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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Bake Believe by Cori Cooper is magical, warmhearted, and will have you craving baked goods by the end. Cat Anderson's excited to get back to her friends and to her classes. Only by some mistake, she ends up in a culinary class. She has no idea what she's discovering when she bakes her first batch of cookies and soon learns a family secret. She finds a newfound path and part of herself as she learns more about her family's special gift with cooking. Just maybe she can learn that to use her newfound gift to make the world a better place.
Bake Believe is an upbeat and lighthearted tale of baking, magic, and the power to change the world told from a teenage perspective. The story is similar to baking in how it gives you the same warmth and bubbly feeling that comes from making or being given delicious baked goods. Cori Cooper captures the essence that baked goods can provide in their warmth and sweetness through the humorous and lighthearted tone of the story. The primary theme of the book is happiness, self-discovery, and the power of baking via a unique gift that allows Cat to create food that reflects her emotions. Her family has a special gift to affect people through food, such as when Cat makes cookies when she was sad and in doing so filled a boy she likes with this sadness. By unlocking these abilities, she's able to find a part of herself that enjoys cooking and allows her to see the joy that sharing food with others can bring.
Cori Cooper delivers a story that will give you a bubbly feeling and will make the whole family want to get into the kitchen. The writing has an upbeat style that is driven through humor and cooking references which work well with the fun personality of Cat. The writing has fun phrases such as 'you don't want to have a bland tortilla life' and 'to bake the world into a better place' with food references that are clever, witty, and will make you hungry. The book focuses on the art of cooking and shows food as a catalyst to bring people together which has a magical spin woven into it through Cat's unique abilities. Each chapter comes with a variety of yummy baking recipes including snickerdoodles, banana bread, and pancakes. Bake Believe is clever, charming, funny, and will have you wanting to bake cookies by the end.