Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy was a Net Galley read and was published by Curiosity Quills Press on August 10, 2015. It falls somewhere on the cusp of Children/Young Adult classification depending on the reading level of the child picking up the book.
Josephine DeLune is the child of extremely talented culinary parents and much to her disgust and frustration everything she attempts to cook is unsuccessful. As you can imagine, that disgust and frustration are hard to comprehend for a twelve-year old but it’s even more complicated for our heroine when you add the pressure that your mother and grandmother are convinced you are a talented culinary conjure witch and you just aren’t trying hard enough. On top of that, her former best friend is being rude and condescending and her first crush is also developing.
As the story progresses, Josephine discovers her conjure talent when she is bound and determined to save her crush from the Sweetheart Pie baked by her momma and ordered by her ex-best friend. What results are voodoo spirits in the swamp, cake eating zombies in town, and the discovery of Josephine’s own conjure power as a witch.
The book is utterly charming as an adult. Memorable characters, familiar situations we can all relate to looking back, and that magical moment that is your first kiss. The author does something very important and doesn’t assume her intended audience is inept, like far too many authors. The language is challenging enough that there are words that curious kids will go look up, grimoire immediately springs to mind because it’s a word I was unfamiliar with at eight.
Five out of five flashlights* for this coming of age voyage of self discovery. I probably would have read this book when I was eight or so but I read a lot and everything I could get my hands on. Our intrepid heroine is twelve in the book so the reading age is probably somewhere in between at ten or eleven. I’ll admit the zombies and voodoo spirits would have frightened the crap out of eight year old me but I still would have been huddled under my covers reading.
* As a child, ok well into my teens, I would read under the covers via flashlight. Any book worthy of flashlight reading had my interest and attention growing up. As a result, for the Young Adult/Teen genres I’ve decided to rate via flashlights instead of stars because if a book is good enough to risk get grumbled at for reading late at night when you’re eight it deserves more than the generic star rating adult books use!