5 YA Books That Need a Companion Cookbook

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for March 12th, 2019 is: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel. I wanted to change it up a little today and the topic I chose is: Books That Need a Companion Cookbook.

5 YA Books That Need a Companion Cookbook | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

1. Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale

This lovely, summery romance features a bisexual teen, Babe, who loves to bake and believes her purpose in the world is to make people happy with her food. There are so many teasing mentions of food like German chocolate cake, pistachio cookies and blueberry streusel that made my dessert-loving heart happy. If you’re a coffee lover, the book also goes a little bit in depth about iced coffee, French presses and latte art.

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

2. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This Asian-inspired fantasy has one of the best world-building I’ve come across in YA and food is one of the aspects that is done superbly. The dishes mentioned are all Asian – dumplings, steaming rice, coconut kuih and so on. All the delicious food made me yearn to try them all out some day.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I would be remiss if I didn’t include this beloved YA contemporary on this list. Lara Jean is another passionate baker but the book also mentions Korean food and how the father takes pains to keep the Song girls in touch with their Korean heritage even after their mother’s passing. I would honestly give up all my fortune in a flash in return for Lara Jean’s chocolate chip cookie recipe which she perfects in Always and Forever Lara Jean.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han  | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

4. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Food plays a major role in Roshani’s latest richly-imagined fantasy set in Paris. Laila, one of the crew members, also loves to bake and concocts a variety of sugary goodness, with her specialty being perfectly round cookies that Zofia loves. There are also scenes with banquets and parties that highlight the rich cuisine of the time, which serve to hint at the excess and greed of the Belle Époque.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

5. American Panda by Gloria Chao

This is an older YA book featuring a Taiwanese-American teen in college trying to balance the weight of her parents’ crushing expectations and her own aspirations. The culture and traditions of the Taiwanese-American people are wonderfully brought out through both humorous and sad situations. While the book turned me off stinky tofu, my mouth was still watering at all the soup dumpling mentions.

American Panda by Gloria Chao | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (book cover)

Small Town Hearts Blog Tour | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (blog tour banner)
Thanks to Mana for designing the blog tour banner!

This post is part of the blog tour for Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale organised by Lili @ Utopia State of Mind. Find the full tour schedule, synopsis and the author bio below –


March 11
Lily (Sprinkles of Dreams) – guest post
Marie (Drizzle & Hurricane Books) – interview
Eloise (Eloise Writes) – review + aesthetic
Elin (Annotated Paperbacks) – creative

March 12
Carolina (Santana Reads) – creative + character aesthetics
Danielle (Bookish in Texas) – interview
Laura (Green Tea & Paperbacks) – creative

March 13
Sofia (Bookish Wandress) – review + a playlist
Ashley (Bubbly Booknerd) – creative
Lauren (Bookmark Lit) – review + creative
Victoria (The Contented Reader) – interview + review
Camillea (Camillea Reads) – review

March 14
Morgan (The Bookish Beagle) – review + creative
Fanna (Fannatality) review + creative
Syndney (Sydneys.books) – creative bookstagram
Fadwa (Word Wonders) – review
Mishma (Chasing Faerytales) – review + creative
Lili (Utopia State of Mind) – guest post

March 15
Tiffany (Read by Tiffany) – creative
Haley (Fangirl Fury) – review + creative
Romie (Romie We Deserve Love) – creative
Simant (Flipping Through the Pages) – review + creative


Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?

Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Author Information

Lillie Vale, upon discovering she could not be one of Santa’s elves or attend Hogwarts, decided to become a writer to create a little magic of her own. Enjoying the romantic and eerie in equal measure, she’s probably always writing a book where the main characters kiss or kill. Born in Mumbai, she has lived in many U.S. states, and now resides in an Indiana college town where the corn whispers and no one has a clue that she is actually the long-lost caps lock queen.

Twitter | Goodreads | Swoon Reads

Let's discuss (blog graphic)
Which books have made you hungry while reading them? Do you like to experiment with food mentioned in books? What books do you think need to be on this list? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.

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Check out these young adult books will make you hungry enough to want a companion cookbook | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books</

27 thoughts on “5 YA Books That Need a Companion Cookbook

    1. Oh, how did they turn out? The Harry Potter foods sound so delicious but I haven’t tried any yet. I did try lembas with two different recipes many years ago. I remember they came out good. I need to experiment more! 😅


      1. They were so good, I even made the pastry dough by hand. The butterbeer was just okay. I’ve always wondered what lembas was like reading Lord of the Rings. I love to bake so I’ll have to find some recipes.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: TTT: Books on my Spring TBR – My World of Books

  2. Pingback: March Wrap-Up + April Reading Month (2019) – Unputdownable Books

  3. So many sweets *-* I do enjoy reading about home cooking and wishing I could make certain dishes for myself. There are a couple of food-focused middle grade books I’ve read recently (All Four Stars, A Dash of Trouble) that have one or two recipes in them but full cookbooks would keep me busy for awhile!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, books with food always make me crave them! The first one I remember is Turkish Delight from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Oh, you should totally make a list of MG books with food! I’d definitely read that post and add all of them to my TBR. 🙈


      1. No, I haven’t ever tasted it. 🙈 In my head it’s really addictive and I can’t think of anything sweet that’s addictive which doesn’t have chocolate, haha. I just haven’t found it anywhere. 🙈


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