The Secret Ingredient

The Secret Ingredient

by Stewart Lewis


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For fans of Sarah Dessen and Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why comes a journey of family, food, romance, and self-discovery as Olivia, a teen chef living in L.A., finds a vintage cookbook and begins a search for her birthmother that will change her life forever.

Olivia doesn’t believe in psychics. But the summer before her senior year of high school, she meets one in an elevator.
   This summer will be pivotal, the psychic warns. Please remember—all your choices are connected.
   Olivia loves her life in Silverlake, Los Angeles, but lately, something’s been missing. And after getting this strange advice, her world begins to change. A new job leads Olivia to a gorgeous, mysterious boy named Theo. And as Olivia cooks the recipes from a vintage cookbook she stumbles upon, she begins to wonder if the mother she’s never known might be the secret ingredient she’s been lacking. 
   But sometimes the things we search for are the things we’ve had all along.

"Kissed with hope and possibility . . . the sort of book that makes you believe in the magic of everyday life and love."—Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds
"A delicious story. You’ll devour it."—Melissa Kantor, author of The Darlings in Love
"It doesn’t get any better than this—a touching tale of first love, family, and finding out who we really are."—Alissa Grosso, author of Popular and Ferocity Summer

"Lewis offers a thoughtful story about food and family."—Publisher’s Weekly

"Nuanced characters, including the talented protagonist and her loving but realistically flawed family, are the stars of this introspective and poignant coming-of-age tale."—Kirkus Reviews

"Olivia is a sympathetic protagonist and her struggles to find her place will resonate with many readers. Enjoyable chick lit."—School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385743310
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 06/11/2013
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.01(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

STEWART LEWIS is a singer-songwriter and radio journalist and is the author of You Have Seven Messages. He lives in Washington, D.C. Visit him at

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The Secret Ingredient 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All I have to say is that The Secret Ingredient is apsulutely amazing. This is also a great book for You Have Sevem Messages lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is soooooo good! Anyone who is not sure if its good, it is. If you loved this book ad much as me, then you should read: You have Seven Messages, or Six Months Later! Both of those books are sooooo good!
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Olivia, a 16 year old teenage girl's world is about to change. Those are such cheesy lines, but this book wasn't that cheesy. The Secret Ingredient is a short and fast contemporary read. Olivia doesn't know her birth mother, but it's this summer that she's interested in finding out who she is. When she meets a psychic in the elevator who gives her a warning, Olivia starts connecting the dots about how her choices are connected. It's summer, so there's no school. Olivia starts working at a place thanks to her dad, and one day she meets mysterious boy Theo. Theo isn't much of a "mysterious" boy, but more of a boy who suddenly vanished on Olivia one day. Olivia works at her dad's restaurant, where she cooks a special meal every saturday. Olivia loves to cook, hence title, and you do not how many times the descriptions in the book has made me hungry! I was literally drooling when Olivia would cook breakfast for her parents. One day, Olivia finds a vintage cook book that she decides to buy. In it, she finds recipes that she decides to cook, alongside letters from a women a long time ago. As she started reading those letters, Olivia figured out what she has been missing, her mother. Olivia goes on the "journey" searching for her mother. It was interesting to see what she would find, and Olivia was a great character as well! Stewart Lewis did a good job in never making me feel bored while reading this book. Overall, The Secret Ingredient was a great contemporary read. Nothing was wrong with this book, other than maybe it  lacking a bit of excitement. The characters were great, and the plot was interesting as well! I really want to read Stewart Lewis's other book, You Have Seven Messages, because it's a MYSTERY!! The author did a good job in contemporaries, so let me see how well he does in mysteries too! If you're looking for a chill and fast read, then I recommend this for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ha im the first one to write a review! It would probably be helpful if I actually read it. Looks good. Her bfs name is the same as Emaline's bf in the book the Moon and More by the best author in the world(sarah dessen) Love, Mallory