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Forks, Knives, and Spoons

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There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York's father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond. Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves and not to settle in love or life.

392 pages, Paperback

Published April 18, 2017

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About the author

Leah DeCesare

3 books529 followers
Leah DeCesare is a TEDx speaker and the award-winning author of FORKS, KNIVES, AND SPOONS, her debut novel, and the nonfiction parenting series NAKED PARENTING, based on her work as a doula, early parenting educator, and mom of three. Her articles have been featured in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Eligible Magazine, Simply Woman, the International Doula, and The Key, among others.

She is the cofounder of the nonprofit, Doulas of Rhode Island, and she spearheaded the campaign to build a medical center in Kampala, Uganda.

DeCesare lives in Rhode Island. www.leahdecesare.com

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5 stars
201 (21%)
4 stars
243 (25%)
3 stars
291 (30%)
2 stars
142 (15%)
1 star
64 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 217 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,181 reviews30.5k followers
December 28, 2017
4 fun, I-love-the-80s stars to Forks, Knives, and Spoons ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨

As a child of the 80s, I was instantly smitten with the time period of this novel and all the pop culture references peppered throughout. I had forgotten about many of those things and had so many “aww” moments that I waxed nostalgic over and over.

The group of women in this novel were in college, so there was also some college nostalgia, too. It’s all very fun, but it’s not fluff. There is plenty of substance to the story, and what the characters work through. This is a smoothly written story about friendship that was a delight to read! I plan to re-read it at some point when I’m ready to visit the 80s again!

Thank you to Leah DeCesare for the complimentary copy in exchange for a review.

February 9, 2017
Amy York is leaving her Connecticut home to begin her freshman year at college. Her father provides her with light advice on choosing a life partner before she leaves. One of his hopes is that she selects a boyfriend that will not distract her from the dream she has of becoming a journalist. His advice classifies men into three types of utensils: forks, knives, and spoons. Amy takes this advice to heart, providing her with a guide to assess the male population at college and beyond.

Amy and Veronica meet at Syracuse University and quickly become best friends. Amy passes along her father’s wisdom to her friends and they all put it to use. It justifies tough breakups, why a relationship went sour, or just to size up someone at a party. The book takes us through the two friends college journeys as they delve through relationships, skepticisms, spring breaks and formals. Amy leaves school with a boyfriend she hopes to marry while Veronica is still looking for that perfect utensil.

The two move to New York City and share an apartment. Amy continues her relationship with her boyfriend, Andrew. She begins to slowly learn that the ideal utensil from college may not be the best fit for her current needs. Veronica becomes serious about her boyfriend Joey who never finished college. Whenever she visits her parents in Rhode Island, her mother tries to set her up with young men from her social circle. Veronica struggles with introducing Joey to her parents fearing they will not approve of him based upon her upbringing. The book follows their relationships while they mature into adulthood through new apartments, weddings of friends, and jobs.

The characters in this book are very likeable and their friendship is written realistically. The book has an easy flow and I was taken back in time to the period of being in college and embarking on a career. I enjoyed the references to the ‘80’s / ’90’s: Benetton sweaters, Denise Austin videos and Mulholland Drive Cafe owned by Patrick Swayze. I will look at my utensils very differently now!

This is a debut novel by the author.

I am giving away 2 copies on my blog until 1/10 https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,254 reviews196 followers
January 1, 2017
This is a great read. If you are looking for a relationship than you really could use the concept of finding the perfect "steak knife". Don't settle for anything less. Otherwise, you are just left with a bunch of posers. Amy and Veronica were good together. I enjoyed seeing them experience all of their relationship turmoil in their quests to find the perfect "steak knife". They did come across forks, spoons, sporks, and even chopsticks along the way.

Although, I did feel like Amy was trying too hard to find her steak knife. Some knives when you give them a good polish could turn out to be a dud. Yes, forks and spoons can turn into steak knives as well. The way that Amy and Veronica and their friends got on the cutlery band wagon and went along with the references was charming and sometimes funny. A worthy read.

Forks: They are the smoothies. The forks are the guys who are cocky, they'll poke you. These are the guys to be especially careful of. They are the guys that won't care about you. They will make you think they care, but they won't have any problem playing the field.

Knives: The knives are the middle of the road, they're not cocky like the forks. They may be a little less confident, but mot necessarily lacking in confidence. The nice guys will be in the knife category.

Spoons: Simply put, these are the nerds, the geeks. They don't poke, they don't have edge, they're maybe even bland. Spoons may be wimpy and dull, boring and nervous.
Profile Image for Crystal King.
Author 3 books442 followers
February 7, 2017
As a child of the 80s and who went to college in the early 90s, I loved how this novel took me completely back in time. Leah Decesare navigates the complexities of college relationships and the coming of age of two roommates as they move from underneath the wings of their parents and into the world of adult life. It's funny, witty and full of nostalgia. A perfect summer read to warm your heart.
Profile Image for Kelly Fichter.
3 reviews
September 21, 2016
This was such a fabulous book! I could not put it down! I have read it twice and it just keeps getting better!
Profile Image for Trinity.
31 reviews26 followers
March 6, 2017
Even though I am not a big fan of romance novels, I absolutely loved this book. I adored the way that the characters used the Utensil Classification System to rate the quality of the boys that would come in and out of their lives. This book is an amazing collage of wit, funny college life, romance, and finding Mr. Right. I loved the way that it followed the relationships of the protagonists and showed what to look for and what to keep away from in a guy.

I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway.
Profile Image for Samantha.
325 reviews6 followers
April 15, 2017
This book just wrapped me up into a big ball of 90s nostalgia and rolled me in first love memories! I didn't want to put it down. It tugged at all my heart strings and made me fondly remember why I'm so glad to be an adult hahaha.

Raised alone by her father, after her mother died when she was an infant, he told Amy that all men were like forks, knives, or spoons. Amy takes this to heart and creates a class system that all men can somehow fall into. To her and her friends, ideal man is a shiny steak knife. This story follows Amy and her closest friends as they navigate college, friendship, and love.

There were no real surprises in this book, you saw the writing on the wall....AND THAT WAS TOTALLY OK! The author, Leah DeCesare wove a tale, that not only drew me in from the get go, but was so utterly relateable. A book that is worthy of picking up, it will fill your heart right up.
Profile Image for Deena Souza.
10 reviews1 follower
March 11, 2017
Loved loved loved this book. I was taken on a journey back to when I was in college. I smiled, laughed and cried through the book. I didn't want it to end!!
Profile Image for Amy.
1,940 reviews1,898 followers
April 13, 2017
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

This was such a fun, feel good, lighthearted read! I love books set in the eighties, there’s something about the nostalgia I experience when I’m reading something set in that time period, and DeCesare brought the eighties back to life! She went into detail about the fashions, music, movies and stone aged technology and it was such a funny blast from the past.

It begins in 1988 when Amy is getting ready to start her freshman year of college. She quickly bonds with her new roommate, Veronica and immediately tells her about the advice her dad left her with. The USC says that every guy can be classified as a piece of silverware. The perfect catch is a steak knife, while a shrimp fork or slotted spoon is a dud. It sounds silly, and it totally is, but it was also extremely fun. As a hopeless romantic, Amy takes the USC seriously, while the more realistic Veronica is skeptical. The book goes on to follow the girls as they graduate and move to NYC and mainly focuses on their dating adventures.

I loved both Amy and Veronica, they were completely different in many ways, but they’re both loyal friends and hard workers. Their friendship was awesome and I always like to see some girl power in a book. They support each other through breakups, makeups, cheating, school pressure, and the stress of being out on their own as adults for the first time. Amy’s dad was also a really great guy, her mom died when she was a newborn so it’s always been just the two of them and their bond was adorable.

This is like a more innocent Sex and the City, mostly because DeCesare captured the innocence of the late eighties and early nineties so well. Even though it follows the girls as they navigate the dating world it’s light on the romance and heavy on their friendship, which I appreciated. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of dating going on, but the focus was more on friendship and family. I was happy with how things ended but I’m also hopeful the author is considering a sequel?! I want to know what happens to Amy and Veronica next.
Profile Image for Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows).
1,569 reviews329 followers
April 22, 2018
What an absolutely delightful, sparkly and fun read! Set during the time I basically went to college (give or take a few years), it was extremely nostalgic and took me right back to my college days. Freshman year, rushing a sorority, making new friends, entering the dating life... fast forward to senior year and embarking on new adventures... to later in life when you really "grow" up and learn about yourself.

This is an honest look into how a classification system is used to find that "perfect" someone - in this case, a steak knife. I'll admit, I found it slightly annoying at first with the continual classification system... so I felt a kinship with Veronica when she would tell Amy to chill out with it or roll her eyes at the process. However, as I continued to read, it grew on me. I'm not saying I USE the system.... but I'm not saying it doesn't pass through my head sometimes... 😉.

I absolutely adore Amy's relationship with her father. This is reminiscent to my own relationship with my father. Especially at the very end. The tried and true types of people are riddled throughout the book. Each personality shining in their own way. The plot is fairly transparent and you already know what the outcome will be and where the book is headed. Leah has you pinned though - you just want to see how each of these characters get there!

Never settle. Never give up. And remember, fork is just another four letter word. 😜 Highly recommend. I look forward to more work from Leah and hope this book brings a big a smile to your face as it does to mine.

Thanks so much to the author for this amazing read!
Profile Image for Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee.
677 reviews166 followers
April 1, 2019
This was a fun read! I really enjoyed the 80s setting because I grew up in the 80s. Sometimes it's nice to read a book like this, to bring me back to the good old days! The characters in the story were interesting and I wanted to see how they would work through things, and that definitely kept the pages turning. I loved all the 80s and 90s references throughout also! Thank you to the author for sending me a copy, I would definitely recommend!!
11 reviews
February 11, 2017
I loved it!
Really was a fun read but gets you thinking about relationships, motives and personalities. It is also a great walk down memory lane for those who were of dating age in the 80s.
Profile Image for Amy Poeppel.
Author 4 books898 followers
February 23, 2017
I'm so happy to know Leah and to have had the chance to read her wonderful book in advance! It is a fun and charming story about college, friendship, and love. DeCesare follows two young women Amy and Veronica as they navigate Syracuse and Manhattan, trying to determine if the men in their lives are forks, knives, or spoons. A really fun read!
Profile Image for Linda.
30 reviews
April 10, 2017
In her first fictional novel, Leah DeCesare creates characters that you will recognize in your own lives! Those of us who attended college in the late 80s will absolutely be able to identify forks, knives and spoons from your college days and beyond. I wonder how many young women will read this and use the utensil classification in the future! This book was funny, engrossing - Leah makes you care for the characters and what happens to them. I love the fact that I'm familiar with some of the locations she uses in the story (and even some of the people who the stories' friends danced with to Stairway to Heaven!). This would be a fun movie! Congratulations on the success of this book, Leah!! I can't wait for your next novel.
Profile Image for Joy.
109 reviews
June 22, 2017
I had high hopes going in to this book! It had great review on Amazon and the utensil classification system intrigued me. I was ready for the 80's pop culture references. I was disappointed. I thought the UCS was lame, and after a strong start, the pop culture references were few and mostly about music. I didn't find it laugh out loud funny and felt it wasn't very well written.
Profile Image for Twins.reading.books.
363 reviews1,204 followers
October 24, 2018
"Forks, Knives and Spoons" is fortunately not a simple romance novel and I'm so happy for reading it! Leah's writings are extraordinary unique and the characters she has created in this masterpiece are very well connected, I could feel them and understand them in the best way!
So I'm not the biggest fan when it comes to romance but this novel really gave me nice vibes, it merges the college life and romance in a very professional way that Leah could make! The main character is Amy a very interesting girl raised only by her father, after her mother died when she was an infant, and her father told her that all men were like forks, knives and spoons.
The novel has a lot of funny acts, and also emotional ones, you can cry and smile in the same time, I really didn't want to end the novel I just wish there were more pages because the Author has the ability to keep your mind in the lovely character's life!
Amy starts the college and there she meets her new friend Veronica and she tells about the advice her dad left her with! The book continues with their graduation and moves to NYC focusing mainly in their dating part of their life with a lot of funny parts and very emotional ones!
Reading a very strong friendship bond is very beautiful and I love these novels, I really love the way that the Author has written so rare things about their friendship!
Forks, Knives and Spoons is a very delightful, cherish and fun read! The novel talks about Amy's freshman year up to her senior year down to new adventures, and later in her real grown up life! It really describes a very amazing and happy life of Amy with lots of details you would love to read! I'm really excited for Leah's new novels as this one is very a marvellous read, and I highly recommend it to anyone!
2 reviews
December 1, 2016
The characters were alive. I was drawn to them. I liked them. They were real, flawed, and caring. I could feel the way they felt about each other and shared in their frustration, disappointment, healing, and happiness. I still think about them and wonder how they're doing. Easily read, hard to put down.
2 reviews
June 13, 2017
I can't finish this book, the writing is flat and sophomoric and the premise of the rating system doesn't even make sense, totally contrived with little rationale. I can't understand all the good ratings.
1 review3 followers
May 2, 2017
I couldn't put this book down! Brought me back to my college and recent graduate days. This is a book that anyone can relate to - falling in love, heartache, family drama, career decisions and more. Every high school and college graduate should be reading this book - such valuable life lessons. Highly recommend!!
Profile Image for Lauren.
62 reviews1 follower
April 13, 2019
Terrible. So terrible, I couldn't stop reading. Like a train wreck, I couldn't look away. Now, hopefully, on to better reading.
Profile Image for Jane.
781 reviews43 followers
July 30, 2021
Why did it take me so long to read this book? I don't think I've ever read a book about college women and if I did it was a long time ago and don't remember. I loved that it was set in the 1980s and the nostalgia was fun to reminisce about and the start of the computer age. It ended in the early 1990s when they graduated college and had careers.

It was a cute book about Amy and Veronica who met as roommates at in the 1980s who went to Syracuse. Before Amy left for college, her Dad told her that there are Forks, Knives, and Spoons or the Utensil Classification System as Amy called it in meeting men. Amy was a true believer but
Veronica was skeptical about the whole system and her sorority sisters and friends used to tease Amy about it. It became a running joke when women would meet men.

Forks are basically cocky jerks, Spoons are geeks are nerdy and Knives are the biggest category where they will find Mr. Right.

Amy thinks she finds her Knife but does she? She has been going out with Andrew for 5 and 1/2 years despite his cheating over the years but yet she keeps taking him back and wants a commitment and marriage proposal after dating in college and beyond. Veronica thinks she finds her Knife until she finds out that he's only "an electrician" and worries what her upper class parents will think.

Do Amy and Veronica end up with a Fork, Knife, or Spoon? You have to read it to find out.
Profile Image for Corlyn (Riverside Reader).
144 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2017
A great read! I laughed, I cried, I reminisced. Leah DeCesare hits all the right elements in her debut novel!
Profile Image for Reeca Elliott.
1,351 reviews19 followers
November 23, 2017
This book begins with Amy and Veronica starting their freshman year at Syracuse. Before Amy left home her father gave her some advice about boys. Veronica and Amy dub this unique advice the UCS. The Utensil Classification System.
This story follows Amy and Veronica as they navigate the dating scene through college and beyond. Their decisions and actions cause a domino effect on their lives and others. I enjoyed these young ladies. Both seem to have a good head on their shoulders, even though they sometimes make a few stupid decisions. I chalk that up to youth.
I love how the author sprinkles in many details from the 90's, especially the music. I found myself singing songs from my past! She even mentions Danielle Steele....oh my, she was a staple for me during the 90's.
There are a lot of characters to keep up with and it can be overly dramatic in places. But the funny wit and the grand time had by all as they struggle to find the perfect steak knife, is such a treat. This is a heart warming read about relationships and life changing decisions. A real joy!

"Be sure you know yourself and what's in your heart. Remember, you have to value and love yourself first."
I received this novel from the author for a honest review.
Profile Image for Laura.
171 reviews14 followers
February 27, 2017
Anyone who came of age in the late '80s/early '90s will enjoy the little bits of nostalgia scattered throughout this sweet love story. From Benettan sweaters, to "paradise by the dashboard light", to bangs sculpted with aquanet, FORK,KNIVES AND SPOONS takes the reader on a delightful trip through the early years of college when everyone is looking for love in all the wrong places. Despite a predictable conclusion, I really enjoyed this fanciful trip. FORKS, KNIVES AND SPOONS is a fun book and a nostalgic portal through time.
Profile Image for Jen.
436 reviews115 followers
July 31, 2018
This book was amazingly adorable. Set mostly in the 80s, it follows Amy through college, where she fits all men into the groups of forks, knives, and spoons according to the advice her father gave her before her freshman year. The book has amazing cultural references and Amy's system quickly catches on with the rest of the girls at school. Are there more utensils out there? Will they all find their steak knives? Or is it all a farce.

Delightfully fun to read, a great book for your poolside reading.
Profile Image for Brenda.
1,281 reviews
July 26, 2019
Loved the concept of Utensil Classification System.

As freshman Amy York sets off to live in Syracuse, her dad Tom devises a classification system meant to help her assess the boys she will meet in college in the hope she won't be hurt. There are three types of guys, Forks, Knives, Spoons.
Amy's assigned roommate, Veronica Warren, becomes Amy's life long BFF. Their backgrounds are different yet they compliment each other.
Amy's commitment to Andrew is the balance to Veronica's shattered relationship but as the story carries from 1988 to 1994 we witness the girls and their friends survive relationships with various UCS makes.
A Happy Ever After that leaves you cheering for Amy and for Veronica as their lives are fulfilled by their decisions.
The beginning contains many 80's nostalgia references.
Profile Image for Samantha March.
1,102 reviews286 followers
December 12, 2017
Talk about a book I could not put down. My Kindle was coming everywhere with me while I was reading Forks, Knives and Spoons. Even while waiting in line at a drive through, I pulled out my Kindle to keep reading. I loved the story of a college friendship between two women, their relationships, and their life after college. The early 90s nostalgia had me smiling as well, and if you’re a 90s child, I bet you’ll get a few throwback laughs as well. I was surprised to see this is Leah DeCesare’s debut novel, as it was extremely well-written, well-organized and kept me hooked from the first page to the last. I highly recommend you add this to your reading list!
I received a review copy
Displaying 1 - 30 of 217 reviews

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