Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Baking Life of Amelie Day by Vanessa Curtis (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

 September 11th 2014, Curious Fox, 176 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Themes: medical issues, friendship, striving for dreams,

Content: mild romance, humour, lots of tissues needed

Summary from Curious Fox
Amelie Day loves to bake so she’s thrilled when she’s invited to compete in Britain’s Best teen Baker of the Year. But Amelie has cystic Fibrosis and some days she can barely breathe. Determined not to let her condition or her mum stop her taking part, Amelie musters all her flour power, but will it be enough to get her there?
Nayu's thoughts
*sniff* This book is a real weepy. Not necessarily in a bad way. I think I needed a tissue more because I could relate all too easily to Amelie's frustrations with her body, the way it doesn't cooperate when she wants to surround herself with her passion, baking. Amelie can bake. This book not only makes you cry it'll make you want to eat cake! (Which, in my view, is never a bad thing!) The review book came with a few recipes, which one day I may try out (I can only bake ocasionally as I get to worn out like Amelie. 

Amelie's passion for baking at times rival's her mother's determination to keep her daughter safe. I understand why she didn't want Amelie to attend the bake off. Logically speaking no one would want to put themselves at risk from aggravating whatever health condition they are coping with. However, never underestimate how doing a little of what you love, even if it costs a bit in terms of health (temporarily), can work wonders on mental attitude. Baking kept Amelie going through her treatment - including when she skipped some physio (I speak for anyone with a chronic illness that as a teen there will be times when you skip meds or don't do things you should be doing. Enough said on that matter!). 

I thought Amelia should commitment and guts to do what she did. Yes, a part of me was mad at her for being such a risk taker, especially at that particular time, (even more so when there was more than a slight hiccup on the journey), but the other part knew that she had to do it, no matter what. And she did, of sorts. The end was everything I'd wanted it to be. 

I have a friend with Cystic Fibrosis, so it was interesting to learn more details about it, details which simply haven't come up in conversation. I'm going to give it to her to read - she isn't a big reader, but it will be interesting to know her opinion. What I learnt from Amelie is to pursue your dream with all your heart. Yes, those of us with medical conditions may know to expect a shorter life span and more life challenges, but in truth none of us know when it will be our time to go. Give life all you've got! & read this book ^o^

You can follow Vanessa on Twitter

Suggested read
Another baking read with a twist is Love, Lies and Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon (Young Adult, 9/10E)


Vanessa said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my book. Your review really touched me.

Nayuleska said...

Same goes for your comment - it made me reach for a tissue ^o^ I hope there will be more Amelie books!