Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love – Elsie Chapman (ed.) – Simon Pulse – Published 18 June 2019




A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.

Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

My thoughts

Hungry Heart is a collection of short stories that celebrate food, culture, diversity and family. From romance to horror stories, ghosts to superheroes, Hungry Hearts will have something for everyone.

Rain by Sandy Mandanna
Anna and her father are visiting Hungry Hearts Row after the death of their mother and wife. Not sure how to talk about their grief they find an opening when they attempt to make Anna’s mother’s Coorg pandhi curry.

Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman
After the first story, I was not expecting the surprise of Kings and Queens. It’s a thriller, with crime, assassinations and gangs. A story about revenge and family and how food ties that together.

The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon
In true Sandhya Menon style this story is a cute teen romance. Neha writes a teen love advice column but isn’t brave enough to tell her crush she likes him. When a reader asks for help in being brave, Neha decides to take the same advice and challenge she gives her reader.

Sugar and Spite by Rin Chupeco
Written in second person about witches and magic soups. Really unique writing style. The themes of bullying and revenge resonated and the ending was cool.

Moments to Return by Adi Alsaid
Consumed with thoughts about death, Joko travels to the US and Hungry Hearts Row after hearing about the magical Dim Sum that might give him freedom from his worries. A focus on the power and senses of food, and magic of strangers meeting.

The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond
Ghosts and a love story, with lots of action and ghost-fighting adventure.

Gimme Some Sugar by Jay Coles
A cooking competition where winning means literal life or death. Winning the prize money would mean Leo can get his mother the life-saving surgery she needs.

The missing ingredient by Rebecca Roanhorse
Family drama with a twist of horror – not for the faint-hearted.

Hearts a la Carte by Karuna Riazi
Superheroes! This was a surprise.

Bloom by Phoebe North
About family and relationships and finding something that fits who you are rather than stretching to fit something different. (Lgbt)

A Beautiful Film by S.K. Ali
A film project about a missing boy turns into an opportunity to form a new friendship.

Side Work by Sara Farizan
Romance (lgbt) and family belonging, the importance of fatherly approval. This family restaurant with heart-fuelled authentic food must fight against a food chain.

Panaderia- Pasteleria by AnnaMarie McLemore
An unexpected homecoming offers a chance for renewed friendship and romance, as well as sharing the magic of their family’s food creations. The main character was featured in many of the previous stories and was a nice one to finish with. (Lgbt)

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction

Genre: Short stories.

Themes: Food, community, family, belonging, romance, ghosts, diversity, ethnicity, culture, cooking, restaurants, cuisine, lgbt.

Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.

Advisory: Infrequent coarse language, f*** (8), sh** (14). Drug references. References to violence and murder.

Published: 18 June 2019 by Simon Pulse.

Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 352 pages.

ISBN: 9781534421851

Find it on Goodreads