Reviews

All You Knead Is Love, by Tanya Guerrero

kalarin's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

naturemamareads's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

onthesamepage's review

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emotional hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

When Alba's mother sends her to Barcelona to live with her grandmother, all Alba can feel is abandoned. There seems to be very little hope in the world for her, and even though her grandmother turns out to be nice, she still feels lost. Until she walks into their neighborhood bakery and finds herself swept up in the scent of fresh bread and discovering her passion for baking.

This was a very interesting book that dealt with some pretty heavy topics, primarily the abuse Alba's mom suffers at the hands of her dad and what that has meant for Alba. I think the way the author dealt with this was really good. Alba grows throughout the story, and whereas she at first has the tendency to run away from anything she perceives as conflict, she learns to trust herself and the people around her. It tackles how to deal with grief and disappointments, and is ultimately a story about hope and family.

I loved the setting; I've been to Barcelona once, and it's a great city to wander around in. I could totally imagine myself walking alongside Alba when she was exploring. And of course, all the baking was fantastic. I also really liked the way Spanish, Catalan and Tagalog were used, and that a glossary was included at the end that explains what all the phrases mean. 

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mldavisreads's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful inspiring reflective
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

Middle grade contemporary realistic fiction.  Alba is being sent across the world to live in another country with a grandmother she barely knows.  Her father is abusive, and her mother sees sending Alba away to her own mother in Barcelona, Spain as the best way to keep Alba safe and allow her a fresh start.  Alba is understandably a mess of emotions-- relief to be away from her father, fear for her mother, uncertainty about living in another country where she doesn't speak the language.  But when her grandmother sees her at the airport and welcomes her with a warm embrace, Alba thinks that just maybe she'll be okay.  

Abuela Lola is her grandmother, who lives in Spain but is very much part of the Filipino community there, which results in Alba not only hearing Spanish but also Tagalog.  From the bread baker to the pigeon feeder to the gay couple that lives in the building, Alba gets introduced to a number of people in her grandmother's community.  Luckily she also meets Marie and Joaquim, who are closer to her own age and become her friends.  As Alba tries to process the trauma from her past, she finds solace in baking bread with Toni, who is a family friend.  She likes the precision of measuring bread in grams, the hours of being up while the world is sleeping, and the benefit of having fresh bread to enjoy.  But when she finds out that Toni's bakery is in trouble financially, she feels like her whole new world is slipping away from her.  Can she help save the bakery? Will she be okay without it?

I immediately got pulled into Alba's story.  I love stories set in other countries, so I was a big fan of the Barcelona setting.  I also loved the family Abuela Lola had built around herself and how easily they welcomed Alba to be a part of it.  While the story does deal with tough issues, none of the abuse actually happens on the page (Alba has some flashbacks of her parents, but nothing takes place during the story's narrative).  Not a light-and-fluffy read but still a feel-good, hopeful story that just might have you craving some good sourdough.

ele_b's review against another edition

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4.0

Wait....a book that doesn't slam people for medical diets? I might be moved to tears......

Guerrero's story follows Alba, a Spainish-Fillipino-American girl who is sent to live with her Abuela Lola in Spain. Her mother is trying to escape an abusive marriage, and to do so, she felt it was safest to send her young daughter away while she does so.

This is an amazing Middle Grade novel. Alba refuses to bow down to gender norms in a way I've rarely seen - she doesn't hate girly-girls nor does she devalue transfolk. This story celebrates cooking and baking, their power for happiness and healing. It acknowledges that many people can't eat the same food for medical reasons but understands they, too, deserve the same happiness baked goods bring. The story dwells in the dark, difficult topic of abusive marriages and how they can affect children. In the end, though, it is a story of hope, showing there is light at the end of the tunnel. Alba has never felt loved before - but she finds it. Every tyranny will come to an end.

Content Warnings: Abusive father. Also, this book is a bit "naughty" for a MG novel in that there is some swearing and a rather dirty joke. I think it's OK, but you may want to look through it if you're reading to a younger audience!

kmclinton's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars

jcstokes95's review against another edition

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4.0

[3.5/5]

A warm, filling book with decadent food descriptions and a trilingual glossary; what more can you ask for? Our main character feels very real and distinctly pre-teen in her emotions. Alba's habit of running away and her easily flipped emotions feel not only very 12 years old but very child living through trauma. It's pretty amazing to me to see how much more deeply middle grade books cover the tough stuff and how much more representative of all groups they can be from when I was young.

I wish we had gotten to spend more time with Alba and her mom talking through what it meant for Alba specifically to live through an abusive situation. I feel trauma like that takes a lifetime to recover from and wish at times that had a bit more time to steam. I will say, I appreciate the total absence of the father from the book which really makes this a great piece about healing. I feel like many young reader books dealing with abuse have a second act where a sense of violence returns, and I really love that instead, we get to just live in Alba's head while she grows up and finds her footing.

This definitely feels like a more mature middle grade book, whatever that means to you. I'm not going to tell an 11 year old what to read, but it does feel like it skews older with it's references to finding a passion, romance subplot and the pop culture references. But, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read with a whole lot of heart.

[2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge #33- A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child)]

terryliz's review

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5.0

I listened to the audio version of this charming novel as read by Becca Q. Co. Twelve year-old New Yorker Alba is sent to Barcelona to live with the grandmother she barely knows. Her father is abusive and her father is too afraid to leave him. Feeling resentful and unloved, Alba comes to know who she is and gain confidence with the help of her loving Abuela Lola and the neighborhood baker, Tony, who teaches Alba how to bake bread. Themes of gender identity, race, culture, and an abusive parent are dealt with gently in this lovely, middle-grade novel.

catstonelibrary's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

Heart-warming coming of age story, set in Barcelona with a wonderful grandmother and many new friends, of a girl learning about her own courage and talents after living with an abusive father.  Foods, especially breads, have a significant role in connecting characters. 

chrissiemwright's review

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emotional hopeful relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0