Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet” as Want to Read:
Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet

by
3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  184 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Ana Shen has what her social studies teacher calls a “marvelously biracial, multicultural family” but what Ana simply calls a Chinese American father and an African American mother. And on eighth-grade graduation day, that’s a recipe for disaster. Both sets of grandparents are in town to celebrate, and Ana’s best friend has convinced her to invite Jamie Tabata–the cutest b ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 360)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mr. Z
A 2009-2010 Sunshine State Book for Grades 6-8.

For me, this story was excruciatingly boring. What started out as a promising story of a young girl's infatuation with a guy really panned out to be a long, drawn out story of how to cook and clean amidst family members driving you crazy. However, as I try to do with every book I read, I tried to think about what was positive about the story. For one, I felt it was a realistic portrayal of one dysfunctional family's attempt to prepare for a big grad
...more
TheFountainPenDiva
If, by the end of Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, you're not hoofing it as fast as you can your local chinese or soul food restaurant, you're either dead or anorexic. This book, with all the delicious food being prepared en masse, is a culinary delight...and that's not what it's really about.

It starts off with a bang and keeps going as fourteen year-old Ana Shen--the quirky product of a Black mother and a Chinese-American father--is about to give her speech at her junior high graduation when a water ma
...more
Margaret
Ana Chen is graduating from eighth grade, which should be a happy day for her. But her Chinese American father and her African American mother have invited both sets of grandparents over to dinner, and her grandparents just don't get along. To make things even worse, her best friend got Ana to invite cute Jamie Tabata and his parents, and Ana is worried that things will blow up with Jamie there. I felt this was a lot slighter than Flygirl. It was fine and reasonably entertaining as far as it wen ...more
Anna Lembke
I ask myself one question about this book. What was the point?
There really was none.
It was horribly boring to the point of me almost not finishing, and I am upset I actually used my time to read it. The story focuses on some plain-Jane girl who likes a boy and ends up inviting him to dinner with her (incredibly annoying) family. This sounds like a Disney television episode, not material for a novel. The entire plot of the book is her family going through a really unnecessarily hectic afternoon
...more
Travis
When a pipe bursts during Ana Shen's middle school graduation, flooding the field and cutting the ceremony short, it doesn't seem like things could get any worse. Then comes the announcement that the gym is flooded, too, and the graduation dance is cancelled. The dance was going to be Ana's big chance to tell Jamie Tabata she likes him before they go their separate ways for high school, but when her best friend Chelsea ends up inviting Jamie and his family over to Ana's for a graduation dinner, ...more
Sue Black
Ana is the salutatorian of her 8th grade class and as she is about to give her speech, the water main breaks and causes flooding. She is not as disappointed about not being able to give her speech as she is that the school dance has been canceled due to the flooding of the gym floor. She had hoped to attend the dance with the valedictorian, Jamie, the boy she likes. As an alternate plan, her friend, Chelsea, invites Jamie and his family along with her own family to Ana's house for dinner. Ana ha ...more
Jackie
An odd, preachy story which highlights a multi-cultural family and their struggles and issues. Ana Shen, newly graduated salutatorian is just about to give her speech when a pipe bursts quickly ending the graduation ceremonies. Her crush, Jamie, will be out of her life forever (maybe) now that they are going to different high schools.

Through a series of curious conversations, the Shen family hosts an impromptu dinner party for the graduates, including Jamie and his family, her best friend, Chel
...more
Megan
Ana's 8th grade graduation day is full of drama. The pipes at school burst during her speech, cutting graduation short and canceling the graduation dance. So instead of figuring out how to get Jaime Tabata to dance with her, Ana has to figure out how to get her two sets of grandparents to get along. Ana's mother is African American and her father is Chinese American, so there is a bit of a culture clash when both sides of the family come together. When Jaime and a couple other classmates show up ...more
The Library Lady
In that I'm raising two daughters who are half-Filipino and half-Ashkenazi Jewish, there were some familiar echoes here for me. I shudder at the idea of MY mother and mother-in-law ever having to cook in the same kitchen!

Ana Mai Shen is half-black and half-Chinese. She's just graduated from middle school. And during the afternoon and evening of her graduation party her two sets of grandmothers battle in the kitchen over the food and her love.The boy she has a crush on comes over for dinner along
...more
Tony
I laughed so hard I almost cried while reading this book. When I made my purchase I didn't know it was about a fourteen year old but nevertheless I enjoyed Ana's big day. Ms. Smith who I'm a rescent fan of does a wonderful job of showing the similarites between people of different cultures,in this case Ana's grandparents, her mother is African American and her father is Chinese American. The friction arises over cooking Ana's graduation meal, since food and the sharing of a meal is important to ...more
Kitty Tomlinson
8th grade graduate and salutatorian deals with her graduation party, her Chinese and African American grandparents as she helps prepare for her party that a boy she likes is coming to.
Viviam
Half Asian and half African American, Ana Shen is no stranger to having to juggle her interesting collaboration of a family. Her eighth-grade graduation is no different, when both sides of her family come together to cook dinner for her crush that is coming over. Desperately hoping to impress him she pulls out all the stops to seem "normal". Her family, on the other hand, butts heads at every corner, leading to many near disasters. Ana and her family finally pull it together for one completely d ...more
Abby Johnson
When the 8th grade graduation dance is canceled, Ana Shen sees her last chance to hang out with her crush Jamie Tabata sinking down the drain. Then her best friend invites Jamie and his parents to a graduation dinner at Ana's house. Ana really wants to make a good impression on him, but with two sets of competitive grandparents, can she keep the peace long enough to get through dinner? This is the sweet, funny story of one chaotic dinner. Nothing turns out as Ana had planned, but that might not ...more
Sherrie
This is book 1 of 15 that I'll be reading this summer for the 6th to 8th grade Sunshine State Young Reader Award (SSYRA) books. This story centers on one meal, as prepared by the very diverse family of a graduating eighth grade girl. Kendall is half Chinese, half African-American. Her assorted family members all seem to compete for her affection and attention as they prepare a meal intended to impress the Japanese-American boy that Kendall has a crush on. There are some touching moments as Kenda ...more
Tessa
This book was small, but the subject matter was heavy! The cover looks deceptively like a children's book, but upon second glance is a very concise portrait in a sort of papercut style (but done digitally) (at least that's what it looked like to me).

More importantly, it made me want to feast on everything that the family made for their impromptu graduation meal.


I think it would have been more engaging in first-person. But I would recommend it to fans of realistic fiction or people who quarrel w
...more
Cory
Read 49 pages before abandoning it.
Melissa
I found this to be a quick and hilarious read. I understood the cultural references and I think that really adds to the enjoyment of the book. As a children's book there are some in your face messages which I can appreciate for a younger audience. Some of the characters seem a little 2D, but since this is a children's book that spans the length of a day, I honestly didn't expect any great character changes from anyone except maybe the main character (which did happen, so another point for Smith) ...more
Courtney Ali
i liked this book. it was about a girl graduating middle school going to high school. her graduation was a reck her cap and gown got ruined by the water. this girl is bio. her mom's black her dad is chinese american. her grandma on her mom's side and her other grandma on her dads side tend to fight all the time because of different beliefs amd culture. the girl tries to set up a dinner for a guy she likes who's japenese the family works together to make a good dinner for the guest.
Danie P.
As a recent graduate (and salutaurian) from middle school ana wants to invite her crush jamie over for a family picnic. The book details the making of the dinner. From her grandmothers pot stickers to her other grandmothers gumbo you slowly find out that Ana is both Chinese and African American. The story revolves around the clash of the grandmothers, Ana trying to reconcile them and cumulates with Jamie's father acting very badly. An awesome book and quick read.
Heather
Jul 18, 2008 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: families, graduation, self acceptance, cooking, grandparents
Shelves: teenfiction
Ana Shen invites her middle school crush to a dinner party at her house the night of graduation - but there is no party planned. Ana has just hours to pull off a feast with the help of her parents and her grandparents. The trick is, her Chinese grandparents don't get along with her African American grandparents - not exactly the recipe for a smooth evening.

This was a light read, but fun.
Yvonne
Chararcters and dialogue just weren't believable for me, and since the plot wasn't exactly high adventure (is she or is she not going to be embarrassed by her family in front of the guy she likes)I quickly lost interest
Erika Peterson
At first I thought it was a little too girly for my taste, but once I got over the initial hesitation I enjoyed myself. The fighting grandmothers and pretty girls who get their way brightend the story.
Rachel
Interesting premise and it did have potential, but the characters don't really ring true, and the additional stories don't add much to the theme. Overall does not work.
Nancy Lockett
Nice read, but I always find what seem to be mistakes in this author's books and they bring me out of my suspension of disbelief.
Sarah Mae
Ana Shen learns a new appreciation for her bi-racial family when they all come together for her eighth grade graduation.
Jen
Pretty annoying. Only the last 20 pages were good. The rest was way too girly and narrative!
Samantha
Nice story and interesting characters, but I found the writing itself to be rather stilted.
Paige
Dec 13, 2008 Paige rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paige by: CLAU
Shelves: young-adult
okayish; not a book that I would recommend, but not one that I would advise against.
Magda
Kinda cute, but too short. It seemed like this should have been part of a larger book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fat Hoochie Prom Queen
  • Nikki and Deja
  • My Girlfriend's a Geek (novel): Volume 1
  • Akissi: Cat Invasion
  • Angelfish
  • Bayou Magic
  • Fading Amber (The Cambion Chronicles, #3)
  • The Cheetah Girls: Livin' Large (#1-4)
  • Princeless #1
  • M+O 4EVR
  • Mismatch
  • Recipe for Disaster
  • Lowriders in Space (Book 1)
  • A Song for Bijou
  • Ms. Marvel, #13: Crushed!
  • Highway Cats
  • Billy Creekmore
  • Soul Enchilada
414681
Sherri L. Smith's life can best be summed up geographically. Born in Chicago, IL, she spent her childhood in Staten Island, NY, Washington D.C., and Upstate New York. Her parents divorced when she was twelve. A year later, she moved back to Chicago with her mother and big brother. After high school, it was off to New York City for college, San Francisco for graduate school, and then Los Angeles, t ...more
More about Sherri L. Smith...
Flygirl Orleans Lucy the Giant Sparrow The Toymaker's Apprentice

Share This Book