The Sweet Life of Stella Madison
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The Sweet Life of Stella Madison

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  57 reviews
It's not easy being the daughter of a famous chef and a resteraunt owner when your idea of a great meal is the kind that's served through via a drive-through window. When Stella Madison's food-loving parents help her land a summer job at the local newspaper, there’s only one catch: she’s expected to write about food. Luckily, Stella has Jeremy, the hot new intern at her mo...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Amy Denim
This was a cute read. I'm a foodie, I write about foodies, so I liked that there was a teenage book about being a foodie (even if Stella's more about Burger King than haute cuisine). The one thing I stuggled with in the book were all the popular culture references. Not that I didn't know them, just that I don't think they'll be relevant in a few years when I recommend my niece read this book. (Even though it's quite cute, I still recommend it for slightly older teens, like 16+) I understand the...more
I loved this story. The mixed up heart, the friends, her parent's interesting relationship, and her super cool newspaper internship--awesome!

One thing got me though....

Stella's dishonesty with the alcohol at her birthdat party didn't fit with the Stella we knew through the entire book. I believe her anger and freak out at the party was valid and necessary, but I didn't think that the alcohol was necessary for the scene. Weird.
Have been wanting to read this local author of YA fiction. Very fun, speedy read. Seventeen-year old heroine Stella faces a romantic dilemma against the backdrop of her parents own relationship. Full of great Wilmington landmarks and in-jokes. If you are a foodie, there's much to enjoy in the discussions of cooking, chefs, and restaurants. I'm looking forward to reading more of Zeises's work!
This is the foodie-book-for-kids I wish I had written.
Summary: Stella is the junk food loving daughter of two separated but not divorced foodies. Unfortunately that looks to be changing as both parents become involved in new relationships and Stella ends up torn between her super sweet boyfriend Max and the hot new intern at her mom's restaurant Jeremy.

(Spoilers ahead-skip to overall for rating)

I love food things. I'm not much of a foodie myself (I eat in order to sustain myself and I'm a simple, comfort food kind of girl). But for some reason I lo...more
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Summary:Stella Madison is the daughter of food-obsessed parents who are separated but not divorced. When her parents begin to show interest in other people, Stella struggles to accept that her parents truly are not in love anymore. To add to the conflict, Stella's boyfriend has just professed his love for her and she is unsure whether she feels the same way. Also, her mom has hired a cute older intern who she is interested in. The sweet life of Stella Madison just got a little c...more
Seventeen-year-old Stella Madison is the daughter of a famous chef and a restaurateur. She does not know much about cooking and it always intrigue her when she sometimes sees her father making a fuss on getting a dish prepared, in which he would reply that cooking is a form of art and it should be taken seriously.

Unlike Stella's father, Stella's mother is not much of a cook but she helps to ensure the restaurant is running and also to keep tabs on the financials even though they are separated....more
Books and Literature for Teens
The Sweet Life of Stella Madison was quite an entertaining story. Though I wouldn't say I enjoyed it 100% or that I liked Stella's boy-crazy character very much, the book still brought a great message for teen girls: it's okay to be friends with guys. Or in other words, you don't have to make every guy your boyfriend because technically, crushes don't last. With the help of Jeremy, Stella learns what love really means and that with maturity, comes love. Not only did these lessons about love weav...more
Summary: “It’s not easy being the daughter of a famous chef and a restaurant owner when your idea of a great meal is the kind that’s served via a drive-through window.

Seventeen-year-old Stella Madison’s food-loving parents have been separated for years, but they’re still as sweet to each other as can be, which is just the way Stella likes it. When their connections help her land a summer job at the local newspaper, the salary is hard to resist. There’s only one catch: she’s expected to write abo...more
Bella Grace
Reading books like these make me ponder the universally unanswered answer: why the heck'd I even pick this up?

I gave this book a go because I was in the library, my mum was waiting in the car and I needed another book. Just so I would not be bored at home. Well, I did myself wrong as a result. This book was an icky, boring, exasperating hot mess. I, very literally, wanted to stab multiple characters at various times.

I'm not going to waste my breath - I expected nothing less. But sometimes, as a...more
Princess Bookie
My Thoughts: I really liked this one. And, the first thing I will say is, have some food on hand because this book will make you want to eat. I really could identify with Stella. The way on one hand she had this amazing boyfriend, Max, the one all girls want, the perfect guy, but on the other she had Jeremy, the new mysterious older guy who she couldn't stop thinking about. I liked the way Jeremy understood that she had a boyfriend but still tried to keep his feelings under-wrap. I even felt mys...more
'The Sweet Life of Stella Madison' is about a girl who's parents (who are separated but still work together)own a popular restaurant in town. Her parents are known as "foodies" but not Stella, she isn't into the food business like her parents. At the beginning, Stella has a serious boyfriend named Max who says something to her that changes their relationship. She thinks about what he said, when all of a sudden there is a new intern at her parents restaurant. His name is Jeremy and eventually she...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Stella's not a foodie like her separated parents - but that doesn't stop her from accepting an internship writing about food. She's saving up to buy a car so she doesn't have to bum rides off her two best friends and her current boyfriend.

Stella's not known for long term relationships, but with Max it might be different. She likes spending time with him. Plus, he makes her laugh.

But why does he have to say he loves her? She's not sure how she feels...more

The Sweet Life of Stella Madison is an exciting mix of food, friends, family, boys and summer experiences! I had a great time reading it. But seriously, this book will make you hungry! I found the foundation of food this story had rather unique. From the dinner menus at the beginning of chapters to how to order food when eating for the purpose of a review or even really tasting food for the first time. All those pieces are there.

I really liked reading about Stella's summer internship at the news...more
Tammy Walquist
A cute but rather fluffy story about Stella, the daughter of two foodies, who doesn't feel like she really fits since her idea of a great meal comes from the drive-thru. Then she gest invited to do an interhsip with the local newspaper writing a special column about, you guessed it -- food. Her life is further complicated by two boys, her boyfriend, Max, who may have just dropped the "L" word and Jeremy, the attractive new intern at her mother's restaurant.

I liked this book and found it to be a...more
Nov 12, 2009 Tessa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: yyay
Stella Madison's life is sweet, in a crazy confusing way. Stella freaks out (in her head) when her boyfriend tells her he loves her. She really likes him, but doesn't know if she loves him. She knows her parents have been separated for forever, but they're not divorced and they work together, so she freaks out (in her mind) when they start dating other people. And she knows that she shouldn't be responding to the flirting from the older intern at the restaurant, but she can't help herself. She a...more
The Library Lady
1)I've read this sort of plot before about a million times.
2)Books that use au courant celebrities, tv shows, music, etc tend to date faster than freshly fried french fries. And like them, once they're no longer hot and fresh, they're flavorless.
3)I've read this sort of plot before about a million times.
4)If you insist on Papa being a FRENCH chef, how about going on the Internet or something if you don't know any FRENCH NAMES. I mean, Madison?
How many Frenchmen do you know named Madison?
5)Have I...more
Man. Sometimes I just get through a book and think... glad that's over. I wanted to like this book, but Stella Madison, the main character, was so... annoying? Internships, cute boys, fancy clothes, good food - it all falls into her lap. And she seems so ungrateful. I couldn't imagine being excited about having Kraft mac & cheese at my birthday party. Having a celebrity chef father MAKING the Kraft mac & cheese would make me cringe even more. And then stealing bottles of booze underneath...more
I'm a fan of this author AND Top Chef, so I was interested to see how the two combined. Stella is a teenage girl with a famous chef dad and a restaurant owner mom. She's grown up around food, even if she'd rather have a meal from Burger King than something a Top Chef makes. When she's offered an internship at a Philadelphia newspaper, she jumps at the chance, even if she's hired because of her parents. Her first job is to write a restaurant review and she finds herself noticing food in a new way...more
Light, cute and a perfect summer read to younger teen girls. The plot combines enough interest but layers romance light enough that it is a good match for younger teens. I really picked this up to add to my daughter's summer reading list but when I was yearning for reading material she bounded into my room with this one and said, "I read right through it mom, read this you will like it!" As a big fan of the cooking show Top Chef and fan of anything YA, (plus I picked it for her) I could not put...more
I only picked this book up because Sarah Dessen gave it a good review(and i love her), but I was kinda dissapointed. I didn't really like the character of Stella. I felt like she only cared about herself and when she called herself a bubbleheaded, boycrazy, bouncy rubber ball; I agreed with her! I always liked Max better then Jeremy but I felt like she only liked either of them because of their looks. Like how when Max lost his tan and he was too sick to kiss her, she started to get annoyed with...more
I was hopeful for this book. But it was not all that I thought it should be. Stella is one moody girl. She is either mad at her parents or mad at her friends for pointing out things that she claims she already knows about her parents. (AKA they are both seeing other people for the first time since they were separated 6 years ago and Stella has just found out about it.) Stella tells her mom she is fine with what is happening, and then she gets angry at everyone for not understanding why she is up...more
Sep 17, 2009 Jodysegal rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: high school
A well prepared confection: light, sweet and satisfying. The summer of Stella's junior year of high school, she has boys, friends, and buying a car on her mind. When she supplements working in her mother's open-kitchen restaurant with writing restaurant reviews for the local paper, life becomes much more complicated. As does her mother's new intern. As a character, Stella is believable and likeable, though the supporting cast is more of a mix of fleshed-out characters and two-dimensional charact...more
I liked this but I felt like it didnt have enough conflict and/or what conlfict there was came too little too late. There were only about 30 pages left when the true conflict finally comes to a head and its all neatly and easily resolved. I also found it frustrating/unrealistic that Stella never got in real trouble for anything she did. Go AWOL with bf all day? Steal liquor and get drunk? All she ever really got a was a quick talking to. I enjoyed this but thought there was too much time spent l...more
This is one of those books that I really wish I could give three and half stars. It was really cute and good, but what I really wanted were more of Stella's experiences as an intern. She kind of fell into the position and was very good it, but after her first review/interview, we don't learn anything else about it. I know that wasn't really what the story line was about, but I kind of wanted it to be.

Give this to your foodie fans in middle school. If you liked Tucker Shaw's Flavor of the Week, y...more
Gwen the Librarian
Stella Madison is a teenage girl whose parents are famous foodies, but she is a devotee of fast food. When she is given an internship at the newspaper to write restaurant reviews, Stella is mortified both because she doesn't actually like fancy food and because she fears she won't know what to write. Add to the mix her parents' tumultuous relationship and her own indecisiveness between her too-sweet boyfriend and the hot intern at her mom's restaurant and you have a perfect recipe for a fun summ...more
2.5 stars. Stella has a very nice, very cute boyfriend named Max, but she also has the hots for Jeremy, her mom's intern. Also, both of her parents are big foodies/chefs, but she loves Big Macs. Yet she falls into a summer job as a food writer! Oh, the hijinks!

This was okay I guess, but I didn't warm to Stella much. Not because she was sort of a wannabe two-timer--I kind of liked that--but because that was really her only character trait, and I was bored. I ended up skimming a lot.
This book was very slow starting. While it is an interesting read, I didn't feel any excitement until about thirty to fifty pages from the end. The book could have had a better beginning and middle and spread out the excitement of the end. By the time the excitement started, the book flew by in a matter of five or ten minutes. This book is a good choice for anyone who has the time and the drive to continue reading the book all the way to the end, because the ending is very nice.
I read this as a potential for my teen book club at the library. Decided against it because I felt it was more for H.S. students and the age level for discussion is from 12 and up. I truely enjoyed the book though - Lara developed the character of Stella very well and she could be an inspiration to teen girls. It includes a little of everything - sex, boys, parents, friends, jobs - and well just being a teenage girl!!
This was so-so. I had high hopes as Sarah Dessen was quoted on the cover as saying this was a great summer read, and we all know how I adore Ms. Dessen. Unfortunately, however, Stella, the main character, was a bit annoying and the oddly detailed listing of what clothes and make-up she put on felt distracting and off-putting. And I get what Zeiss wanted Stella to learn by the end, but I don't think she learned it.
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Lara M. Zeises is the author of Bringing Up the Bones, a Delacorte Press Prize Honor Book (2001); Contents Under Pressure, a Delaware Blue Hen Teen Book Award winner and an IRA-CBC Young Adults' Choice (2006); and Anyone But You, a YALSA Popular Paperbacks selection (2008). Her latest novel, The Sweet Life of Stella Madison, was published in July 2009.

Lara has also published two novels under the...more
More about Lara M. Zeises...
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