cover image The Final Ingredient: A Creeptown Horror

The Final Ingredient: A Creeptown Horror

Scott Charles. Yellow Morning, $2.99 e-book (216p) ISBN 978-1-73615-211-9

Twelve-year-old Tammy Saris’s love for baking is no secret: her most fervent wish is that her cooking channel, TammyBakes, will go viral, providing her the celebrity chef life she desires and feels she deserves. But pranks by the Circle Girls, a local trio of mean girls, result in a strange encounter with an elusive local boy and his mother’s mysterious cookbook, The Book of Lost Foodes, and Tammy stumbles upon a dangerous secret. When the Circle Girls’ videos make Tammy infamous, she finds herself preparing tricks rather than treats for those responsible for her humiliation—but also for those she loves, leading her down an unexpectedly dark path. From nightmare visions to grisly grub, including eyeballs on pizza and slugs in cookies, Charles crafts an immersive world. Self-aware Tammy’s voice and sense of humor at times read older than her age, but the story line and presumed-white characters are middle grade delights, and the cultural references will speak to the book’s intended audience. In this fast-paced horror series starter, revenge has never tasted so sweet, and several twists will keep readers invested until the final word... and beyond. Ages 8–12. (Self-published)