This Valentine’s Day, let’s get into the spirit by celebrating what we really love: YA romance and food! Here are a few fantastic titles that feature both:
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow – Laura Taylor Namey
After a series of unfortunate events, Lila, a Miami native who dreams of running her family’s bakery someday, gets sent to England to visit her Tia Cate. Though England is nothing like her home, new friends, new opportunities to show off her baking skills, and (obvs) a cute boy, all help ease her heartache.
Happily Ever Afters – Elise Bryant
When rom-com writer Tessa experiences a crippling case of writer’s block, her best friend devises Operation Happily Ever After, a sneaky plan designed to get Tessa to experience some firsthand romance. Tessa’s kind but nerdy neighbor attends the school’s culinary program, and the descriptions of his baked goods will leave you craving something sweet.
The Heartbreak Bakery – A.R. Capetta
In this work of magical realism celebrating all types of queer identities, Syd, a baker, inadvertantly bakes negative feelings into a batch of brownies, causing a slew of breakups. The book features recipes for Syd’s baked treats, such as Very Sorry Cake.
Love à la Mode – Stephanie Kate Strohm
Henry wants to prove to his strict Korean parents that he can make it as chef, while Rosie dreams of leaving her small town home to become a pastry chef. The two meet at an elite culinary school in Paris, but they must reconcile their budding feelings for each other with their growing rivalry.
A Pho Love Story – Loan Le
High school seniors Bao and Lin have a lot in common. They are both Vietnamese-American, and their parents both own restaurants that happen to be right across the street from one another. Unfortunately, their families are long-standing rivals. A chance encounter between the pair leads to a clandestine friendship, then develops into something more.
Pumpkinheads – Rainbow Rowell
Best friends Deja and Josiah spend a wild night running around the pumpkin patch where they work together, on a quest to find Josiah’s elusive crush, Fudge Shoppe Girl. while enjoying all the delicious autumnal snacks the patch has to offer.
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet – Laekan Zea Kemp
Pen loves working at her family’s restaurant in Texas and dreams of owning her own bakery someday, but her parents want her to finish nursing school. When Xander, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, begins working at the restaurant, the two grow clase.
Tweet Cute – Emma Lord
In this retelling of You’ve Got Mail, overachiever Pepper and class clown Jack become close friends IRL, but things get complicated when they start a viral twitter war over their families’ restaurant businesses
Food-filled l’ve stories are a growing trend in YA. This list gives you just a taste! (Bad pun TOTALLY intended, sorry not sorry!). Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.