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Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love

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From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens. A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her fam From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens. A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life. Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same. Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.


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From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens. A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her fam From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens. A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life. Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same. Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

30 review for Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it had been written, very specifically, for me. 😌 so sorry if you thought it was yours; no, it is mine. It is like a love letter to FOOD. 13 short stories (including ones from authors I adore like Anna-Marie McLemore ahhhh [heart-eyes]) all centric on food, how it can be magic and healing and also deathly. It is the ultimate foodie fiction and I am just thriving here after devouring (heh heh) each story and growing so hungry at one point I had to stop a As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it had been written, very specifically, for me. 😌 so sorry if you thought it was yours; no, it is mine. It is like a love letter to FOOD. 13 short stories (including ones from authors I adore like Anna-Marie McLemore ahhhh [heart-eyes]) all centric on food, how it can be magic and healing and also deathly. It is the ultimate foodie fiction and I am just thriving here after devouring (heh heh) each story and growing so hungry at one point I had to stop and make soup. Things To Know: ➢ They're not all contemporary OR fluffy. Haha. I just mention this because I assumed it would be the fluffiest lovely wholesome anthology and while some of the stories are...some are also kind hardcore. I loved it. LOVED the diversity of genres. ➢ It's all set in this street called "Hungry Heart Row" and I freaking loved this?! So all the stories are connected by setting and characters will appear in each. They interlock so majestically I have to stop and stare seriously at the authors and ask how did u all do this so seamlessly. MAGIC??? I assume so. Also I loved that there was this shy Latina girl who appeared in every story with magical baked good that would fix your life (10/10 to this concept) and then at the end it was her story!!! Seriously just the whole set up of the anthology was excellent. ➢ I'm just going to straight up say it: this is food porn. Lmao. It will make you hungry and it will describe dishes with such intricate respect that you will be ashamed for the time you ate that weird piece of chocolate that's probably been in your bag for 12 years. WAS IT MADE WITH LOVE aND SOUL AND MAGIC?? 👏🏻 it's not food ➢ The whole thing is most delightfully and incredibly diverse. I believe every story is #ownvoices and reps so many ethnicities. There are Chinese restaurants (with gang connections), a Muslim foodtruck with the best halal meals, a Native American restaurant with something sinister beneath the surface, a Latina bakery that may be magical, a black boy making soul food for a cooking contest, a Jewish deli, a Filipino shop with magic soup, and an Indian food blogger, and MORE.... I won't go through every story! Some left me a little eh. But my favourites were definitely... Panadaría ~ Pastelería by Anna-Marie McLemore Because bakeries ok and Lila was the softest shy thing who struggled with words so baked her feelings into cakes and hoped you could understand. Also there is the sweetest trans boy and a quiet love story. I just!! Kings And Queens by Elise Chapman Because ok I have a deep love of food AND crime stories and this combined them both. Also the plot twist at the end was freaking BADASS...and also chilling. It's about revenge, family, and Chinese food. The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond This one was just soft 😫💛It is about a boy who is just (nearly?) 15 and his family can see ghosts and he's scared it makes him too weird to the girl he likes (erm, am side-eyeing this girl). It just was really sweet and 10/10 would do anything for Charlie who is so polite to ghosts. The Missing Ingredient... by Rebecca Roanhorse Ok I put this here because I HATED IT aND IT FREAKED ME OUT lmao this is a recommendation by the way. I was just...here for a good time and I think you fully terrified me into avoiding restaurants with low star ratings. Also Native American magic. The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon This was about an Indian anonymous blogger who gives love advice and she does a challenge to go to restaurants by yourself to be brave. And dude, that is hardcore. Anyway, it was SUCH a Menon story and is super sweet. It was just nice. I stan.

  2. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    My full review is now up on my blog, The Quiet Pond. I also went on a food crawl to find all the food in this anthology! - Reading this anthology felt like sampling a tasting menu of the rich and brilliant colours of life. I loved this anthology and its stories so much - it's my favourite anthology I've ever read! - and is my fifth 5⭐ read of 2019. - This anthology is a collection of surprises. I had expected a thoroughly wholesome book (and indeed, some stories were wholesome!) but there were so My full review is now up on my blog, The Quiet Pond. I also went on a food crawl to find all the food in this anthology! - Reading this anthology felt like sampling a tasting menu of the rich and brilliant colours of life. I loved this anthology and its stories so much - it's my favourite anthology I've ever read! - and is my fifth 5⭐ read of 2019. - This anthology is a collection of surprises. I had expected a thoroughly wholesome book (and indeed, some stories were wholesome!) but there were so unexpected reads in here. From romance to contemporary to crime to horror to SUPERHEROES!!! to urban-fantasy. - Hungry Hearts is such an exceptional anthology of stories that explore how food intertwines with communities, identity, culture, expression, dreams, and family. If you love these themes, Hungry Hearts is a must-read. - I absolutely loved how this story explores food and how it's more than just 'food is fuel'; it can be tied to our past, our history, our sense of belonging, and our ways to connect with others. - Don't ask me which one is my favourite story -- all of them were my favourites, tbh.

  3. 5 out of 5

    may ➹

    it’s a recipe for disaster when this book is all about food and I only pick it up when I’m hungry

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Again

    I think, if I did my math correctly, the average of all the ratings of the stories is 4.11. But I also think this anthology deserves bonus points for the way the stories worked together, alluded to each other, and led up to each other. I loved this and the links between the stories really added something extra to the anthology. Review to come! I took notes on each story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    As this is an anthology, I have rated the individual stories below but I’m still rating the overall collection a 5 star because I think it’s beautiful and heartfelt and has an important message. While this book has been on my most anticipated list of 2019 and I have eagerly awaited its release, I somehow never realized that all the stories in this anthology are interconnected and that was actually a nice surprise. I completely fell in love with Hungry Hearts Row, with its diversity and amalgamati As this is an anthology, I have rated the individual stories below but I’m still rating the overall collection a 5 star because I think it’s beautiful and heartfelt and has an important message. While this book has been on my most anticipated list of 2019 and I have eagerly awaited its release, I somehow never realized that all the stories in this anthology are interconnected and that was actually a nice surprise. I completely fell in love with Hungry Hearts Row, with its diversity and amalgamation of culture, and the absolute pride everyone had in their food and how they loved sharing it with everyone. Grief also seems like a common point among most of these stories, and I think we all can relate to the fact that food always plays a major role in our lives when we are dealing with loss or trauma. While every single description of food in this collection is mouthwatering and I highly recommend you don’t read the book when hungry, every story here tugs at your heartstrings and just makes you feel. Food is truly magical and it has the ability to bring us all closer, and I hope this amazing collection of stories has the same impact on its readers. Rain by Sangu Mandanna A heartbreaking story of a father-daughter duo coping with the loss of her mother, and trying to remember her by cooking her favorite delicacy. It showed how much we associate specific foods with our loved ones, especially moms and I loved the way they tried to get the taste just right. Beautiful story of grief and loss that ultimately leads to hope. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman A story of family, food, gangs, loyalty and revenge, this was thrilling and dramatic and definitely not what I was expecting. Very interesting and enjoyable. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon A story about finding the courage to do things outside our comfort zone, without worrying about the end result, this was a beginning of a cute teenage love story while also being very profound and insightful. The main character embarks on her adventure by exploring unknown to her cuisines and I loved how this symbolized her being courageous. And those food descriptions were delicious. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sugar and Spite by Rin Chupeco Very much seeped in the folk magic of the Philippines, this is a beautiful story about the importance of traditions and legacy, while also arriving at the realization that sometimes it’s okay to infuse a bit of newness into the traditions to keep them alive and move forward. The way magic and food is interlinked in the story is amazing and the second person writing style made the theme of high school bullying feel very visceral. And while the major lesson here is never to use magic for personal vengeance, there was also an emphasis on standing up for oneself and I thought that was explained very well. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Moments to Return by Adi Alsaid While I didn’t fully comprehend the feeling of doom the main character felt, I totally understood her excitement and the feeling of magic she tasted in the delicious food which made my mouth water as well. My takeover from the story was that we should find magic in the little things in life because we are all mortal and while we may die, our experiences live on. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond Another beautiful story about carrying forward the family legacy, sometimes even when you feel like you want to carve your path in life away from it all. It also shows the importance of having friends who truly appreciate your culture, not just as an exoticized other. I also thought the concept of appeasing the fears or loneliness of ghosts through food was very fascinating and unique. It ended on a really cute note and I wouldn’t have minded to read what happened next. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Gimme Some Sugar by Jay Coles The story of a young boy who signs up for a cooking competition so that he can win money for his mom’s surgery, this made me so emotional. His anxiety attacks just made me feel so raw because were written in a way that evokes that feeling in us readers. The cooking process on the other hand is written with so much love, with the message being that infusing your soul into the food is what makes it amazing, and I thought that was brilliant. And god all that talk of butter.... I just wanted to go and eat some mozzarella sticks or butter chicken. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Missing Ingredient by Rebecca Roanhorse A story about a girl who just wants her mom to be back to normal, and her mom who cares more about their restaurant than the daughter, this was creepy af all the way through but that ending just knocked it out of the park. I did not see that coming. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Hearts à la Carte by Karuna Riazi Set against the backdrop of a halal food cart, this is the endearing story of a developing friendship between the cart owner’s slightly shy daughter and a cute young superhero. While there were a couple of angsty moments, I loved how they connected over food and made some unlikely decisions for their future. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Bloom by Phoebe North There is a lot of pain in this story, especially how inter generational trauma affects survivors in the long run and defines their life choices, making them different from everyone else who can never understand it all. I didn’t always connect to the main character but it ends on a very sweet note. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 A Bountiful Film by S. K. Ali Told through the POV of a young woman who is new to the neighborhood, this is a story of finding your place in new circumstances and opening up your heart to receive the love that others want to give you. And I absolutely love the idea that people show love through food, because it felt very relatable. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Side Work by Sara Farizan While this started off on a sad note, it was a wonderful story about a young woman trying to get her parents to trust her again, the pride she took in working at her uncle’s restaurant and the beginning of a cute sapphic love story. I particularly appreciated the theme that a restaurant’s success depends on how well the staff are treated and when importance is given to how authentic the food being prepared is, not just the glossy appearance of the place. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Panaderia ~ Pasteleria by Anna-Marie McLemore The story of a girl who knows exactly what to bake for others because she feels comfortable communicating through food rather than words - this was sweet and heartfelt. But there was also an underlying theme of the harmful affects of gentrification and how it must feel for families who can’t afford to live in the places which have been home for decades, and it all made me sad. Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    I don’t know what it was, but about halfway through with this anthology, I was just so ready to be done, The stories stopped grabbing me and were consistently average and I just didn’t really care about it anymore. But I didn’t want to DNF it so I just stopped taking note, so this review isn’t going to be a story-by-story breakdown typical for my other anthology reviews, just my overall thoughts. Hungry Hearts follows the lives of people on Hungry Heart Row, a thriving foodie destination that fe I don’t know what it was, but about halfway through with this anthology, I was just so ready to be done, The stories stopped grabbing me and were consistently average and I just didn’t really care about it anymore. But I didn’t want to DNF it so I just stopped taking note, so this review isn’t going to be a story-by-story breakdown typical for my other anthology reviews, just my overall thoughts. Hungry Hearts follows the lives of people on Hungry Heart Row, a thriving foodie destination that feels magical and comforting. The stories are all (very) loosely connected, so you’ll see a character pop up a time or two, or a shop being mentioned in one story and showing up in the next. That made for a fun element that really connected the whole street. My favorite stories were The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon (5 stars); Kings & Queens by Elsie Chapman (4 Stars); The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond(4 stars); & Panadería ~ Pastelería by Anna-MArie McLemore(4 stars). All the other stories were between 2 and 3 stars. So it wasn’t a successful anthology for me, but I”m sure many others will enjoy these stories and love the cozy foodie environments that links these characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Janani(ஜனனி)

    Rain - love is when a stranger gives you a box of pastries because you look like you really need it. Kings and Queens - what the fuck did i just read The Grand Ishq Adventure - damn, i don't know why i always relate to Sandhya Menon's characters Sugar and Spite - thank the god it ended. I've never wanted to dnf a short story badly. Moments to Return - this one was good. it made me google how many varieties of dumplings are there and i want EVERYTHING The Slender One - now, this is what i wanted. Gi Rain - love is when a stranger gives you a box of pastries because you look like you really need it. Kings and Queens - what the fuck did i just read The Grand Ishq Adventure - damn, i don't know why i always relate to Sandhya Menon's characters Sugar and Spite - thank the god it ended. I've never wanted to dnf a short story badly. Moments to Return - this one was good. it made me google how many varieties of dumplings are there and i want EVERYTHING The Slender One - now, this is what i wanted. Gimme Some Sugar - OH MY FUCK. THIS IS BLOODY AWESOME. The Missing Ingredient - LMAO

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shira Glassman

    I stumbled onto this anthology by accident while searching one of its authors, and feel very lucky to have done so. For one thing, I LOVE food and have a special fondness for the human stories of the restaurant business, because of my work history. For another thing, short stories make great snacks during the pandemic when longer tasks seem intimidating. I also really adore the way all the stories are linked despite having separate authors, because all the restaurants and families that run them I stumbled onto this anthology by accident while searching one of its authors, and feel very lucky to have done so. For one thing, I LOVE food and have a special fondness for the human stories of the restaurant business, because of my work history. For another thing, short stories make great snacks during the pandemic when longer tasks seem intimidating. I also really adore the way all the stories are linked despite having separate authors, because all the restaurants and families that run them are on the same street -- so characters from one will show up in another making the reader grin with familiarity. I'm not used to reading an anthology that crosses genre like this in the same setting -- some of the stories are firmly rooted in contemporary YA -- both romantic and not -- while others are paranormal (or otherwise magical) or even suspense. I can definitely get behind a communal storytelling, "all genres welcome here" atmosphere. What you will get in this book are trips into the world of teens who are looking for confidence and find it, teens who are looking to start new relationships or repair old ones, teens who are .... looking to appease an angry ghost? Solve a missing persons case? Win competitions? Yeah, like I said, this book has a little of everything. One pleasant surprise for me was that there was more than one story that had a f/f resolution. The book also has a trans m/f romance (as well as some cis m/f romances) and casual mentions of other queer characters -- it's definitely nice to be included in books that are not specifically queer-focused. Makes me feel like I'm part of the world, not just the queer world. To squee about some of the individual stories a little: "The Slender One" by Caroline Tung Richmond is a wonderful story about a Chinese diaspora boy who's inherited his grandmother's ability to talk to ghosts. He ends up having to appease one during the local food festival, and I enjoyed both the paranormal and "YA drama with other teens" plot. "Hearts a la Carte" by Karuna Riazi took me all over the place emotionally, with a Muslim YA twist on the age-old dilemma of superhero romance: how do you cope with being the non-powered love interest mixed up in the conflict between good and evil? I guess mentioning that he's a superhero is a spoiler given the way it's written but maybe there are some people out there who would rather know a story like this exists than go without. "Bloom" by Phoebe North made me literally squeal. And I was outside reading in my yard at the time so I'm glad it was early enough in the morning that nobody heard me! Okay so: this is the book's Jewish story (each story focuses on a different culture, written by an author from that culture -- other stories include Filipino, Montenegran, Black, Mexican, Iranian, etc.) and I'm Jewish so I'm just really glad that I ended up liking "our" story so much. The reason I loved it is that there's a phenomenon in literature that has very rarely happened to me but that I adore, where the author makes me want something, in this case a relationship endgame, before I have any indication at all that it's actually going to happen in the story. It's the sign of a really skilled romance writer when the author makes you 'ship the characters without even knowing that's what's going to happen, because it shows that there's something there between them besides "the plot said so." Well, let me tell you, Reader, I loved this character. If you've read my books I think you'll understand where I'm going when I say that Mangoverse fans or fans of my other writing will love Chava. Even though she doesn't get much screen time, there's a lot there and I was so happy to get the resolution the story made me want without telegraphing that it was gonna give it to me. That's like writing-burlesque! Good job, Author :P "A Bountiful Film" by SK Ali has no romance or paranormal (which I guess is a spoiler in this particular story) but instead just has a really, really good girl-centered plot about mystery, competition, and friendship. Top-notch short story writing. "Side Work" by Sara Farizan is also f/f and cool, and for the first time in the book we hear about the threat of The Chain Restaurant. I enjoyed seeing all the plot threads come together, restaurant vs. chain, teen redeeming herself to the parents she let down, girls tiptoeing towards relationship. Throughout the book, a Mexican diaspora girl flits in and out of the scenery handing out pastries to the main characters of each story. The final story of the collection, "Panaderia - Pasteleria" by Anna-Marie McLemore, is her story, so by the time she shows up -- like a foreshadowed dessert -- we're so glad to see her! And she gets the book's trans romance, written by a trans writer. Incidentally, this is where the book finally mentions gentrification, after the whole book makes us fall in love with the unique patchwork of Hungry Hearts row, it reminds us that places like this can evaporate all too easily. I think that makes the warning all that much more effective and cutting. I hope I've convinced you to check out this book. If even one of these stories sounds intriguing, or if you, too, are stuck in your house and wish you could be visiting a place this colorful instead, it'll be worth it. And again: if you follow me because you like Mangoverse, you are going to have fun here. (I will note that one of the stories is straight-up horror and another one is pretty violent, so I'm gonna slap some TW's on the Missing Ingredient one and also Kings and Queens. But they are still very very good.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dahlia

    That was fun and full of surprises! This ranged from rom-com to borderline horror, and I definitely did not expect that, but there were stories on each end of that spectrum that were faves. I think I loved Sara Farizan and Elsie Chapman's stories most, but there was nothing in there I didn't like (and even as I type this sentence, I'm thinking "and Jay Coles's! And Rin Chupeco's! And!, and I love books about food so these descriptions definitely hit the spot. I feel like it really brought out a That was fun and full of surprises! This ranged from rom-com to borderline horror, and I definitely did not expect that, but there were stories on each end of that spectrum that were faves. I think I loved Sara Farizan and Elsie Chapman's stories most, but there was nothing in there I didn't like (and even as I type this sentence, I'm thinking "and Jay Coles's! And Rin Chupeco's! And!, and I love books about food so these descriptions definitely hit the spot. I feel like it really brought out a lot of what these authors are uniquely known for, like contemplating life and deeper meanings of things via travel experience for Adi Alsaid, and the combination of Muslim rep and some fantastical fun for Karuna Riazi. It really is a great intro to the authors and their work, if there are any new-to-you names.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maraia

    This is the best story collection I’ve ever read. I adored every single story, and I love how they’re woven together and how the same characters and places kept popping up. Each story is unique and yet fits together with the others. This book is about food, obviously, but it goes way beyond that. Through food, Hungry Hearts explores themes of family, friendship, love in all its forms, growing up, grief, anxiety, sexuality, learning how to move on from mistakes, and more. It’s incredible how much This is the best story collection I’ve ever read. I adored every single story, and I love how they’re woven together and how the same characters and places kept popping up. Each story is unique and yet fits together with the others. This book is about food, obviously, but it goes way beyond that. Through food, Hungry Hearts explores themes of family, friendship, love in all its forms, growing up, grief, anxiety, sexuality, learning how to move on from mistakes, and more. It’s incredible how much the authors packed into such short stories, and I would happily read a full-length novel of each of them. I highly recommend reading Hungry Hearts. It will leave you hungry and wishing that Hungry Hearts Row were real, but it will also fill you with warmth.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mikaela

    I don't need to hear anything more than interconnected short stories and I am sold

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz My first anthology was a selection of short stories edited by Elsie Chapman centered on diverse Asian culture and fantasy. I LOVED it and hadn't ever been able to finish or get into an anthology before. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings made my top books of the year too. So when I heard about Hungry Hearts I knew that I would jump on an opportunity to read these... The cover certainly gives you the contemporary vibe that is at the heart Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... The Buzz My first anthology was a selection of short stories edited by Elsie Chapman centered on diverse Asian culture and fantasy. I LOVED it and hadn't ever been able to finish or get into an anthology before. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings made my top books of the year too. So when I heard about Hungry Hearts I knew that I would jump on an opportunity to read these... The cover certainly gives you the contemporary vibe that is at the heart of the collection. And the title really suits how the short stories are interconnected despite being written by diverse authors. The Premise Hungry Hearts Row is a neighborhood in Rowbury where different Asian-heritage chefs, cooks and artisans have opened eateries. They are diverse and their food is full of love. We explore the different circumstances of various residents and visitors to the iconic neighborhood and how and why they came to be on this street. I loved how different the stories were and the variety of genres all set in a contemporary setting. We have stories from Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco plus Rebecca Roanhorse and others who you will wish wrote more than short stories. Certain elements are mentioned in each story that intrigue us as it connects them one to another. Lila plays a huge role in Hungry Hearts as she is one of those elements. I was dying to read her story by the time we got to it. I really loved this aspect of it and felt it worked so well because there was the setting in common among the stories. My Experience Anthologies have never been my favorite. In fact, until last year I'd NEVER finished one or even gotten close. Normally I would start reading the first story and never get past it. I don't know if its because these short stories have been infused with Asian flavor or if its due to Elsie Chapman's editing, but I've loved both Hungry Hearts and her previous anthology. I highly recommend this one as much as the previous anthology just so that you can get a taste of these authors' writing (if you haven't read them before.) Or if you have read and loved them previously you'll enjoy something a little different. Yet with their same style and a bit of their #ownvoices mixed into their story. Honestly not every story was a 5 star read... BUT I did enjoy every story! Only two were slightly disappointing as they felt more slice of life than a true story. I feel like I got to know a bit more about lesser known Asian cultures plus the touch of diversity in some of the stories is great. Because I didn't feel a lull in my reading experience with Hungry Hearts I decided to round up my rating! It's rare to find anthologies that are relatable,and quality across every short story. Why should you jump at reading Hungry Hearts? -Rain by Sangu Mandanna - ❤️❤️❤️❤️ A story about grief and how food connects us no matter how different we are. Loved her bi-racial parents! -Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman - ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ This was quite good... totally unexpected and fun twist to Chinese culture. I did guess who made the call but I loved it anyway. -The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon - ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I knew from the start how this would end but I just loved her thoughtful experiment and advice. Love was just a single part of who she was as a larger individual. Loved it! -Sugar and Spite by Rin Chupeco - ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Nothing really happens in this story. It’s a rundown of the most enchanting character you’ll ever meet! A grandma who you’d want for your very own. And a heritage to crow over. Very Rin Chupeco. -Moments to Remember by Adi Alsaid - ❤️❤️❤️❤️ The end was a little wandering hence the rating. But I really enjoyed the mental health journey and how food and friendship helped him. -The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond - ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ GAHHH I love Charlie and the social identity predicament he was in. I was so glad he gave Andie and his Waipo a chance. What a creepy ghost! -Gimme Some Sugar by Jay Coles - ❤️❤️❤️❤️ This was anticlimactic and a little repetitive but Leo’s plight tugs at your heartstrings. The empowerment in the face of anxiety is the real champion. -The Missing Ingredient by Rebecca Roanhorse - ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I loved this creepy story! The only problem was the end was a little murky. Blessedly I went back and read it again and finally understood. -Hearts a la Cart by Karuna Riazi - ❤️❤️❤️❤️ This could have been a fun short story but it’s bogged down with a lot of controlling attitude on the part of the girl. An upbeat but open ended end would have been better! -Bloom by Phoebe North - ❤️❤️❤️ This started out really good with an unexpected personality. Then it got really odd, ending abruptly. I wish I understood the point of the story. Diversity seems a part of it but diversity alone isn’t enough. ...Thinking more about it now perhaps it was about the journey we take finding ourselves. -A Bountiful Film by S.K. Ali - ❤️❤️❤️❤️ A girl is feeling a little uncomfortable after moving across town to her grandmother’s neighborhood. A teen filmmaker she works on a new film there and comes to find a new attitude toward her new home. -Side Work by Sara Farzian - ❤️❤️❤️ A cute little F/F romance about a girl redeeming herself to her parents and in her own eyes. I liked the family, her uncle and how the restaurant helped her. The story didn’t have much going on and ended abruptly but the right reader will relate. -Panderia ~ Pasteleria by Anna-Marie McLemore - ❤️❤️❤️❤️ You sure can feel her culture and diversity infuse every moment on the page. While still a rather aimless story it perfectly pulled together all the little meetings we had with Lila. Learning her situation and the situation of many of the old timers on Hungry Heart Row. Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love is a fun Asian infused contemporary anthology showcasing some of the favorite diverse authors in the young adult book community. It's relatable and diverse with quality stories in the entire collection! A must read! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building B+ Cover & Title grade Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews... Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Acqua

    Let's say you're an editor with some very interesting anthology ideas, and you're fascinated by these concepts: 🍜 an anthology of interconnected stories that all take place in the same neighborhood at the same time, in which each story is full of tiny references to the others and forms a seamless web that enhances each story's meaning; 🍜 an anthology that spans across genres, from contemporary romance and horror to gang rivalries and ghost stories and superhero tales, in which stories have little Let's say you're an editor with some very interesting anthology ideas, and you're fascinated by these concepts: 🍜 an anthology of interconnected stories that all take place in the same neighborhood at the same time, in which each story is full of tiny references to the others and forms a seamless web that enhances each story's meaning; 🍜 an anthology that spans across genres, from contemporary romance and horror to gang rivalries and ghost stories and superhero tales, in which stories have little to do with each other in tone and themes and only have a tiny thread (here, food) to tie them together Then, please, don't be like Hungry Hearts. Only choose one of the two. If this had stopped at the first of the two points, and had been an anthology of interconnected contemporary stories all involving food in some way, it could have been so good. I can only describe the result of trying to do cross-genre connected stories as a complete mess. It doesn't help that the individual quality of the stories themselves was questionable. While it's true that I'm realizing that this kind of YA doesn't work for me as much as it used to, most of these stories were incredibly bland and couldn't even be saved by the food descriptions. The only story I loved was The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon, a contemporary story about a girl who decides to go to restaurants alone to face her anxiety, which was wonderful in every aspect, from a beginning that draws you in (the voice in this story was amazing) to a delicious continuation and an ending with a sweet twist. There were other stories that worked, like the bittersweet Rain by Sangu Mandanna, the fiery revenge story Sugar and Spite by Rin Chupeco and Panadería ~ Pastelería by Anna-Marie McLemore, which was like the dessert at the end of a meal. All of these were contemporaries or contemporaries with a slight magical twist, so that I could believe they coexisted in the same universe, and were well-written. All the other stories were either a boring blur or completely outside of the tone of the rest of the anthology. I think the editors were going for something that felt not only like a story made by many interconnected parts but also a meal with many courses, and so were trying to get as much variety inside of it as it was possible, but the result was dissonant and messy. There's still a lot to love about this, from the diversity to the food descriptions (you really can't go wrong with those) and especially the celebration of foods that mainstream white, western American society would consider "too weird", but apart from these things, most of this was forgettable.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    rain: maybe I tried very hard not to cry and didn’t succeed. the writing was beautiful, and every single time the rain was described I swear I could feel it. the way this little story portrayed in a such a short amount of pages a broken but on its way to mending father-daughter relationship got me tearing up a bit (4) kings and queens: this was so not what I had expected it to be. it took me by surprise, and I’m definitely not mad about it. I loved the conversation about the different kinds of fo rain: maybe I tried very hard not to cry and didn’t succeed. the writing was beautiful, and every single time the rain was described I swear I could feel it. the way this little story portrayed in a such a short amount of pages a broken but on its way to mending father-daughter relationship got me tearing up a bit (4) kings and queens: this was so not what I had expected it to be. it took me by surprise, and I’m definitely not mad about it. I loved the conversation about the different kinds of food, the food that feeds and the one that touches your heart, I felt that (4.5) the grand ishq adventure: gosh, the way this story put the biggest smile on my face! I appreciated the message of the story so much, that there’s no small way to be brave, it was so extra lovely and of course sandhya menon delivered a cute little romance that got me grinning so hard! (4.5) sugar and spite: I’m not always a fan when authors decide to write from the ‘you’ perspective, but it worked so well for this story! it truly made me feel as if I were part of the story, as if I were the one pouring magic into food. it was simply lovely! (4.25) moments to return: this was such a quiet story, all about connecting with what’s around you and live in the moment, not in the what ifs. the way food is describing as something bringing you comfort was so nice to read about (3.75) the slender one: I loved this story SO much! I can’t exactly explain why this one completely took my heart away, but it did! it’s about being proud of who you are and your traditions, but to still be true to yourself, and I don’t know it was such a sweet little ghost story! (4.5) gimme some sugar: this was all about pouring your heart in what you do, in what makes you happy, and trusting that your soul is enough. (4) the missing ingredient: my first thought after finishing was ‘what the fuck was that?’ this was terrifying, I had not seen this ending coming, it was definitely something else. I’m so confused. the more I think of it the more I feel like I liked this story? it was weird, but good weird (3.75) hearts à la carte: I was confused at first, but once I got what was happening I found it SO endearing! I did not expect the super-hero aspect, but it made this story so much fun! (4) bloom: the way I fell in love with this story so damn fast, the way I need a book of this! it’s so quietly queer and jewish, about living with a centuries old legacy and doing your best to survive. (5) a bountiful film: I love stories about people making a film. can’t explain why. this story was quiet, about making a place your home and understanding that loving something isn’t just something that happens to you, it’s also a decision you make. it was brilliant (5) side work: this story was so unapologetically queer! I smiled the entire time, I couldn’t help it. this was so lovely and so hopeful! the way it portrays a family finding its way back to each other, and being proud of their accomplishments made my heart feel so heavy! I want a full novel, please! (5) panadería ~ pastelería: I’ll never not need a story about a girl who pours her heart into her pastries and brings hope to people. I’ll never not need a story about said girl falling in love with a soft trans boy and realising that has magic in her hands. (5) average rating: 4.4

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jolien

    I've always been fairly hesitant to pick up short story collections. Too afraid that the stories wouldn't be able to captivate me, that the characters would be too unfamiliar to care about. Hungry Hearts has proved me wrong. I adored almost every single story in this book, and I'm walking away from this collection with a renewed love for food and a list of authors I want to read more of. PLEASE give this a try. Even if you don't like short stories. Even if you're afraid this won't be for you. You I've always been fairly hesitant to pick up short story collections. Too afraid that the stories wouldn't be able to captivate me, that the characters would be too unfamiliar to care about. Hungry Hearts has proved me wrong. I adored almost every single story in this book, and I'm walking away from this collection with a renewed love for food and a list of authors I want to read more of. PLEASE give this a try. Even if you don't like short stories. Even if you're afraid this won't be for you. You won't regret it. my favorite stories (in no particular order) Rain by Sangu Mandanna Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman Sugar and Spite by Rin Chupeco The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond The Missing Ingredient by Rebecca Roanhorse Panadería ~Pastelería by Anna-Marie McLemore

  16. 5 out of 5

    caitlin ✶

    At first, I was so sure that I was gonna rate this anthology 5 or at least 4 stars. But the last five stories were SO lackluster compared to the first seven. Sure, I disliked one story out of the first seven, but I loved the cohesiveness that was present in them. But the last five? Though I did enjoy some stories in them, they felt disconnected from the entire anthology, and I felt like the underlying theme of food became watered down. Rain by Sangu Mandanna- 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Gosh, this was an excellent open At first, I was so sure that I was gonna rate this anthology 5 or at least 4 stars. But the last five stories were SO lackluster compared to the first seven. Sure, I disliked one story out of the first seven, but I loved the cohesiveness that was present in them. But the last five? Though I did enjoy some stories in them, they felt disconnected from the entire anthology, and I felt like the underlying theme of food became watered down. Rain by Sangu Mandanna- 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Gosh, this was an excellent opening to the anthology. It’s a simple story about how food can help us overcome grief and mend barriers between ourselves, but it was powerful nonetheless. Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman- 🌟🌟🌟🌟 After the sweetness of the first story, reading this was jarring. But that’s my fault because I expected every story in this anthology to be in the contemporary genre, while I’d classify this as a thriller. I was pretty confused about some things in this. But ultimately, I liked how it discussed loyalty, family, revenge, and how food plays a part in all of those things. The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon- 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Reading this was the equivalent of eating cotton candy. It’s your classic “girl has a crush and works up the courage to confess” story, and while predictable, it was still super cute. Also, the concept of the Grand Ishq Adventure is SO COOL, and I would love to go on one of my own. Sugar and Spite by Rin Chupeco- 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This story is classic Rin Chupeco—a little weird, and unapologetically Filipino. It tackles darker stuff, like bullying and revenge, but I loved how everything was resolved in the end. It was also really cool to learn about how each mangkukulam wove magic into their food. And to add to the uniqueness of the story, it’s told in second-person, but I actually didn’t mind. Moments to Return by Adi Alsaid- 🌟🌟 I can see why some people would like this, but I just didn’t care for it. Joko’s experiences were valid and nothing he did was offensive, of course. It’s just that—and this is highly subjective criticism—I’d rather read from a person of color’s point of view when it comes to diverse foods, thanks. The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond- 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 This was such an unapologetically Chinese story that made my Chinese heart so happy. I love that it tackled the subtle racism that is sometimes directed at people of color for the food they eat. Also, this gets bonus points because it features pineapple cakes, which is probably my favorite Chinese dessert. Gimme Some Sugar by Jay Coles- 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Ah, this one was predictable but so heartwarming! I loved how it talked about incorporating your soul into the food you make, and Leo’s grandma was the best! The Missing Ingredient by Rebecca Roanhorse- 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 OMG. This story was deliciously (😉) dark, mysterious, haunting, and HORRIFIC. The rocky relationship between the main character and her mother is SO well-written. Hearts à la Carte by Karuna Riazi- 🌟🌟 This was a cute story and I liked the sarcastic voice of the narrator, but... I just didn’t care for it, and Hasan’s origin was SO random. Bloom by Phoebe North- 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This was a wonderfully quiet story about how romances don’t always work out and people aren’t always how they present themselves, or how you make them up to be in your head. It also explored the intergenerational trauma that Jewish people experience. The ending was sweet, and despite this story’s relatively low stakes, it succeeds in leaving its mark on you. A Bountiful Film by S.K. Ali- 🌟🌟🌟 I liked this story’s premise and what it revealed about Hungry Heart Row, but ultimately, it was underwhelming. I couldn’t connect with the main character or the main conflict at ALL. Side Work by Sara Farizan- 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This is one of the quieter stories in the anthology, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. We’re following the main character deal with the repercussions of an accident she was in, along with her cute, budding romance with another girl. I love how this story tackled gentrification and ways to fight it. Though I found the resolution of her and her dad’s conflict super rushed. But hey, this is a short story, so what did I expect? Panadería ~ Pastelería by Anna-Marie McLemore- 🌟🌟🌟 It was nice to finally get Lila Manzano’s story after her many cameos in the previous stories. But.. I felt like this was way too short. It feels wrong to say that, because hello? It’s a SHORT story, but it has the smallest page count in the entire anthology, so let that speak for itself. As a result, the romance Lila had with Gael, a trans boy, felt super rushed. Though I think that the Latinx pastries featured in this are the most delicious-sounding in the entire anthology, which is VERY high praise. I also liked how this one touched on gentrification. Average rating: 3.77 Final rating: 3 stars I’d recommend because of its.. ⁃ Focus on food (mouthwatering descriptions of it, discussions about its importance outside of nourishment) ⁃ Diversity (Filipino, Chinese, Jewish, Latinx, Persian, Indian, Egyptian, Native American, Black, etc.) ⁃ First seven stories ⁃ Variety of genres (magical realism, contemporary, thriller, mystery, etc.) I wouldn’t recommend because of its.. ⁃ the last five stories, man

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mafalda

    "Rain" by Sangu Mandanna Rating: 3/5 "Kings and Queens" by Elsie Chapman Rating: 2/5 "The Grand Ishq Adventure" by Sandhya Menon Rating: 2.5/5 "Sugar and Spite" by Rin Chupeco Rating: 2/5 "Moments to Return" by Adi Alsaid Rating: 3/5 "The Slender One" by Caroline Tung Richmond Rating: 5/5 "Gimme Some Sugar" by Jay Coles Rating: 4/5 "The Missing Ingredient" by Rebecca Roanhorse Rating: 2/5 "Hearts à la Carte" by Karuna Riazi Rating: 2/5 "Bloom" by Phoebe North Rating: 4/5 "A Bountiful Film" by S. K. Ali Rating: 2.5/5 "Rain" by Sangu Mandanna Rating: 3/5 "Kings and Queens" by Elsie Chapman Rating: 2/5 "The Grand Ishq Adventure" by Sandhya Menon Rating: 2.5/5 "Sugar and Spite" by Rin Chupeco Rating: 2/5 "Moments to Return" by Adi Alsaid Rating: 3/5 "The Slender One" by Caroline Tung Richmond Rating: 5/5 "Gimme Some Sugar" by Jay Coles Rating: 4/5 "The Missing Ingredient" by Rebecca Roanhorse Rating: 2/5 "Hearts à la Carte" by Karuna Riazi Rating: 2/5 "Bloom" by Phoebe North Rating: 4/5 "A Bountiful Film" by S. K. Ali Rating: 2.5/5 "Side Work" by Sara Farizan Rating: 3.5/5 "Panadería - Pastelería" by Anne-Marie McLemore Rating : 4/5

  18. 5 out of 5

    xueh wei

    This book made my heart so FULL ❣️ With a stellar lineup of authors, they welcome us to Hungry Hearts Row — where the food is magic, and love is often served. We’re talking about love through family, friendships, and of course, romance. Apart from the fact that the stories go from wholesome as heck to being creepy as hell, making for a diverse reading experience, they are all just so much fun & so, so interesting! For a lot of us, food has always meant more than just sustenance— they represent cult This book made my heart so FULL ❣️ With a stellar lineup of authors, they welcome us to Hungry Hearts Row — where the food is magic, and love is often served. We’re talking about love through family, friendships, and of course, romance. Apart from the fact that the stories go from wholesome as heck to being creepy as hell, making for a diverse reading experience, they are all just so much fun & so, so interesting! For a lot of us, food has always meant more than just sustenance— they represent culture, a sense of belonging, and often, an expression of love. This was also the reason why I immediately gravitated to this book, and it did *not* disappoint, I was frankly hooked from the start. If you were to ask me to choose my favourite story…I couldn’t, I really did love them all. And now I miss Hungry Hearts Row too. Tysm to #pansing/@definitelybooks for this absolutely wonderful read 😚

  19. 4 out of 5

    sofia

    i have a feeling this book is going to feel like the warmest hug and also make me very hungry also: interconnected short stories!! yes please!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Generally, I read anthologies more out of stubborn desire to read the stories by a couple of favorite authors than actual interest in the anthology as a whole. They're a struggle for me, because I want to read ALL of a book, but there are generally stories I love and stories I hate and wish I could DNF. Hungry Hearts was better than the average anthology, because I did genuinely like most of the stories. The ones I didn't like as much were generally relatively interesting anyway. A couple additio Generally, I read anthologies more out of stubborn desire to read the stories by a couple of favorite authors than actual interest in the anthology as a whole. They're a struggle for me, because I want to read ALL of a book, but there are generally stories I love and stories I hate and wish I could DNF. Hungry Hearts was better than the average anthology, because I did genuinely like most of the stories. The ones I didn't like as much were generally relatively interesting anyway. A couple additional notes before I break down the story: The concept: The fact that all of the stories take place in the same location and have some similar narrative elements (food that can affect emotions or mental acuity) brought cohesion to the anthology, which I think really helped. It also means that, where generally a couple of authors usually write stuff set in a series they've written, all the stories are clearly original and specifically for this anthology. Often stories feel like they've been shoved in but don't fit the overall theme, and, while some are a strange fit here (primarily the horror, since otherwise it's a fairly fluffy anthology), they all feel purposeful. I like seeing the effort and thought that went into producing this. Food as a theme: First off, I would absolutely love to go to the fictional small town of Hungry Hearts Row that somehow has restaurants for almost every kind of food you can imagine. *drools* For the most part, I think the food theme carries through really well, but some stories did a better job of this than others. Food is always present, but in a few it felt incidental rather than integral to the tale. The overall message seemed to be the importance of cooking with love, which I did find slightly cheesy, but some stories had a message about the importance of eating widely to expand your horizons, which I liked more. Story-by-story breakdown: "Rain" by Sangu Mandanna After the death of her mother, Anna and her father have been lost in grief, slowly growing apart and feeling lonely and lost in their home without wife and mother. They spend time with Aunt Mynah on Hungry Hearts Row, where attempting to recreate her one dish brings dad and daughter close again. Sweet, and Hungry Hearts Row seems like a nice lightly fantastical setting. "Kings and Queens" by Elsie Chapman Hungry Heart Row goes dark in Chapman's story, which centers on gang violence. The tone of this one is startling after the prior story, which was sweet and touching. I guess I liked it for the most part, but I did think it was weird that the gangs are called "secret societies." "The Grand Ishq Adventure" by Sandhya Menon LOVE. Adorable little rom com where the writer of a romantic advice column takes her own advice: eat alone at four restaurants you've never been to with cuisines you've never had to build up the strength to confess your feelings to your crush. Precious and with a fantastic narrative voice. "Sugar and Spite" by Rin Chupeco A filipino family with magic in the blood that manifests in their cooking. Deals with bullying primarily. Lacking somewhat in actual plot, but with a great premise. Probably would have been fairly good if it had not been in second person, which created distance and artificiality. "Moments to Return" by Adi Alsaid A young man of indeterminate age (he's worked on a cruise ship for a while, it seems) leaves his home of Montenegro to travel to Hungry Hearts Row hoping for a bit of magic to solve his existential crisis. He's so afraid of death that he doesn't know how to really live anymore. The story is an affirmation, a bit of a pretentious one but I liked it nonetheless. "The Slender One" by Caroline Tung Richmond Reminiscent a bit of Miyazaki's Spirited Away, a young boy deals with his ability to speak with ghosts, both friendly and angry. I think this is the third thing I've read about Hungry Ghosts festival in a fortnight, which is kind of funny. Cute and satisfying as a short story. "Gimme Some Sugar" by Jay Coles The voice in this one didn't work for me particularly, but the ending really didn't work for me. While Sugar's cheesy dish sounds amazing, the cheesy ending to this story is not. There's no journey to the ending, and it all feels rushed and schmaltzy, particularly the lesson of food made with love/soul/butter being the most delicious food. "The Missing Ingredient" by Rebecca Roanhorse Wow, well, I definitely didn't find that one predictable. I appreciate how macabre this one was, even though it feels out of place in a collection largely fluffy, but I wish I'd felt more connected to the characters. "Hearts à la Carte" by Karuna Riazi A girl develops a crush on the mysterious, incredibly hot guy who fell out of the sky and then ate almost literally all the food on her parent's food truck. The story can't quite decide whether to be serious or fluffy, and the resulting tone is a bit odd. Needed more chemistry to sell the romance and more plot to sell the fantasy elements. "Bloom" by Phoebe North Oh man, this one was so good. I want more but it also stands well as a short story, which I feel like few really do. There's romance in it, but it's realistic rather than Romantic. The heroine's narrative voice is distant and withdrawn, but the story's all about the impact of suffering that comes down through the generations, so that fits. The emotional arc in this brief story is nuanced and complex. Very impressive. "A Bountiful Film" by S. K. Ali A pretentious filmmaker, resentful that someone beat her in the previous year's film contest is grumpy about a move to Hungry Hearts Row but looking for a subject for her film this year. The story largely consists of a non-mysterious mystery and feels incredibly long even though it's not. "Side Work" by Sara Farizan A sweet f/f story about rebuilding relationships, with yourself and others, after making a big mistake. There's also a clear anti-chain-restaurant theme. I liked it more than Farizan's novels that I've read, because they tend to be too sad for me, and it definitely made me hungry, but I wanted a bit more spark. "Panadería - Pastelería" - Anne-Marie McLemore Happier than I think McLemore's novels are, and I did enjoy this one. It's a good choice to close out the connection since the MC in this one appears in all the other stories. She nudges others with her desserts, but she doesn't have someone to do that for her. This one's all about opening up to those around you and communicating what's in your heart. Also, cute romance with a trans boy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeann (Happy Indulgence)

    Word of advice: This book will make you hungry. Food is something that is close to my heart, and I love how wholesome this was, making my mouth water throughout. It features many stories about family, friendship, culture and identity, and I loved how each of them centered around food. There is so much #ownvoices rep in here and it was wonderful seeing different cultures (and cuisines!) represented. All of the stories were loosely related- characters and restaurants will appear within stories time Word of advice: This book will make you hungry. Food is something that is close to my heart, and I love how wholesome this was, making my mouth water throughout. It features many stories about family, friendship, culture and identity, and I loved how each of them centered around food. There is so much #ownvoices rep in here and it was wonderful seeing different cultures (and cuisines!) represented. All of the stories were loosely related- characters and restaurants will appear within stories time and time again, adding to the scene of Hungry Heart Row - a group of eateries within the same vicinity. As with every anthology, there were a few stand out stories that were my favourites: The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon - About a relationship columnist who issues a challenge to try a different restaurant each day without picking up your phone and just relishing in the moment. Kings And Queens by Elise Chapman - This was about gangster families ordering Chinese take out and it was kind of intense and awesome seeing it all pan out!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    This short story collection is super diverse, and some of the stories were just super weird in general, which was fun. Enjoyable overall! I'll definitely be giving some of my unread authors in this collection a shot!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany (Read By Tiffany)

    Hungry Hearts is a diverse anthology featuring stories that explore the intersection of food and culture. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review as part of the Hungry Hearts official blog tour, specifically to highlight The Slender One as I am an #OwnVoices reader for this story. The Slender One follows the story of Charlie, a Chinese-American boy, and his family as they prepare their family restaurant, The Happy Horse, for the annual Ghost Festival on Hungry Heart Row. 🌙 The Hungry Hungry Hearts is a diverse anthology featuring stories that explore the intersection of food and culture. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review as part of the Hungry Hearts official blog tour, specifically to highlight The Slender One as I am an #OwnVoices reader for this story. The Slender One follows the story of Charlie, a Chinese-American boy, and his family as they prepare their family restaurant, The Happy Horse, for the annual Ghost Festival on Hungry Heart Row. 🌙 The Hungry Ghost Festival, or Zhongyuan Jie (中元節), occurs on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar where it is believed that the gates of heaven and hell open and spirits are free to roam the Earth. In order to placate the ghosts and keep them entertained, families would present special food on altars as an expression of their love and respect. The story introduces how food is a cornerstone of Chinese culture and how it is used to honor our ancestors. For all our holidays (not just The Ghost Festival), food is used to bring together a community where each specific food symbolizes something greater. 💞 Noodles are eaten for long life. Dumplings are eaten for good fortune, and apples are eaten for peace and prosperity. In the story, we specifically see how pineapple cakes bridge a rift between family members. Throughout the story, we also see how Charlie struggles with his culture and identity when his schoolmates join the festival. At times, some of his classmates would be disgusted at traditional Chinese food because it’s something unfamiliar, and as a high schooler who simply wants to fit in with his friends, he feels as if he’s at a crossroads between sharing his family and culture or hiding who he is. 😔 Growing up, I lived in a predominantly Asian community so I was lucky to feel whole-heartedly accepted by my friends and classmates, but Charlie’s story represents reality for many teens. As I mentioned earlier, one of the star foods in this story is pineapple cake which is a treat that I hold near and dear to my heart. If you’re not familiar with Chinese or Taiwanese pineapple cake, your first thought might jump towards something like pineapple upside down cake, but while that is undeniably yummy, I promise you that Asian pineapple pastries are next level. 🍍 It’s buttery and chewy, sweet and tangy, but, most importantly, it’s a treat that reminds me of home. I loved sharing it with my grandma, and even now in college, my mom still includes them in care packages that she mails to me. Although The Slender One was a short story, it still captured many feelings of a community brought together by food. I loved seeing Charlie and his Waipo, or grandma, interact and bond over baking pastries and sharing stories. I’m planning on reading the rest of the stories in the anthology soon, and I’m positive they’ll be just as amazing as this one. 🥰🥢

  24. 5 out of 5

    Vestacito

    It's not a BAD book, but it is an anthology so there are some caveats you should be aware of. 1. The quality of the writing varies a LOT between the authors. Some stories are definitely better than others. I really loved Rin Chupeco's story, but most of the others were just alright. 2. The writing reads pretty young in a lot of the stories. Some were a lot more middle grade than YA in my personal opinion. 3. Don't expect all the stories to be light and heart-warming. There are plenty that are not It's not a BAD book, but it is an anthology so there are some caveats you should be aware of. 1. The quality of the writing varies a LOT between the authors. Some stories are definitely better than others. I really loved Rin Chupeco's story, but most of the others were just alright. 2. The writing reads pretty young in a lot of the stories. Some were a lot more middle grade than YA in my personal opinion. 3. Don't expect all the stories to be light and heart-warming. There are plenty that are not super happy stories. 4. It's an anthology, so the stories are SHORT, I've never been a huge fan of short stories since I'm here for the characters. 5. The depictions of food are probably the best part of the book, but the Hungry Hearts row seemed pretty unnaturally inserted into some of the stories. 6. The book definitely needed a much stronger editor. It doesn't come together very well, and the stories themselves are, at times, awkward. All that being said, it was nice to see an anthology focused on diversity (and included food!). I didn't hate reading it, but I doubt I would want to read it again, other than a story or two. Your mileage may vary though.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Riddhi.

    *Reads the name, Sandhya Menon.* *Faints* *Realises that the book won't be out till 2019.* *Faints again* *Reads the name, Sandhya Menon.* *Faints* *Realises that the book won't be out till 2019.* *Faints again*

  26. 5 out of 5

    Taasia ✨

    You all, I think I found my new favourite short story anthology of all time, and the fact that this only has 233 Goodreads reviews (at the time I'm writing this) shows that too many people are sleeping on this. Review to be posted! (Actually).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    2.5* Out of the 10 stories I liked maybe 3 or 4 and the rest were pretty forgettable. I liked the overall feeling of the short story collection, the whole food theme was very interesting but the execution wasn’t satisfactory.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Divine Anas

    SO EXCITED FOR THIS. I fckin love book twitter, sometimes I get all the good recs there.

  29. 5 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    3.5 Stars Review to come!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Perchikoff

    There are so many amazing anthologies coming out this year and Hungry Hearts is definitely one of them. The stories combine to make a book full of food, love, acceptance, and beautiful writing. I'll give a quick synopsis of each story and then talk about my overall thoughts. Let's get started! Synopsis (from Goodreads): From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short sto There are so many amazing anthologies coming out this year and Hungry Hearts is definitely one of them. The stories combine to make a book full of food, love, acceptance, and beautiful writing. I'll give a quick synopsis of each story and then talk about my overall thoughts. Let's get started! Synopsis (from Goodreads): From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens. A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life. Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same. Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home. Rain by Sangu Mandanna  ✮ Anna goes to visit her Aunt Mynah with her father. Her mother died recently and Anna and her father's relationship has been strained since it happened. She decides she wants to make her mother's favorite dish and through the process of getting the recipe exactly right, Anna and her father bond with a little help from Aunt Mynah. Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman ✮ Ming works are her family's Chinese restaurant. Her family is in a gang, the Kings and Queens, that's in a fight with a rival gang, The Black Seas. Her older sister was injured and paralyzed by a stray bullet in a gun fight between the two gangs but the bullet that hit her was from their own gang's guns. Wen, the leader of the Kings and Queens has arranged for the one of the boys from the Kings and Queens gang be married to a girl from The Black Seas as some sort of truce. The engagement happens at Ming's family's restaurant. Before the engagement party, the restaurant gets a "special order." These special orders are to take care of people aka kill or abduct people. Ming gets an order the night before the party. The person on the other line wants to target a celebration She gets an order one night that asks for a creature served whole. a chicken and with the party coming up, it can only mean that. The order is to kill the members of the Kings and Queens and The Black Seas involved in the engagement party. It's Ming's job to do this. But someone else does the job for her. The Grand Ishq Adventure by Sandhya Menon ✮ Neha writes a love advice column and tells one of her readers  they should go to a different restaurant each day and eat by themselves. This will give them the courage to talk to their crush. Hoping this will help her too, She does it as well and meets people along the way that help her with her journey. Sugar and Spite by Rin Chupeco Ami is being taught to cook different foods and soups by her grandmother (or Lola Simeona) and the other women at the restaurant they work at together. They test customers with different soups. For all intents and purposes, they are witches style themselves after the Mangkukulan. They don't like the "witch" word because it is a Western version of what they are. The women can change people's fortunes and lives with different foods but they have one rule: Never make it personal. As Ami learns about her grandmother's past, she tries to use what she's learned on the her bullies at school. Her grandmother catches her and becomes very angry. Ami is making it personal. But her grandmother doesn't push Ami's bullies aside. She goes to her school and when she realizes the school won't do anything, she allows Ami to put a bit of revenge into her recipes. Civility if not always the best option. Moments to Return by Adi Alsaid ✮ Joko goes to a dim sum restaurant he found that is supposed to change people's lives. He hopes the food will cure him of his fear of death. He took a swim with a friend that almost killed  him and that's when the fear started. Joko ends up ordering some dim sum and a bowl of soup and begins to chat up a boy, Leo, sitting in a nearby booth. Joko narrates how he got to the US from Montenegro where he's from. He heard about Hungry Hearts Row from a tourist back home and he knew he had to come check it out. After his meal, he feels much better about life. The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond ✮ Charlie is able to see ghosts and regularly see a man who used to visit the store he works at every day. But that's not his only job. His family helps run the Hungry Ghost Festival and he is in charge this year of their booth. It's usually his grandmother's job to feed and entertain the ghosts that come back this one day each year, but as she is very ill, he has to try. Charlie is also part of a cultural exchange club t school and one of the club's outings is to go to this festival. Charlie is worried what his friends and his crush, Helen, will think of the festival.  And he's right to be worried. Helen does not react well but Andie, the leader of the club ends up sticking up for Charlie and stays to help him fight one particular ghosts, The Slender One. Gimme Some Sugar by Jay Coles ✮ Leo enters a cooking competition, hoping he will win the prize money to help his mom. She is very sick with a brain tumor.  He stays with his Grandma while in Hungry Heart Row. She has won the competition many times over. Once he goes through a few recipes in his head, he decides to use the recipes from his family. He makes his grandmother's glazed chicken with cheesy potatoes. The Missing Ingredient by Rebecca Roanhorse Kelsey and her mother do not have a good relationship. Her mom runs a restaurant and is rarely around and feeling neglected, Kelsey tends to get in a lot of trouble. But one day, Kelsey meets one of the guys that works in the kitchen, Seth. He tells her he can do something for her but Kelsey initially declines. But then she has a blow up with her mother and goes to Seth for a favor. What does he want in return? He wants her to cook for him. She makes frybread. In exchange, she wants life to be the way it was before her dad died. She wants her mom back and she's willing to sacrifice the restaurant for it. But the day of Kelsey reconsiders and runs to get to her mother. She finds her but Seth is there too and nothing good can happen with them all together. This is definitely the creepiest of the stories in the book. Hearts a la Carte by Karuna Riazi A boy named Hasan falls from the sky or at least that's what it seems like to Munira. But he doesn't try to harm her. He only wants to eat at her family's food truck. After he visits a couple of times, they begin to get to know each other and Munira gets a crush on him. But one night, one of his enemies comes and fights him, destroying the food truck and messing with Munira's life. Her family depend on the food truck. Hasan is upset that he let his life hurt her, but she is upset he wasn't honest with her. During the time when she can't work in the food truck, she gets an internship as a wedding planner's assistant.  As her life begins to have some balance again, Hasan comes back into her life. He tells her he and his family will pay for a new truck, and that he'd like to be her friend again if she'll let him. She is not sure but decides they can try. Bloom by Phoebe North ✮ Naomi works at her grandfather's (Pop) Jewish Deli. They have regular customers every day, but one day, a boy, Simon, comes in quoting James Joyce and Naomi is immediately smitten. He is in college and she is a senior in high school, but she doesn't attend as much  since her parent died. Just when Naomi is kicking herself for not getting the boy's number, he comes into the deli again and  they begin dating. But having a boyfriend doesn't fix her life. Her brother keeps wanting her to look into colleges, apply, and do as much as she can, but she doesn't have any idea what she wants to do. She keeps dating Simon, but she finds that she doesn't really feels safe with him. He wants more from her than she's willing to give and he's quite privileged. He wants her to talk more, be more. She is fine just being with him but something tips the scales. She quotes the James Joyce quote back to Simon and realizes he hasn't actually finished the book.  This causes her to break up with him a few days after that. The story ends with Naomi wondering if perhaps the butcher's daughter, Chava, is the kind of person for her. Chava seems to get her and best of all, makes her comfortable. A Bountiful Film by S.K. Ali Hania just moved to Hungry Heart Row and is trying to decide what she wants to film for for the film festival she enters every year. So, she begins filming her grandmothers club, The Thursday Club. They eat and shoot the shit and that's where she learns about a boy named Barnaby Bennett who went missing. After hearing the story, she decides to make a film about his disappearance. Hania realizes she knew him from volunteering at a soup kitchen By making this film, she slowly gets used to Hungry Heart Row, a place she never wanted to feel at home in. But she wonders if her new home is being invaded by her nemesis from her old school, Gabrielle Rose. She seems to be in town filming too and Hania wants to know why. Side Work by Sara Farzian ✮ Laleh works at her uncle's restaurant, Manijeh's. Her life was going fine until she got in an accident. That's mainly why she's working at her uncle's. After the accident, she dropped out of college and her father is barely speaking to her. Manujeh's isn't doing great in terms of business, especially when a new fancy restaurant called Zia Sofia Ristorante opened across the street. It's the first chain restaurant on Hungry Heart Row. But then something happens. Laleh and her uncle go over to welcome the new people to the neighborhood and they pretty much blow them off. Luckily, Laleh knows one of the waitresses there, Natalie (someone she knew from before the accident and kissed). Natalie ends up eating at their restaurant and thinks it's so good that she tells her co-workers about it. They start coming to the restaurant so much that at one point, almost all the people who work at Zia Sofia are in Manijeh's. The only person not going to the restaurant is Laleh's father. But one day, after Natalie drops her off at her house, Laleh gets into a fight with her dad and she finds out exactly why he can barely talk to her. He was so worried and he thought he lost her when the accident happened. After the fight, her father actually comes in and eats at the restaurant, eats her food and loves it. Panadería Pastelería by Anna-Marie Mclemore ✮ Lila has been giving people pastry's from her family's bakery through the whole anthology. Now it's time for her story. Lila can make just about any baked good except one. The pinata cakes are her kryptonite. Only her mother makes them. Lila makes pastries based on her intuition and the pinata cakes need more precision. When Lila begins making pastries, she doesn't always know who she's making them for. She only knows when she finds the person that it is meant for them.  But sometimes she does know. One day, Lila comes into the bakery and finds a boy stacking tamales in the bakery. When it becomes clear that her parents signed off on the tamales, Lila begins to get worried. Is the business not making enough money? The boy turns out to be, Gael, a kid she knew when they were both little. He's someone she used to know, but not play with because they were both too shy. Every day, Lila brings pastries to apartment buildings, but they buildings don't look how they used to. The neighborhood is becoming gentrified. There are fancy townhouse where there used to be apartments and the people who live in the apartments aren't as welcoming as they once were. There is a women who looks at Lila with disapproval and bigotry and once she see her, Lila gets out of there as fast as she can. Everyone knows their pastelería, but they don't know or care about the people who work there. As the story goes on, she spends more time with Gael at the bakery and comes to realize she likes him. She just has to figure out a way to tell him with one of her pastry creations. She falls for him even more when he catches the same lady insulting her and tells her off. They talk after and he mentions that he's noticed she doesn't talk much. She says she doesn't like how people use words. He gets that. And she gets that he gets that because while she is Mexican, he is Mexican and trans. But he still believes words can be good. After they talk, Lila goes home and cuts her first pinata cake with her mom's help. And when Gael comes in, she give him the pinata cake, knowing it will mean the world to him. While I loved every story in this anthology for a different reason, the one's I starred are my particular favorites. And yes, I realize I starred almost every one lol. That shows you how much I loved it. It's sweet and sad, and happy and heartbreaking all in one book. I am giving Hungry Hearts 5 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy diverse stories (who doesn't) and delicious food, you must add this to your TBR immediately! Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love comes out June 18, 2019 Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for the free eARC in exchange for the honest review!

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