ARC Review: The Secret Recipe For Moving On

Ellie Agresti’s not sure anything could be worse than being dumped by her boyfriend, Hunter, the first day of senior year.

But sharing a “life skills” class with him and his new girlfriend, Brynn? AND getting partnered with a “family” of misfits (A.J., the loudmouth; Isaiah, the horse-racing obsessive; and Luke, the tattooed stunt-biker)?

It’s a recipe for certain disaster…until an in-class competition allows Ellie to channel her angst into beating Hunter and Brynn’s team, and she unexpectedly bonds with her own group–especially Luke–in the process.

But as Ellie soon discovers, it will take more than classroom triumphs to heal her broken heart–and find herself again.

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On the first day of senior year, Ellie is dumped out of the blue by her boyfriend, Hunter, aka: the person who got her through the unfortunate event of transferring schools mid-junior year. The fact that he was her first friend at school means that all his friends became her friends, and unfortunately, she lost custody of them when he broke up with her.

And what’s even worse is that she now has to share Home Ec with Hunter and his new girlfriend.

When the class gets divided up into teams for a year-long class competition, Ellie is paired up with a group of misfits – the quiet junior, Isaiah, the outspoken and always ready to fight, AJ, and the tattooed stunt biker, Luke. She’s suddenly filled with the desire to take down Hunter’s team to show him up – that she doesn’t need him. As the weeks go by, she chips away at her teammates’ exteriors and begins making friends with them. She even finds herself possibly, maybe falling for Luke. But is she ready to trust someone again after what Hunter did to her?

I completely enjoyed this story and the characters. I felt for Ellie whenever she talked about how hard it was to transfer back to public school after the bullying she’d gone through in middle school, and for her after the breakup with Hunter. Hunter was honestly such a douche, as was Jared – and I don’t use that term lightly, but they were. Probably worse than that, if you ask me. But Ellie was a likable character and I loved how she found a way to bond with each of the members in her class group.

And speaking of them, the boys were all so lovable. Isaiah was such a sweetheart, and I could see that AJ could be underneath his tough exterior. Luke was, of course, easy to love with his humor and wit, and I hated to see him hurt when Ellie wasn’t sure if she could trust him or not (though her reasons were valid).

Overall, this book was adorable and I loved Ellie’s transformation of leaning on her boyfriend’s friends to finding herself and making her own when she had no one else. In addition to the obvious romance, the relationships between friends was just as enjoyable and made this book worth reading.

The Secret Recipe for Moving On is out today – 3/23/2021!

Rating: 5/5 stars

*Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review*

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