Hunger Is the Best Sauce

Hunger Is the Best Sauce by Z. A. Coe

After 15-year-old Michelle’s older brother Damien throws her into a bookcase, she realizes it’s time to leave. With both parents dead and all of Damien’s money filling the fridge with alcohol instead of food, there’s no reason to come back. She sets out to live permanently in a field away from Damien and his drunken friends in hopes that stolen candy bars are sustenance enough.

When she arrives, however, she finds she’s not the only one who needs the land. Sixteen-year-old J is both tender and strong, but when he sees her plight and starts protecting her, flashes of his own harrowing past begin to surface. Just how deep do his scars run? Are some things impossible to heal from?

Heartbreaking yet hopeful, Hunger Is the Best Sauce is a tale of quiet heroism that explores what it really means to grieve, to heal, and to forgive.

Reviews:Pam Duncan on Amazon wrote:

What an incredible story of two heartbreaking and tragic lives, their healing and their journey. I highly recommend this book!

Seabamirum on Amazon wrote:

This book explores the consequences of abandonment and abuse, and the reader can see how the victims try to work through their problems and continue living. Throughout the book I felt myself growing more attached to the main characters. It can be especially difficult for young men to admit vulnerability, but Michelle was unrelenting at asking pointed questions and digging up J's horrific past. At times it made me want to cringe, as I think she didn't really know what she was doing. However, I think the world would be a better place if everybody had a friend like Michelle, who over time gains courage to bring up real issues and ultimately reveals a big secret she herself had been keeping. It is not healthy to keep the demons of your past (and present) swirling about in your own head!

Mary R on Amazon wrote:

It was great to read. It made you feel the pain that the two characters were feeling, the unselfishness and love for each other and how love healed their hurt. Great book and very refreshing!

Doubleduty on Amazon wrote:

Loved, loved, loved this story! I found I was easily drawn into the plight of the main character. A protector emerges who himself is broken, yet is able to move beyond his own harrowing past to serve her. Great depictions of post-traumatic stress responses by both characters genuinely convey the depths of their wounds. Even so, the author is able to carve out a path to hope in the midst of the darkness. Very well done!

Cheryl Lemaire on Amazon wrote:

When I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. The characters became real to me, and I wanted to find out what would happen next to them. I especially love that the book offers a message of hope.

Teenie Carter on Amazon wrote:

I thought your book was an excellent read for all ages, in particular, for the high school level. Required reading, yes! Teens are invited to take a look at abuse in its rawness and given options on how to survive in a cruel world. Ms. Coe did a good job taking her reader in the life of two young people who had no where else to turn but each other. Recommend distribution at the high school level.

Wildflower on Amazon wrote:

Orphaned when her parents are killed in an automobile accident, 15-year-old Michelle is dependent on her older brother, Damien, for her survival. However, when Damien and his friends turn to alcohol to cope with their empty lives, she's forced to flee from what has become a dangerous situation. In desperation, Michelle seeks shelter on an abandoned property at the edge of town, only to discover someone else camping on 'her' land. Will J prove to be an ally or merely another threat?

This YA novel deals with abusive situations and the struggle to rise above them.
I enjoyed this story of tragedy, love, forgiveness and redemption.