As soon as I heard about the Hungry Hearts anthology, I knew it had been written, very specifically, for me. 😌
So sorry if you thought it was yours; because no, it is mine. It is a love letter to FOODIE FICTION which is the best sort of books in existence. There are 13 short stories (including ones from authors I adore like Anna-Marie McLemore 😍) and the heart of each is = food. How it can be magic, or healing…or destroying. I am just thriving here after devouring (PUN) each story.
I got so so hungry at one point I had to stop and make pumpkin soup.
Basically I thoroughly recommend this and is definitely my favourite anthology of all time!
(Also I actually BOUGHT THIS and it’s not an affiliated review oooooh…)
Things To Know:
➢ The short stories aren’t all contemporary OR fluffy. Haha. I just mention this because I assumed it would be the fluffiest wholesome anthology, and while some of the stories are…some are also kind twisted. I loved that. I adored the diversity of genres.
➢ Gotta say how disappointed I am that like…1 out of 13 stories was specifically about DESSERTS. Smh. You say food, I hear “DESSERT” and the cake representation was not high. Clearly I should have been invited to contribute.
➢ The entire anthology is set in a street called “Hungry Heart Row” and I freaking loved this?! All the stories are connected by setting and often characters will cameo in between stories despite them all being different authors. The stories interlocked so majestically I had to stop and very very ask the authors: “how did u all do this so seamlessly??” MAGIC??? I assume so. I loved how there was this shy Latina girl appearing in every story with magical baked good that would fix your life (10/10 to this concept) and then the last story was hers! Coincidentally my favourite. Just the whole set up of the anthology was excellent.
➢ I’m just going to straight up say it: this is food porn. 😌 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?? ಠ_ಠ It’s not food. Stop eating it.
➢ Every story is delightfully and incredibly diverse. I think they’re all #ownvoices too! So many ethnicities are represented. 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
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. These siblings have each other’s backs and I wanted this to be a whole 300pgs novel tbh.
The Slender One by Caroline Tung Richmond
This one was just soft 😫💛It is about a Chinese boy who is just 15 and his family can see ghosts. 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 and this is a stellar 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. It had Native American magic too.
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. That is a terrifying concept. But anyway, it was SUCH a Menon romcom story 🤗 I just loved how sweet it was and wholesome!! I stan.
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.
| what do you think |
tell me about your favourite “foodie fiction” book??? and do you read anthologies very often? is this on your tbr? (IT SHOULD BE)