Word Spelunking

Evertaster - Adam Glendon Sidwell Sometimes reading a book- a really, really awesome book- is an experience equivalent to savoring something super yummy. Well, reading Adam Glendon Sidwell’s Evertaster was like snacking on the most delectable, homemade cupcakes...yeah, it’s that good!Guster Johnsonville takes being a picky eater to a whole new level. Nothing makes his taste buds dance. Fed up with his fickle ways, his mother takes him to New Orleans to find something he’ll eat and they come across a dying baker who changes their lives. The baker tells them of the Gastronomy of Peace, an ancient and secret recipe that could change the world and before he can tell them the whole story they’re attacked by mysterious chefs in red. Suddenly Guster, his mom, his sister and two brothers find themselves on the run from a secret society and in search of the secret ingredients for the Gastronomy of Peace. With only a strange, old egg beater as a map, the Johnsonvilles head out on the adventure of their lives that takes them across the globe.Smart. Refreshing. Wonderfully written. Full of superb characters and exciting adventure. These are just a few ways to describe this fantastic MG book! Evertaster is bursting with flavor, fun and fabulousness.Sidwell has created one of the most original, well-crafted and imaginative MG stories I’ve come across in a long time. I love the idea of being an Evertaster, someone who doesn’t simply taste their food, but taste the soil it grew in, the ocean wind that blew across a lemon, the clovers the cows, whose milk you’re drinking, ate, the rain that fell upon the veggies. Or as it says in the book: Someone who tastes every flavor that ever touched every ingredient in his food. They taste time. They taste history. (Kindle, location 1450)This book pulled me in from page one (I couldn’t put it down!) and held me enchanted till the very last word. The author writes with a clever, addicting voice that will captivate readers of all ages and the settings are vivid and lush. The story is quite cinematic and I could see every detail play out in my mind and almost taste every scrumptious tidbit.The adventure is exciting and suspenseful with a mystery that is like the Da Vinci code for kids. There are enough thrills, twists and bad guys to keep even the most discerning palates satisfied. And I love that the whole Johnsonville family takes this journey together. Not many MG books feature parental characters that are significantly involved throughout the whole plot, but in Evertaster Mrs. Johnsonville is an important (and great!) character. But that doesn’t mean that the younger characters aren’t courageous heroes and heroines, because they are. Guster and his siblings are charming, clever young characters that readers will easily relate to.I love how the book concludes, but I’m ecstatic that the adventures will continue in the sequel.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: From the spellbinding adventure, original story and engaging characters, I love everything about this dazzling and imaginative debut! This book reminds me of why I adore MG fiction (and makes me want to bake!). A MUST read book that I recommend for readers all ages!

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