Love, Lies & Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon was sent to me by the Amazon Vine review programme in exchange for my honest opinion.
The book is a teen/YA romance with the emphasis most clearly on romance as opposed to torrid, or even euphemistic sex. I was greatly relieved about this. Not that I have anything against torrid sex, it’s just that it is difficult to place books in the school library system if the thorny issue of sex comes up. Teachers seem to be fine with all manner of violence but anything other than a bit of smooching gets everyone very hot under the collar.
The book tells the story of Lottie. Lottie lost her dad in a car accident twelve months before the beginning of the book. Her life has been turned upside down in so many ways, and she is still reeling from the impact as the story starts. The main issue seems to be with Lottie’s mother, who we ascertain, is proving problematic for Lottie. I won’t tell you how, as this is one of the big reveals of the book, and a major interest point. I will say that I found it very interesting and thought provoking.
Lottie is called in to see the headmaster who wants to see her participating more in school life. She is worried that he will want to meet with her mother if she doesn’t comply, so she agrees to join the newly created baking club.
It turns out that Lottie rather enjoys baking. It is something she did with her father, and the class turns out to be therapeutic in more ways than one, especially as she meets and falls for Mac, the bad boy of the school.
There are a few rather far fetched elements to the story at the end of the book which took it away from the more realistic plot lines of the rest of the book and into wish fulfilment, which I found a little frustrating. On the other hand, the neat ending really did complement the fairy tale romance elements of the story.
It is a traditional boy meets girl plot, but the setting is very modern and the things the children in the baking club go through are bang up to date. I liked the mix of the two, and thought the author handled it well. I also liked the fact that Lottie’s journey of discovery and finding herself again was not totally centred around her relationship with Mac. Her friendships and relationships with other members of the club are just as important and give a much more rounded plot than I would generally expect from this type of novel.
The baking club element will be very popular with modern readers, as will the simple recipes provided at the start of every chapter, which I thought were a really nice touch. The book would work well for girls aged 11-14.