Sunday, June 23, 2019

Book Ramble - Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and I'm so unbelievably blessed to be a part of the HUNGRY HEARTS BLOG TOUR!

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love

Several amazing bloggers have already posted about their respective stories, so please go check out Vicky's post with everyone's links! For this ramble, I'm going to give a brief review of the anthology as a whole and then briefly focus on one story: Panaderia ~ Pasteleria by Anna-Marie McLemore.

This anthology is most definitely a NEW FAVORITE! It had me laughing, it had me crying (actually crying. I almost never cry when reading), and most of all, it had me feeling as if I was seen. Even in the stories that weren't representing my heritage, there are relatable and important themes that anyone can touch on: grief, love, fear, and duty, just to name some. And the two that did represent my culture (Gimme Some Sugar by Jay Coles for my African-American side and Panadería ~ Pastelería by Anna-Marie McLemore represents my Mexican-American side)... I have never felt so emotionally and culturally connected as I did to those stories. The foods, the music, the overall family dynamics - those just resonated so deeply with me, and I will be forever grateful for getting to read stories that felt so truly and authentically me. Also, the fact that some characters were seen throughout each story (specifically Lila Manzano, whose family owns the panadería and pastelería) made the anthology feel richer in a way. These weren't just isolated characters who disappeared once the story ended. These were thirteen different tales complexly woven together, by thirteen different authors, and they all did an amazing job. If you want stories with magic, representation, and the ability to make you go on an emotional rollercoaster, then I wholeheartedly (ha...ha...okay, that was bad) recommend Hungry Hearts.

Now, it's time for Panaderia ~ Pasteleria!

REPRESENTATION: LGBT+ (Trans love interest), Latinx (Main character, love interest, and their families)

Lila is such a prominent character throughout the anthology. If she pops up, chances are that the main character is feeling down and could use a pick-me-up, and Lila always delivers with some kind words and colorful conchas. That's why I love that when we get to a story centered around her, we see that she isn't as sure and secure with her own feelings. Lila pops in, hands you a concha, and you're feeling better, surer, and ready to take own whatever's eating you. But she can't do that with herself. She struggles with how to tell Gael how she feels about him, how much he means to her, and that starts getting to her. The result is an overall magical story that I adore, one that ends this amazing book beautifully.

The Manzanos own a panadería, and just reading this story makes me crave some bolillos. It makes me think about when my mom decided to have me ditch zero period because "screw it, you're already late" (by like, 5 minutes) and took me to get some warm, fresh, delicious bolillos and pan dulce before heading to first period. It makes me think about heading to La Fama (a panadería in East LA because, while everyone prefers El Gallo Bakery, La Fama Panadería is where it's at and I don't care that every other LA local will disagree with me) with my Gramps and begging him to let me get some arroz con leche or flan in a cup along with my pan dulce. It makes me think of simpler memories with my family, small moments where we decided to go and get some pan dulce (occasionally my grandma would buy champurrado from the store next door, but now we get it from the back of someone's trunk in a supermarket while we buy tres leche - as all true locals should [I'm kidding, please don't buy food out of the back of someone's truck... unless you're with an adult]). This story hit me with pieces of my culture that I love, pieces that it celebrated, and I love it for that.


So in order to celebrate culture even more, I made two different playlists on Spotify! One is specifically Latin music, songs that either I or my friends have grown up with or listened to once we got older. The other one, however, after weeks of thought ... is a collaborative playlist that I hope others will add to! Add your culture's music, the music you grew up listening to or listen to now. I want this to be a group effort, and I challenge all of the other members of the blog tour to put in at least one song (or let me know a song so that I can try and add it for you)! Thank you to Ari, Jessica, and Jules for giving me some songs to start this playlist off. And if you're like me, and maybe didn't grow up listening to a whole lot of music from your background, then I hope you find this playlist as a way to connect to a piece of yourself, the way I did when I read the book. And I hope that everyone finds this as a way to connect with others.


Well everyone, thank you for reading! I sincerely hope that you all pick up a copy of Hungry Hearts as soon as possible, it's truly an amazing book. The tour info and book synopsis will be put down below! And in the comments, please leave me with one song you grew up listening to!

~ Nox


June 10th – Introduction
Vicky (Welcome + Interview)

June 11th – Karuna Riazi
Naadhira (Review)

June 12th – Rin Chupeco
Bianca (Review + Creative Post) & Kate (Review + Recipe)

June 13th – Jay Coles
Nikki (Review + Creative Post)

June 14th – Elsie Chapman
Kevin (Review + Creative Post) & Natalia (Review + Creative Post)

June 15th – Sara Farizan
Em (Review)

June 16th – Caroline T. Richmond
Lili (Review + Creative Post) & Tiffany (Review + Creative Post) 

June 17th – Adi Alsaid
Moon (Review + Creative Post)

June 18th – Sandhya Menon
Aimal (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board) & Nia (Review + Fave Quotes)

June 19th – S. K. Ali
Mish (Review + Creative Post)

June 20th – Phoebe North
Kayla (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board)

June 21st – Rebecca Roanhorse
Lila (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board) & AJ (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board)

June 22nd – Sangu Mandanna
Nandini (Review + Creative Post) & Prags (Review + Fave Quotes)

June 23rd – Anna-Marie McLemore
Nox (Review + Creative Post) 

June 24th – Closing
CW (Review + Food Crawl)


Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond
Hardcover, 352 pages
June 18th 2019 by Simon Pulse
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.


  1. this is definitely an anthology I can't wait to read! You're mom sounds awesome, BTW!

  2. I want to read this book SO BAD. Love that you made playlists! I will check them out soon!

  3. Okay, I definitely want to read this book. It sounds so good!

  4. This sounds like a fantastic anthology! I'm glad you enjoyed it and got to feel represented in the book :)

  5. i really want to give this a try, its not a genre i usually read but ha s plenty of authors i admire

  6. I started craving pan dulce while reading this and also I really want to read this!!!