Review: The Truth about Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh (Audiobook)

Middle Grade Madness

The Truth about Twinkie Pie

Take two sisters making it on their own: brainy twelve-year-old GiGi (short for Galileo Galilei, a name she never says out loud) and junior-high-dropout-turned-hairstylist DiDi (short for Delta Dawn). Add a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to the Gold Coast of New York. Mix in a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, a first crush, and a generous sprinkling of family secrets.

Title: The Truth about Twinkie Pie
Author: Kat Yeh
Source: Audiobook from Hachette
Publication date: January 27, 2015

I received The Truth About Twinkie Pie from Hachette Audio in exchange for an honest review.

The Truth about Twinkie Pie is the best book I’ve read all year. Okay, it’s only February, but I have read 17 books, so it’s not like I don’t have anything to compare it to.

Twelve year old Gigi’s mother died in a fire when she was a baby, leaving Gigi to be raised by her older sister Didi and a family friend. Didi, nine years older than Gigi, is a hairdresser like their mother was. The only thing they have left of their mother is her cookbook, and Didi has turned into a fabulous cook, again, just like their mother. Didi wants more for Gigi, though. Gigi has always followed the recipe for success that her older sister Didi has set out for her: study hard and become a scientist. It was their mother’s dream, even though it was one she never achieved.

Moving from a trailer park in South Carolina to an apartment above a hair salon on Long Island seems like the perfect time for Gigi to make a few changes. She doesn’t want to spend quite so much time studying anymore. She wants to make some friends, eat lunch in the cafeteria, and maybe even hang out after school. She wants a new name, not one that reminds people of a “ginormous bra.”

Gigi, who now goes by Leia (like the princess with earmuff hair in that old space movie), meets a boy named Trip on her first day of private school. They become good friends and she develops a crush on him, but there are complications, like mean girl Mace. Still, she’s mostly content with being his friend, and her new life quickly fills up with hanging out, homework, astronomy club, and volunteering at the library. Things at home aren’t quite so smooth. Didi’s having a hard time adjusting to Gigi wanting to branch out, and Gigi isn’t thrilled that Mace of all people has latched onto Didi. Gigi and Didi are both realistic, charming characters that you want to root for.

Eventually, a surprising turn of events that changes everything. This twist ties in things that were just casually mentioned earlier in the book. Things that didn’t seem important to the overall plot, things that seemed like charming stories, suddenly take on new meaning. Suddenly this fluffy book has a little more depth to it. Well done, Kat Yeh. Well done.

The recipes throughout the book a mixture of delightful and disgusting. (I mean, I love the idea of Twinkie Pie, but I would never eat it.) I probably would have skipped over them in reading, but it’s too much trouble to do that with an audiobook. They were the only point that I wished the narrator would have read faster. Otherwise, the pacing of the story matches the southern accented narration. Cassandra Morris does a wonderful job narrating the audiobook. She really brings the characters to life and makes me feel like I’m experiencing everything along with Gigi.

five stars
addtogoodreads

Jenna