New in Review: A Taste of Heaven

Author: Meg Tilly

Publisher: Penguin Canada

  • Imprint: Puffin Canada

Date Published: February 12th 2013

Format: Advance Reader

Source: Gift from the awesome Ardo

Synopsis:

Madison Stokes leads a pretty average life: average mom and dad, average looks, average grades—well, maybe her little sister is MUCH brattier than average—but nothing out of the ordinary.

All that changes when quiet, secretive Alyssa Hawkins moves to town. When Madison takes Alyssa under her wing, the two girls quickly bond over chocolate-chip cookies and become best friends. Amazingly, Alyssa doesn’t even mind Madison’s bratty sister!

But there are some things Alyssa still won’t share. Why won’t she talk about her family? And why is she so reluctant to have Madison over to her house? She’s harbouring a secret that could put their treasured friendship in jeopardy—and when Madison finds out by accident, Alyssa makes Madison promise not to tell anyone, not even Madison’s parents.

But should Madison tell them anyway? When is it all right to tell a little white lie… and when should you come clean with the truth?

Number of Days It Took to Read: 1.5

Cover:

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Though the cover doesn’t really fit the story as a whole it does stand out visually and I think it would appeal to its target audience, (middle grade girls).

The Writing Score: 3 out of 5

Recommendation: A Causal Perusal

Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review:

For many young girls their best friends meant the world to them. Sometimes to the point of putting their friends before their family. That’s not to say that it’s not the case when we grow up it’s just that back then it was just a different kind of special. At the heart of Meg Tilly’s A Taste of Heaven is a cute story about love, friendship and family. The story follows the friendship of two young girls, Madison Strokes and Alyssa Hawkins who bond over their love of chocolate chip cookies. I really enjoyed reading about their friendship as it is so pure and innocent which I felt was very fitting considering how old both girls were.

I also loved Madison’s family as they were just like any ordinary family; no matter what happens or how much they fight they are always there for each other. The fact that her mother had to be the sole breadwinner while her father was out of a job is not an uncommon occurrence nowadays given the present state of our economy. I especially love how Madison’s father took up the role of being a stay at home dad while stills searching for a job, he really was there for his daughters and family. One specific example I loved was the secret agent game he played with his daughters whenever they went shopping for groceries it really does sound like it would make shopping for groceries more exciting especially for kids.

The main reason that this book was such a quick read was because of the writing. The language used was cute and simple, a perfect fit for the young female narrator. So while I normally don’t read middle grade books and I probably won’t read any more in the future I did find this book to be quite enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this book to girls from age 8-12 as I think they would probably be able to relate to the characters more than I did. Overall this was a touching and charming short read. Oh and on a side note, the authour of this book has had a bit of an interesting life and I think she incorporated some of her own life experience into the plot which makes it more interesting when you read the book knowing how it personally relates to her life.

– Linh

The opinions expressed in this review are my own; I did not receive any compensation in exchange for this review.

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