19th May 2016, Alma Books, 346 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Summary from Alma Books
Liv Bloom’s life is even more complicated than that of your average fourteen-year-old: her father walked out on the family when she was young, her mother is in a recovery centre for alcoholics, and her older sister is struggling to step into Mum’s shoes. The only person she can turn to is her best friend Sarah, who gets her out of scrapes at school and is a constant source of advice and companionship. One day Liv discovers a book of recipes written in her mum’s handwriting, which sets her off on a journey towards self-discovery and reconciliation – but a theft, a love rivalry and a school bully are just some of the many obstacles on the way.
Another brilliant read from Elizabeth, this time about a wayward teen who makes a lot of wrong choices and finds solace in baking. I didn't like Liv as much as I liked Ebony in Elizabeth's other book, The Book of Learning.
Liv has an attitude I don't like, and she does a fair few not nice things. I was a bit surprised by the turn of events because Liv gets bullied badly, so I thought she might realise right from wrong and do the right thing. Instead she gets deeper and deeper in trouble as her life falls around her. It takes a good shock for her to realise that her life isn't all that bad, something I think a lot of readers can relate to.
While I didn't like Liv or her alcoholic mother I adored Liv's older sister Hetty. Hetty is doing her best keep her family together, fendig off social services, trying to shape Liv into a responsible young adult. She loses her temper a few times, not that I blame her because Liv doesn't seem to do much for herself, or realise that doing tasks and errands is a part of being an adult. It's sweet that Hetty covers up for Liv at cruicial moments, which makes Liv realise her sister isn't that bad after all.
I really want another book because there's a lot of conflict still in Liv's life, and she has issues to work through even as the book ends. The cookin element was fun, with familiar recipes having a fun twist that made me smile as I read them. It's not just a recipe, but the way the recipes are described which makes them more appealing than a simple recipe book. I hope to try some of them out over time!
Find out more on Elizabeth's website.