“THE SECRET INGREDIENT,” by Stewart Lewis, Delacorte Press, June 11, 2013, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
Olivia is your average 16-year-old. School. Work. Friends. Family. But there’s more to her than that. Olivia loves to cook. She even creates a special dish once a week at dad Bell’s restaurant. She has a special gift with food — soothing Bell, Enrique, her other dad, brother Jeremy, and anyone else who needs it, with her inspired cooking.
Everything isn’t perfect, but Olivia and her family are happy. Except things are a little worse than Olivia first thought — Bell’s restaurant is in trouble, and the mortgage is way overdue. There’s only one thing Olivia can do, and that’s get a real, paying job.
It’s summer, and Olivia has her days full with work, cooking, watching out for her brother and discovering who she really is. As the days pass, Olivia realizes how much she misses having a mother in her life. She loves her dads, but there are just some things she needs a mom for.
Without her dads’ knowledge, Olivia sets out to find the woman who gave her life, tracking down her name and address and setting out on an adventure even she couldn’t imagine.
There’s a lot more to “The Secret Ingredient” than the synopsis above — an arrest, a romance, a movie executive — but who really wants to know everything that’s in a book before reading it?
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