The Secret Ingredient
The Secret Ingredient
The Secret Ingredient
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For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why comes a journey of family, food, romance, and self-discovery as Olivia, a teen chef living in L.A., finds a vintage cookbook and begins a search for her birthmother that will change her life forever.Olivia doesn’t believe in psychics. But the summer before her senior year of high school, she meets one in an elevator.   This summer will be pivotal, the psychic warns. Please remember—all your choices are connected.   Olivia loves her life in Silverlake, Los Angeles, but lately, something’s been missing. And after getting this strange advice, her world begins to change. A new job leads Olivia to a gorgeous, mysterious boy named Theo. And as Olivia cooks the recipes from a vintage cookbook she stumbles upon, she begins to wonder if the mother she’s never known might be the secret ingredient she’s been lacking.    But sometimes the things we search for are the things we’ve had all along."Kissed with hope and possibility . . . the sort of book that makes you believe in the magic of everyday life and love."—Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds "A delicious story. You’ll devour it."—Melissa Kantor, author of The Darlings in Love "It doesn’t get any better than this—a touching tale of first love, family, and finding out who we really are."—Alissa Grosso, author of Popular and Ferocity Summer"Lewis offers a thoughtful story about food and family."—Publisher’s Weekly"Nuanced characters, including the talented protagonist and her loving but realistically flawed family, are the stars of this introspective and poignant coming-of-age tale."—Kirkus Reviews"Olivia is a sympathetic protagonist and her struggles to find her place will resonate with many readers. Enjoyable chick lit."—School Library Journal

Book Details


  • Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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Olivia is not your typical teenager. For one thing, Olivia is adopted. For another, Olivia is more at home in the kitchen than anywhere else. Olivia has been helping at FOOD, her dad Bell's restaurant for years now, but as money is becoming tight, she needs a paying job. Olivia meets a psychic on her way to a job interview, kicking off an entire summer of change. Full of food, love, and the search for a birth parent, Olivia's story uncovers the true meaning of family.

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The Secret Ingredient by Stewart Lewis is the story of a 16-year-old girl, Olivia, who lives in Los Angeles with her two fathers, Bell and Enrique.  Olivia has a passion for cooking and is an expert at it; she even cooks the Saturday special at her father's restaurant, "FOOD."  The restaurant is her father's love, but is lately going down the drain, and the family can't gather enough money to keep it going.  Olivia and her brother Jeremy know how much the restaurant means to their father, so try to help any way they can.

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