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Midsummer's Mayhem

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  440 ratings  ·  172 reviews
A Kirkus Best Book of 2019!
An Indies Introduce Selection for 2019!
A Indie Next Pick for Summer 2019!

"A delectable treat for food and literary connoisseurs alike." Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"What a wonderful, intriguing, and magical book. And wow, did it ever get my tastebuds going! Each time I picked it up, I felt the urge to head to my kitchen. . . . What I loved most
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Yellow Jacket
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  440 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.75 stars
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.75 stars

What a cute middle grade treat! Think Shakespeare mixed with baking. I admit, I was drawn into this book by the cover and it totally paid off. I think many middle grade readers will love this book.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This was such a delightful retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream and has one of the best food descriptions I've ever read.

- Follows Mimi, an Indian-American kid who comes from a big family and loves to bake! When she meets a mysterious boy and a new bakery opens in her sleepy town, wild shenanigans ensue - and it's up to Mimi to undo the mayhem.
- This story is about friendship and giving things your best shot, and has a light and fun 'mystery' element!
- This is such a lovely and eventful read;
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, kids, 2019
Imagine a mashup between Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and kids baking competition shows. Throw in a hearty dash of magic, family dynamics, and themes of believing in yourself. Absolutely irresistible, this book will have readers hooked from the very first page. There is so much to love about this fun, tightly plotted, heartfelt story, but aside from the food descriptions (which are seriously mouthwatering!!) my favorite parts were about Mira and her family as she works to find her ...more
Victoria Coe
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
11 year-old Mimi is searching for a recipe to help her win the baking contest of a lifetime--a chance to bake with her idol Puffy Fay, to prove she belongs in her family of superstars, and to stop being known as Mimi Mouse. And when an enchanting song in the woods leads her to intoxicating plants, a mysterious book, and a new friend, she's found all she needs.

But when she bakes the creation of her heart, her family and friends start acting strangely. Her imagination? Coincidence? Or have her
Emily T
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was incredibly lucky to read this book early on and it is absolutely delightful-full of heart, magical mischief, a main character you can't help but root for, beautiful truths about family and childhood, and food descriptions that will leave your tummy rumbling!

The whole family will want to read this one together on summer afternoons, but be warned-your children will probably beg to start baking after reading!

My daughter, age 7, also loved the book and wanted to add her own review. In her own
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book! A delightful, relatable main character to root for, a charming family, plus baking, mystery, magic, and Shakespeare/mythology/fairies!
Mari Johnston
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Midsummer’s Mayhem was one of the cutest books I’ve ever read! I’ve started to really enjoy retellings the past few years, and this one was done so well. A Midsummer Night’s Dream isn’t a play I’m completely familiar with, but going into this novel I did know the basics of it. Since this is a middle-grade novel though, I really liked seeing Rajani LaRocca incorporate the play and give a brief synopsis of it in her story.
Naomi Milliner
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like Shakespeare or baking - or especially both! - you will love this book. With mouth-watering descriptions of desserts (and three recipes in the back) and a fresh, funny take on A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, this is one delicious ride. Kids will enjoy it, and it would make a fun and creative choice for English classes. Warning: this book will make your mouth water.
Joshua Levy
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book by any other name would probably not be as sweet as Rajani LaRocca's MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM. The ingredients are absolute perfection: Shakespeare. Magic. Family. Friends.

After her best friend moves away--and seemingly outshined by her busy and talented siblings and parents (each one of whom is well-developed and endearing)--amateur kid-chef Mimi Mackson is on the hunt for what makes her special. When a new cafe opens up in her town, complete with a baking competition, Mimi sees her chance.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a lover of both baking and Shakespeare, I knew I would thoroughly enjoy Rajani LaRocca's debut middle grade novel, MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM—a delightful retelling of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" centered around a kids' baking competition.

The book was just as charming as I'd hoped: filled with fairy mischief, accidental magic, and an intrepid heroine who is determined to bake her way out of any sticky situation. LaRocca does a fantastic job of retelling Shakespeare's play while keeping it accessible
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous reimagining of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. In MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM, Rajani LaRocca introduced Mimi (the youngest—and so she thought—the least talented member of her family). However much she might not have seen it in herself at first, throughout the story, Mimi displayed all the ways she's special—a caring sister, a kind friend, and an amazing baker. LaRocca sprinkled magic throughout the story the way Mimi decorated her cupcakes, with creativity and imagination.

Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never been more thankful that my mom is able to procure arcs! I thought it was amazing! I know absolutely nothing about baking. But I am a total Shakespeare nerd!and the sheer amount of Shakespeare MAGIC kept me theorizing the whole way through! For those of you who don’t know everything about a Midsummer nights dream it’s still a great book about baking, magic, and family. But if you do know a Midsummer nights dream there is a whole new layer of magic to be discovered! A heartwarming ...more
Jennifer Guyor Jowett
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story of courage, love, and conviction. Mimi's adventure leads her to discover the importance of family and to realize the strength she has always had. Rajani LaRocca's updated Midsummer Night's Dream is a fun and delicious read! I found myself dreaming of the cupcakes Mimi creates. And there's a bonus - recipes from the book at the very end!
Malayna Evans
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In a word, this book is scrumptious. Food, family and friendship animate every page. It's a magical read. But one word of caution: get ready to add a dash of baking and eating to this reading adventure. You'll be inspired.
Sam Taylor
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly delightful. Midsummer Night's Dream meets Cupcake Wars, filled with family shenanigans, fairy mischief, and baking gone wonky. Get it for the kid in your life. Get it for the kid in you.
Shauna Holyoak
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fun and whimsical story! I loved this Midsummer-Night's-Dream inspired tale with the aspiring baker Mimi who makes magic in her kitchen. The story demonstrates the importance of family and friendships and has a sweet (and savory!) ending.
Sayantoni Das
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This adorable fantasy is loosely based on Midsummer Night's Dream. Being an Indian myself, I was literally drawn to Mimi's American life. And she's such a cute character to begin with! And then comes the food, oh such droolworthy descriptions! How can anybody dislike this little piece of gem! Very sweet, innovative, magical and cute, this book is not just suitable for middle graders, but everyone at large! If you like the taste of magic and are free enough to let it take you along its course, ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 5-8

Imagine that you love baking but you start to suspect that some of the cookies you made are causing all kinds of problems. Eleven-year-old Mimi is so sad that her best friend moved away so she spends a lot of her time baking. Mimi feels like she is overlooked in her family because her siblings are popular in their small town - one is a fabulous dancer, one an incredible actor, and one is a star soccer player. Even her father is a famous food critic. Mimi can't dance, she can't
Cara (Wilde Book Garden)
Well, this was a delight.

Baking + Shakespeare + family relationships + a splash of magic = a recipe for a perfect Cara book.

I really, really hope Rajani LaRocca retells some other Shakespeare stories in this clever and heartwarming style!
Stephanie P
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review.

I seriously loved this sweet story!

Midsummer’s Mayhem is a middle grade novel geared towards ages 8 and up and was pitched as A Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Master Chef Junior. It definitely delivered on that premise! There are also sweet illustrations spread throughout.

It was so much fun reading this right after reading the original A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of #thebookishcookierbardalong and seeing all the hints and
Meet Mimi - from a big American Indian family , feels like no body beneath all her Comity famous siblings.

She craves to prove herself while a bakery opens in the summer time and announces a cooking competition .

When unexpected and unexplained stuff happens to her family , everything is upto Mimi.

I loved the Mimi's family and her PoV was really great - The caring and often left out kid who loves her entire family.

Mimi's effort on putting everyone back on track and cooking for everyone's special
Andrea Contos
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read this book early, and I am absolutely jealous of everyone who gets to experience it for the first time.

The entire book is a delight, with expertly-woven magic and a pervading sense of wonderment, set in the real world. Mimi is immediately likable and relatable, and the entire cast adds to the depth of the novel.

The mystery is fun and intriguing, and the food descriptions are inventive and impossible to read without wanting to try them. Hint: Go to LaRocca's blog for
Jess Redman
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely delectable and so fun reimagining of Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. The story follows Mimi Mackson the summer after her best friend moves away. Her older siblings are all super talented, and Mimi often feels left out and less than. When the very unusual While Away Cafe opens up in town, Mimi decides to compete in their baking competition; maybe she can be the best at something for once! With the help of a mysterious new friend and an enchanting cookbook, Mimi sets ...more
Katie Zhao
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rajani's magical middle grade debut encompasses so much of what I love in books - magic, heart, family, and a little bit of chaos mixed in for the perfect middle grade read! Readers, young and old alike, will devour this scrumptious debut (hopefully not literally, but who can say with all the yummy, mouthwatering desserts!) Along her personal journey, through the highs and lows, Mimi discovers herself and her place in her family and world. Plus, adding elements of Shakespeare into the story?! ...more
Chris Baron
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to have an advanced copy of this book, and it was our family read aloud. We LOVED it. Mimi, the youngest daughter is a delightful main character who finds herself in versified adventures and sticky situations. The mix of Shakespeare, magic, and baking, create such a wonderful interplay for the deeper themes of culture, family, and friendship. My kids were laughing one moment, and filled with wonder the next. The story is fast-paced and expertly written.

As a bonus, it inspired us
Lorie Barber
How is Midsummer’s Mayhem a DEBUT? It’s spectacular! Crisp, multilayered plot, beautifully developed, complex characters, and gorgeous writing. I’m up way past my bedtime because I had to finish it, and I loved every magical second. Only a true talent can bring Shakespeare into the modern age and put a twist on it that is unique and so culturally relevant. I loved every word. I feel like Mimi’s dad: under the spell of Midsummer’s Mayhem and still wanting more! Bravo, Rajani LaRocca!
Sydney Young
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t help but use words like delicious and sweet and scrumptious to describe this book. But also that does it a bit of a disservice because it’s so much more. Surface level—very relatable for middle graders who have definitely seen cooking competition shows on TV. Same for the family and friend complexities, showing difficulties but also the positives. And then, then! Shakespeare and ancient Indian lore, complete with Banyan trees and a Shakespeare quoting thespian. So much going on, and ...more
Nicole Hewitt
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book is a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a foodie twist! There are so many ingredients in this story that will appeal to a wide audience: a baking competition, fairies, sibling rivalry, love enchantments gone wrong, themes of growing up and fitting in—the book has all these and more. Mimi has always wished she had a way to stand out in her family of talented (and outgoing) siblings; her brother’s an
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Super cute! For those who enjoy or can at least appreciate Shakespeare, like baking/cooking, or enjoy learning about new foods and herbs and their uses. I adore this book. Such a cute and fun read for summer. Definitely looking forward to more by this author!

Focuses on family, friendship, baking, and magic!
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Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two brilliant kids, and an impossibly cute dog. She spends her time writing middle grade novels and picture books, practicing medicine, and baking way too many sweet treats. Her debut middle grade, MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM, is a foodie Indian-American story inspired by A Midsummer ...more
“We walked among the different plants and by using The Book, we did our best to identify them and understand how to use them. Some were easy- spearmint, "for refreshment, strength, and healing," and rosemary, "for remembrance, and the prevention of nightmares." We also found a swathe of sage, which could be used "to cultivate wisdom and intelligence." When I came across a bunch of plants with dark green leaves and tiny white flowers, it took us quite a while to identify it by its drawing in The Book: gotu kola, an herb that could "restore the senses and clear confusion."
"Oh, look at this one," I said. "Saffron, for success. I should probably bake with that."
"If only it grew here," said Vik.
Finally, on the bank of a small stream, we found gigantic thyme stems, almost two feet tall and topped with plump clusters of purple flowers. "What's thyme good for?" I asked Vik as I plucked a dozen stems and inhaled their herbaceous scent.
"Thyme attracts affection, loyalty, and the goodwill of others," read Vik, "and can foster strength and courage when needed.”
“My nutmeg-caraway shortbread had too many conflicting spices, he would say. And of course, it had nothing to do with leaves. The lemon-raspberry cake decorated with lemon leaves was too tart, and the toffee cupcakes with leaf-shaped maple candy were cloying.” 0 likes
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