Payne, C.C. The Thing About Leftovers
July 19th 2016 by Nancy Paulsen Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Fizzy (aka Elizabeth) is having a hard time-- her parents are divorced and there's no chance that they will get back together. Her father is remarried, and his wife is expecting, and her mother is going to marry her fussy boyfriend who doesn't seem to like children. At least her aunt is supportive, and believes that Fizzy can win the Southern Living cook off, and helps her practice and register. Fizzy's friends, Zach and Miyoko (who has her own issues with parents) are understanding as well, but Fizzy feels like every thing she does makes her unlikable, and she worries that she will get thrown out by both of her parents and have to live in foster care.
Strengths: Even though there are problems in Fizzy's life, this is a generally upbeat book, and even the "difficult" substitute has Fizzy's best interest at heart. Books involving cooking, and especially competitions, are always popular with my students. Will definitely purchase.
Weaknesses: Fizzy really was rather annoying, and I just wanted to slap her most of the time. I'm sure that children of divorce feel anxious a lot of the time, but Fizzy took this to extremes. Miyoko's parents were over the top as well. I prefer characters with a little more shading.
What I really think: This will circulate well, my own personal objections to Fizzy aside.