When seventh grader Maddie spills her pumpkin spice latte all over a cute boy at a local cafe, she is mortified. Luckily, Jacob is as funny and understanding as he is cute, and Maddie quickly realizes she has her first ever actual crush!
Unfortunately, before she can tell her BFF Jana all about it, she learns that Jana has a major crush of her own — on their new classmate Jacob! Thanks to the unwritten BFF girl code, Maddie knows she can no longer pursue Jacob herself, and she reluctantly steps back to give Jana her full support.
But when Jacob and Maddie end up on the same debate team, and Jacob appears to like Maddie back, things get far more complicated than Maddie realizes.
I absolutely love Pumpkin Spice Secrets. It’s the kind of book that would’ve gotten me all emotional as a tween, and even as an adult, I couldn’t help but get swept away in Maddie’s story. I remember how important friendship, and particularly BFF-ship, was as a tween, and how sacrosanct the BFF code was. I can imagine, on a visceral level, how torn up Maddie was over her feelings for Jacob, and the guilt she felt at keeping such a traitorous secret from Jana. I could very much relate to the arguments Maddie and Jana had, and how heartbreaking the slightest snub could be. I admit to being somewhat confused by the debate rules, and I laughed at how clueless the teacher was, but I could also very easily imagine a debate showdown like Homzie wrote, where the words were ostensibly about the topic but lots of hurt feelings couldn’t help but surface.
Beyond the romance and BFF story, Pumpkin Spice Secrets is also about finding your voice and building your self-confidence. I loved seeing Maddie develop from a really timid girl stuck in the shadow of her more gregarious best friend to a girl who has a clearer understanding of her own potential. I could relate to Maddie’s utter fear at the idea of speaking in front of her debate class, and I loved seeing how she dealt with it, and particularly how dealing with debate gave her confidence in other areas of her life.
Pumpkin Spice Secrets is such a sweet, moving story that tweens (and tweens at heart!) are sure to love. I highly recommend it.
Drink Pairing: Chocoholic’s Delight
Some nights I want nothing more than to treat myself to a sweet read and a cup of something hot, sweet and creamy. Below is a recipe for my favourite hot drink.
Treat yourself to this book, mix yourself some Chocoholic’s Delight and indulge!
Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you as well for the card design of my favourite drink recipe!