Monday, July 18, 2011

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler

Title: Scrambled Eggs at Midnight
Author: Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: May 4, 2006
Date Read: July 8 - 9, 2011
Rating: 4/5 stars 


Calliope (Cal to her friends) wants nothing more than to stay put, to stop traveling cross-country with her mother, sleeping in a tent, abandoning all belongings whenever they pull up with stakes. Eliot misses the happy times he left behind when his father decided to make a business out of spreading the gospel. When Cal and Eliot meet by chance in the mountains of North Carolina, they feel an immediate connection.

Against the quirky backdrops of a Christian fat camp and a Renaissance Faire, Cal struggles with her mother’s waning interest in parenting, while Eliot wrestles with his father’s misplaced faith. Cal and Eliot’s bond grows stronger as they face such challenges as a missing camper, a flood, and a self-absorbed jouster who has his eye on Cal’s mom. Will Cal and Eliot find a safe home in each other? Or is their relationship destined to be short-lived?

This smart novel, featuring unforgettable characters, sparkling dialogue, colorful settings, and even a few recipes, is as funny as it is romantic.
Lately I've been very critical and judgmental of the books I read, expecting above-and-beyond creativity and originality in both plot and character. I've been very cynical towards melodramatic and insta-love romances and have tried to steer clear of any plain old contemporary romances. Scrambled Eggs at Midnight swooped right in and melted my stubborn heart. It's disappointing to think that because this was published 5 years ago, people might never read this.

I absolutely fell in love with Cal and Eliot. Two (stereotypically) broken, angsty teenagers who catch each other's eyes one day at a street corner end up being the best thing that ever happened to each other. Their old-fashioned romance of no technology, throwing rocks at windows, chaste kisses and holding hands made me want to believe in true love. With beautiful written run-on sentences usually reserved by Laurie Halse Anderson, Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler created the perfect summer romance story that makes your heart swell. 

There were so many things in this book that I would normally not like: insta-love, yet another poor parenting book, religious references, overly emotional romance. But I totally forgot about all of them until I was done reading and even then, it didn't really matter anymore. While I would love to read a book where two characters meet and get to know each other before falling in love, and maybe for once someone could have a supportive and caring parent, I thought that Scrambled Eggs at Midnight was fine just the way it was.

Quote: "Dreams are like that: they go in and out of memories and scenes, but they are never real. They're never real, and I hate them because they aren't."

Recommended: Rosie & Skate (Beth Ann Bauman), Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan), The Truth About Forever (Sarah Dessen)


  1. I know what you mean about books published several years ago not being read any more! It's a shame because there are some little known gems out there, but if they don't sell big then they're usually off the shelves far too soon.

    Also yes, the poor parenting thing. Judging by contemp YA you'd think that parents never pay any attention to their teens' lives! Sometimes when I read a book I have trouble remembering if the teen even *has* parents because they appear so infrequently.

  2. This book sounds great! I haven't heard of it before, but I will definitely need to check it out! Thanks for sharing your review, and for putting it on my radar!

  3. Ooh, this one sounds so good! I've actually read a few books by Heather and Brad before and really enjoyed them, so I don't why I haven't read this one yet. I guess I'll have to change that. Thanks for the review! By the way, have you read their other book Dream Factory? It's a really good book as well!

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  5. Okay, you've convinced me. I'm totally reading this book! This is such a great review!!


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