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Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  807 ratings  ·  180 reviews
The future is anything but certain in this alternately funny and heartbreaking contemporary story about food trucks, festivals, and first loves.

It's easy to look at high school senior Oscar Olsson and think: lost. He hates school, struggles to read, and wants nothing to do with college. But Oscar is anything but lost---he knows exactly what he wants and exactly how to get
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 8th 2021 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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Larry H
Oct 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, rounded up.

How's this for a title? Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love is an excellent story about love, family, following your dreams, and lots of food.

If he had his way, Oscar would work during his senior year of high school, so he and Farfur, his Swedish grandfather who raised him, can take their food truck to the next level, maybe even turn it into a cafe someday. But no matter how many people love their Swedish kebabs, munkar (donuts), and other delicacies, Farfur is deter
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Kelly
Few books leave me with actual tears in my eyes. It's part because I'm hardhearted and part because I so easily separate fiction from reality. But Jared Reck has once again wrecked me, leaving me with so many tears at the end of his sophomore novel.

Oscar lives with his grandfather in Gettysburg, where he's the right-hand man in his grandfather's Swedish food truck. Oscar isn't sure of much in life, other than he doesn't want to go to college. He wants to run a food business. His grandfather's ha
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Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 4.5 stars

Oscar couldn’t wait to be done with school and had his post-high school life planned out. He could finally do something he loved full-time and planned to work on the food truck with his beloved Farfar. When tragedy strikes, his future doesn’t seem so clear anymore.

I was a HUGE fan of Reck’s debut, A Short History of the Girl Next Door. That book destroyed me. Wait, I have to dry the tears that escaped as I was typing this. Once again, Reck wrecked my heart with another tear-wort
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Alaina
Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love was kind of cute. In it, you will meet Oscar and Lou. They are both seniors in high school but they have different plans for their lives. He loathes school - like so much. He doesn't see himself going off to college. Mostly because he's pretty content with his life at the moment. Running a food truck with Farfar, his mentor.

Lou has other plans though. She really wants to get into an Ivy League school and valedictorian as well. So it was a bit odd to see the
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Sarah
Jun 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Upon finishing the book: I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING, LET ME HAVE THIS MOMENT IN PEACE.

This was a totally random selection off of Libby that sucked me in completely. It sounds so random: Swedish food trucks. That's the focus of this book (not the entire focus, but a good chunk of it). Why does that work?!?

I don't know what to tell you, just read this book. It has an adorable gay Swedish grandpa, a main character with a learning disability (that isn't outright stated but is implied), THERE'S N
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Rebecca
4.5 STARS
I was cruising OverDrive from the library, when I was drawn to the cover featuring a food truck. After a quick view of the synopsis, I just had to give it a whirl. What a gem of story this turned out to be! Yes, it was an ode to creating and loving food, along with a sweet romance. However, it was also life altering/coming of age moments shared between a teen boy and his grandfather(FarFar). It was more emotional than anticipated, but in a good way. I have read two, back to back YAs fea
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Nannette Demmler
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley for an honest review.

I absolutely loved this book! It is probably the best YA contemporary that I have read in awhile. It is so realistic with believable characters that you just want to hang out with. It is being advertised as a romance and while there is a one it isn’t what the story is really about. It is about family and following your dreams even if they don’t meet others expectations of you.

Oscar or Gubben (which is what he is called by
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Sarah Hanson
Jun 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-favorites
I still have tears streaming down my face. Delicious food trucks, awkward teenagers, an endearing Swedish grandpa, a likable narrator— the perfect recipe of a YA read. Pass me the poutine and apple crisp!
Lynn
Oscar is entering his senior year and he couldn't be happier at the prospect of completing high school. He doesn't understand why his grandfather won't let him take work/study and spend half of the day working with him on their food truck. As a result, the best part of his school day is spent in independent study cooking and baking. When Lou comes to him with an idea for using the apples that students leave behind in the cafeteria into a project to do away with wasted food, Oscar's independent s ...more
Deborah Zeman
Dec 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tayshas2023
Have you ever cried over a book about food, family and love? I did, many times reading this book. Oscar & his Farfar, a team of two, cooking/baking/frying together, Oscar trying to convince his Farfar that all he wants to do after graduation is to keep doing all that with him, his Farfar teaching him life lessons one at a time, not wanting him to just settle. MaryLou, or Lou to everyone else, Oscar’s frenemy but actual soulmate, bringing Oscar and Farfar even closer together. The secondary cast ...more
Rebekah
1 Sentence Summary: Oscar knows what he wants to do with his future: run a Swedish food truck with his grandfather— now all he needs to do is survive until the end of senior year, and he’s got a good routine going, that is until he’s forced to help super smart and ambitious Mary Louise with her project of reducing food waste at their high school.

My Thoughts: I mean, it wasn’t bad or anything, but also it wasn’t really that great. The romance wasn’t really that cute, I didn’t really love any of t
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Lily Wamhoff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
kailyn!
ugh. love.
Steph
Jan 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love by Jared Reck with all my heart and soul. This story of the sweetest of friendships, quiet heroes, & Scandinavian food truck delights is an absolute joy, and I highly recommend you curl up with this cozy, delicious read.

Fair warning: you’re about to fall madly in love with the most adorable Scandinavian grandpa, and you will be super hungry for Swedish donuts and apple muffins while reading every, single page. 🍩🍎🚚🇸🇪

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“They were watc
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Jennifer Sullivan
I loved this book; the story was beautiful and very touching. Though it did have a romance in it, it was really about the relationship between Oscar and his grandfather, and Oscar figuring out his future. Oscar does not care for school and is not a particularly strong student in a traditional academic sense. But he is a good kid, loves working with his grandfather on their food truck and dreams of a culinary career. His grandfather has to gently make him see that there is a lot more to running a ...more
Alicia
I had seen so much wonderful press about the book that I was wholeheartedly in about a book featuring a food truck-- always a win. However this was not meant to be for me. I wasn't sold on the relationship dynamics and Oscar's situation.

There's a usefulness in this story both in Oscar's love of the food truck and his future plans as a senior in high school. So older teens can relate to his situation and hopefully have a grandfather that is as lovingly awesome as his is, especially once you find
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Ethan Evans
Oct 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jared Reck's books are so good. I love his characters. Particularly his ability to connect his male characters with non-toxic male relationships in their lives that feel real and true. His books make me think of spending time with my dad and the other men in my life who have mentored me and loved me and mean so much to me. Cannot recommend his work enough. ...more
Avery Vance
Jan 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


This book made me laugh, cry, and consider dropping out of school to run a food truck.

My biggest problem with this book is that it made me hungry with constant descriptions of munkahl and rullekebab and poutine and and apple crumble and... the list goes on. Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love balances the predictable and the unexpected in a way that manages to both flatter and defy the genre. The characters and settings are thoughtfully crafted and aptly described. This novel excels in prov
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Kirsten Jimenez
Oct 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the plot! It shared some similarities of typical storylines and tropes but mainly consisted of unique concepts and plot twists which kept me very engaged. There was also a lot of conflict and details that built upon Oscar's relatability.

I absolutely love all the characters--especially Farfar's humor and teasing. Despite feeling slightly irritated by Oscar's selfishness and lack of empathy during a particular section of the book, Oscar was a very relatable chara
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Kristi Starr
Jul 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, audio-book, romance, food
I LOVED this book.

If you're into romantic tropes, this covers enemies to lovers. Then there's the element of struggling, invisible boy vs. overachieving, brainy girl. But oh, there's so much more. Oscar's Swedish grandfather, Farfar, is the kind of person you'd have to be soulless not to adore. And together they run a food truck specializing in a couple of Swedish delicacies. A guy who lives for culinary classes and whose dream is a restaurant? Yes! And Oscar is, if unwittingly, a problem solve
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Tiffany Brand
I enjoyed the Swedish cultural components to this story and thought the bond between Oscar and Farfar was admirable and the romantic development between Oscar and Lou was realistic; that being said, I think the different storylines here were very well-balanced and the characters were very likable. I was almost let down by the ending but the epilogue completely saved it! One thing that I would like to point out for anyone interested in this book is that there is one particular traumatic event tha ...more
Jessica (readitandquip) H
I adored Farfar, the food truck, and mentions of local PA towns! And I was insanely hungry during the whole read.

Oscar's passion for his and Farfar's food truck is awesome. And I love how Farfar didn't try to push him towards college as his only option. Loved Lou and her quirkiness and her drive!

Def didn't shy away from hard topics: mentions of overdosing and Narcan, death from drug use, conservative protest over a sign-changing, a hint at a learning disability, leaving the family, and his nativ
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Sarah R (BiblioBonorum)
Oscar and his Farfar run Hej Hej!, a popular food truck that sells food like rullekebab and munkar, together. Oscar hopes to take over the truck after he finishes school. But his time at school dedicated to delicious culinary creations is interrupted when Lou brings in a plan to reduce the school's waste of cafeteria apples, meaning he must come up with a way to bake something with 500 apples per day they're served and deal with Lou, which he is less than happy about. Soon, his annoyance becomes ...more
Erin Anderson
Jan 13, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022-books
This was a fun read about Oscar and his final year of high school! He can’t wait for school to end so he can finally do what he wants—work on his Farfar’s food truck and maybe expand that business into a Café. But his easy-going senior year is derailed by overachiever Lou and her plan to help save the environment. Now his chill schedule is overrun by apples and others telling him what he should do with his unplanned future.
Jenny
Oct 09, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, library
*3.5 Stars*

This book was about a teen who runs a food truck with his adorable, yet fallible granddad and it was super cute. I will read just about anything about food, and this book did not disappoint. There was pretty much zero relationship drama, none of the characters made noticeably stupid decisions, and the consequences of one (past) incredibly painful decision were not skipped over or sugarcoated. It was not perfect, but it was most definitely enjoyable.
Kate
Mar 26, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2022
moomins, munk, and apples

I didn’t realize it was all about Aaland, nerdy white girls, wise grandfathers, and a Swedish speaking cat. And kebab. Really a beautiful story, interesting families, gamut of high school characters and lot of skillfully portrayed growing up that most YA skirts
Shelby Lund
Apr 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up🥹 I will forever cherish Jared Reck’s books. I will buy and read all of his stories because I believe he truly has a gift. His stories are unique, beautiful, and grip my heart so tightly, I don’t know what to do with myself once I’ve finished reading them. Read his books if you haven’t! He captures the simplistic beauties of life so well.
Kim
Sep 27, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED the part where the characters work together to reduce food waste at their school. Only three stars because then ending was just waaayyy too tragic. I don’t mind unhappy endings, but it just didn’t seem like the main character grew or changed from the tragedy, so I thought it was unnecessary. And the epilogue was happy, but not enough to redeem the rest of the book.
John Bunyan
Aug 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is classified as a young adult or teen book but it is for everyone. Wonderful characters and a compelling story. It reminded me a bit of Fredrik Backman’s writing in its tone. I read it in one day and I want to read more about these people’s lives after this book.
Gabby
Sep 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly almost gave up on this book early on. The beginning felt very slow but I am so glad I didn’t give up on it. The story itself is truly beautiful and I definitely shed a few tears. I highly suggest checking this book out!
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Jared Reck is the author of DONUTS AND OTHER PROCLAMATIONS OF LOVE and A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. He teaches 8th grade Language Arts, where he has been reading awesome books and writing alongside his students for more than fifteen years. He lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two daughters.
Learn more about Jared at jaredreckbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @reckj.

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33 likes · 3 comments
“Have we discussed the birds and the bees, Gubben?" Farfar said, just as we started our third lap on Wario's Gold Mine, the one track I hated almost as much as Rainbow Road.
"Uh... I'm pretty sure that was covered in online health."
I launched my red shell, which he deftly blocked with the banana peel he'd been holding on to.
I finished fourth after getting hit by a stupid ricocheting green shell, Farfar's Yoshi already halfway through its victory lap.”
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“Okay, Gubben, this time you have to pick your least-favorite character with your least-favorite vehicle."
I picked Peach, to which he raised his eyebrows.
"You hate Peach, Gubben? Seems a little...misogynistic."
"What are you talking about? Princess Peach is a horrible representation of women---how many times does she wait for Mario to save her?" I realized I sounded a little like Lou. You know, if Lou's rants ever extended into classic Nintendo characters.
Farfar picked Toad.
"Seems a little... mycogynistic, doesn't it?"
He just chuckled. "Stupid mushrooms."
I picked the Super Blooper for Peach, Farfar picked the Booster Seat for Toad, and we spent the next hour laughing and yelling disparaging things at the screen.”
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