
Sixteen-year-old Olivia loves living in Silverlake, Los Angeles, with her dads, Bell and Enrique, and her brother, Jeremy. But when Olivia discovers that Bell’s restaurant, FOOD, is in trouble, she applies for a job at a casting agency. The day of her interview, Olivia meets a psychic in an elevator who tells her that this summer will be pivotal. Soon after, Olivia stumbles upon a vintage cookbook with handwritten notes in the margins and starts to date a gorgeous boy named Theo. As Olivia reads the notes in the cookbook and cooks the recipes, she forms a kinship with the previous owner and becomes increasingly aware of the emptiness she feels without a mother. When Olivia discovers her birthmother’s name and address, there’s nothing to stop Olivia from meeting her. But sometimes the things we search for are the things we’ve always known.