Thursday, December 06, 2018

Review- Caramel Hearts by E.R. Murray

Caramel Hearts on Goodreads


Liv Bloom’s life is even more complicated than that of your average fourteen-year-old: her father walked out on the family when she was young, her mother is in a recovery centre for alcoholics, and her older sister is struggling to step into Mum’s shoes. The only person she can turn to is her best friend Sarah, who gets out of scrapes at school and is a constant source of advice and companionship. One day Liv discovers a book of recipes written in her mum’s handwriting, which sets her off on a journey towards self-discovery and reconciliation – but a theft, a love rivalry and a school bully are just some of the many obstacles on the way.

Structured around real cake recipes, Caramel Hearts is a coming-of-age novel about love, disappointment and hope, and discovering the true value of friends and family, no matter how dysfunctional they are.

Release date: May 26th 2016
Published by: Alma Books Ltd.
Page numbers: 300 (paperback), 355 (Kindle)


Caramel Hearts is the sad story of Olivia who goes through heaps of trauma at a very young age because of a father who left his family and an alcoholic mother. She lives with her sister, Hatty with whom she shares a very typical sister relationship where there are fights, rude comebacks and tension but who still are there for and love each other. Together, the two try as hard as possible to keep everything under control so that the social services don't take underage Olivia away. 

While there were many positives about this book, for me, Olivia got on my nerves more than once. From the very beginning, I found her to be silly. Her actions seemed to contradict her beliefs. Most of the time, she knew what she was doing was reckless and wrong- and while I do understand teenage angst and the need to have purpose- she still made a bunch of mistakes while knowing she was making them and that is so silly. She knew her sister was working hard and yet she kept snapping at her. She could see her mother trying hard and yet she never gave her an opportunity to improve. 

The positives in this one, like any young adult novel, was the importance give to family, friends and school. Olivia's family was not the perfect one, but then which family is perfect? Their problems and shortcomings were portrayed in a raw and real manner. Olivia goes through a roller coaster with her friendships but eventually, everything starts falling in place. Her school life was hard, and while she did mess up many, many times, the hardships always overpowered the silliness. 

The most incredible part of Caramel Hearts was the way in which food was effortlessly incorporated in the story. When author E.R. Murray describes Olivia's state of being while she bakes the delicious treats her parents noted down, it was so easy to believe because I feel the same sense of calm and ease when cooking. The way food was involved in bringing people together was very well done. I am slightly tempted to try a few of the recipes on my own. 

Overall, Caramel Hearts is a quick and great young adult novel that might seem silly at times but that is still very gratifying. 

P.S: I had won this book from a huge Instagram giveaway by Bloomsbury Publishing! 

Buy the book: AMAZON

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