Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Tour for The Recipe by Maisy Dee (Review & GIVEAWAY)

I don't read many YA books but when I find one that's special I want to share it with everyone!  Keep reading to find out for yourself what makes The Recipe by Maisy Dee special along with my impressions of this book.  Make sure to leave a comment telling us about your first love for the chance to win a $50 Amazon GC too!

Craig has pined for Emily since the fourth grade. Imagine his surprise when, when at the start of his junior year, he discovers that she has finally noticed him. When Emily returns to school the fall of her junior year, she finds that her old friend Craig has transformed from a gangly, brace-faced adolescent into a blue-eyed babe who is making her insides tingle.
Craig and Emily stir up a sweet and sexy adventure, exploring new recipes both in and out of the kitchen. But when things heat up on New Year’s Eve, Craig is not sure he can stand it. Is he man enough for Emily? And what recipes have his closest friends Ryan and John been cooking up without telling him?
In alternating points of view, Emily and Craig search for the secret ingredients of friendship, love and intimacy. This isn’t really a book about cooking. Recipes, however, are included.


I heard their voices in my dream for the first few moments. The door open and shut, the sound of high-heeled shoes walking around below me. Then I opened my eyes to see Emily’s face next to mine: slack jawed with a little drool on her chin.
We had fallen asleep, and were now lying almost naked together on Emily’s bed, in Emily’s room, with the door open . . . and her parents were home. Kill me now.
“Emily!” I whispered, nudging her frantically, “Em . . . wake up, your parents are home!”
Her eyes opened and quickly registered panic. She sprang out of bed and closed the door. We both frantically got dressed.
“What should we do?” I whispered, urgently.
“We need to get you out of here!” she hissed.
“How am I supposed to do that?”
She went to the window, lifted the sash, and stuck her head out, looking for a way down. “Do you think it’s too far to jump?” She had a desperate look on her face.
“Uh, Emily . . .”
“No, that’s no good, you could break something. I know, you can just hang out in here until they go to bed, which will be soon, and . . .”
“Emily . . .”
“It’ll work, really it will. We’ll give them time to go to sleep, and then we can sneak you downstairs . . .”
“Emily!” I grabbed her wrists to get her attention, “Emily, my car is still parked in the driveway.”



I don't read many YA books but I found this a compelling and realistic read that brought to life in vivid detail the lives of teenagers and the emotional intensity of a first love.  The author depicted teenagers in a way that was believable and imbued them with issues that were surprisingly adult for a YA story.  With a POV that gave us insight into both of the sexes and their inner thoughts and fears this was a story that tugged at my heartstrings and put a smile on my face watching a group of teenagers muddle their way to adulthood.

Craig has been in love with Emily for years but it's not until recently that she's finally noticed the changes in him to see him as more than a friend.  Craig can't believe his luck as he doesn't think himself worthy of her and it has him working hard to be the perfect boyfriend.  Craig was sweet and caring and his fears in disappointing her endeared him to me.  His interactions with his friends were humorous in the crude jokes and banter that was subtly interwoven with scenes of heartfelt guy talk and I appreciated the support these male secondary characters provided.

Emily too was surprised to fall in love with Craig and though their relationship was all hearts and flowers early on once sex entered the picture things became rocky.  Emily is like many girls who are afraid to say what they want.  She was assertive in some matters but timid when it came to sex though she was the one more interested in reaching that point.  Her interactions with her female friends was equally as realistic and heartfelt as Craig and the boys and provided support when she needed it most.

The character's interactions with their parents was seen in a positive light with the parents being supportive, open-minded, and caring too.  They spoke in a way that reflected their adult concerns but identified with teenagers too.  Issues of sex were also dealt with in a responsible and frank way and showed how much this choice affects a couple's relationship as well as that of their friends.  Seeing this issue addressed in such a mature way was surprising but greatly appreciated.  As if those issues didn't provide enough emotional challenges, the author also dealt with teen's coming-out and their friend's reactions to it.  Ms. Dee masterfully juggles all these issues amidst an overall storyline that easily draws you back to your teen years with realistic dialogue and emotions.  When I was a teen I wish stories like this had been around as opposed to the cheesy after school specials of my youth and look forward to what Ms. Dee has planned next.

My rating for this is an A.

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


It was Back to School Night, and my parents were headed to the High School. I looked up from my book long enough to describe all my teachers. For example: “My science teacher will be wearing black chinos pulled waaay too high and a short-sleeved button-down with pens in the pocket. He has Mr. McGoo glasses and a three-strand comb-over. He’s totally weird.”
My parents returned to tell me a) I was grounded until I brought my grades up, and b) I had an uncanny ability to describe people. The teenage me, stressed out from deciding who I was and what I was supposed to do, snapped, “Yeah? Well, what job does that get me?!”
My mother gazed at me calmly. “You could be a writer. But for now, you’re grounded.”
I have never forgotten that moment. I took creative writing classes in college and continued to read a lot, but it wasn’t until I had children of my own that the idea for “The Recipe” came to me.  My girls are avid readers, and I spent a lot of time hanging out in the youth room at the public library.  I read a ton of current YA novels, and reread books from my teenage years.  I began to look for contemporary stories about early sexual experiences that were as honest and non-judgmental as Judy Blume’s Forever. I didn’t find any, but I did find a dangerous mixed message.
On the one hand, overwhelming, irresistible (even paranormal) passion is presented as the ideal romantic experience. That unrealistic expectation, along with all the other unrealistic sexual images they find in books, movies, cable tv, and the internet, is bound to result disappointment in the real thing.
On the other hand, sexually active teen characters in books are invariably punished with pregnancy, violence, humiliation, heartbreak, or a sexually transmitted disease so virulent that it will not even let you die. Yes. If our teens give in to their normal, healthy impulses, they will surely become vampires.
So I decided to write a book about first love and “the first time” that would offer my daughters one story that is a little closer to the truth–things are bound to be less than perfect, and that’s not the end of the world (or the beginning of life after death, no matter what the French call it.) The process was difficult, rewarding, and a lot of fun, and there’s a good chance my daughters will never read it, because who wants to read a book about sex that your mother wrote.  Gross.
I’m currently working on my second novel, and yeah, there will be more teens having sex in that one too.

TWITTER:  @MaisyDeeRecipe


Prize is a $50 Amazon GC!

-To be entered, LEAVE A COMMENT TELLINGS US ABOUT YOUR FIRST LOVE, along with your email addy (no email=no entry).
-Winners will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 3/14!


  1. Thank you for sharing this excerpt! brooke811 at ymail dot com

  2. Great review, thanks for sharing!

  3. My 'first love' was far from perfect!

  4. Nice review

    Cute author pic

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. I think it's SOOO important that people read your author info and why you wrote this book. I think young guys and gals do need honest depictions of these beginning sexual encounters.

    My first experience(s) were far from romantic and satisfying. While I did love my first high school sweetheart, we had an on-again, off-again relationship. I wonder, if I had a chance to go back, would I change anything?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  6. my first love didnt notice me as anything but a it didnt work out too well.
    mekachew69 at

  7. Really enjoyed the review. My first love was more like a crush so many years ago.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com