The Baking Life of Amelie Day by Vanessa Curtis, published by Curious Fox on 11th September 2014
Amelie Day loves to bake - cupcakes, biscuits, bread, tarts and muffins - so she's thrilled when she's invited to compete in Britain's Best Teen Baker of the Year. But Amelie has Cystic Fibrosis and some days she can barely breathe. Determined not to let her condition or her mum stop her, Amelie musters all her flour power, but will it be enough to get her there?
'The Baking Life of Amelie Day' is a delectable read! Be prepared for this book to give you an insane craving for cupcakes and a desire to rush out to your kitchen and make lots of other scrumptious home-baked goodies.
This is a middle-grade book but it's one that I think just about everyone will adore, even older readers. Although the story is about a girl with cystic fibrosis, this isn't revealed until a few chapters in and even then Amelie informs the reader in a very matter of fact way. She doesn't let herself be defined by her illness and indeed I'd say that the book is much more about her love of all things baked rather than about the illness which she tries not to allow to control her life. When she is chosen to take part in the Teen Baker of the Year competition, she desperately wants the opportunity to go but she has a lot more hurdles than the other competitors to contend with first.
I thought that Amelie was a wonderful character and this was a truly fantastic read. I was hooked from the very beginning as Amelie struggles to lead a normal life and embrace her all-consuming passion for baking. She is never more happy than when she's in the kitchen dreaming up a new recipe and that is something that I can definitely identify with!
What I really loved about this book was the inclusion of some of Amelie's recipes which I will definitely be having a go at making. I especially want to try her orange polenta muffins and chocolate cupcakes which both sound delicious.
I have all my fingers and toes crossed that Vanessa Curtis is planning a follow-up book because I would absolutely love to read more about Amelie and find out what happens to her next. If this book was a cake it would be the best one you'd ever tasted!