Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Jessie, a baking aficionado, is shy, overweight, and worries too much about what people think. But one summer, a family emergency makes her realize that life is too short to live it on autopilot. Taking her life by the reins, she embarks on a journey that involves ditching the apron for her tank top, as she hip-hop dances her way to new friendships, stronger family ties, and into her school’s most elite club.
For a novella, Choco Chip Hips was able to deliver a significant and touching message despite the length constraints. I have read and loved the author’s two other books, Vintage Love and Once Upon A Player, and in Choco Chip Hips did not disappoint. I loved the themes explored in the story because they dealt with issues relevant to young people nowadays — self-image, peer pressure, and belongingness.
Just like the author’s two other books, the romance in Choco Chip Hips was just right. I don’t even know if I can properly call it as” romance” but I liked how Jessie’s love interest was played. It gave the right amount of kilig and at the same time the story did not dwell too much on the love angle. This, I think, sets the book apart from other mainstream YA stories where the love story is central to the entire plot. Choco Chip Hips was more about Jessie’s story and how she survived her insecurities.
Also, I must not forget to mention that there is a lot of food in this book. Ah, all those marshmallows and cakes. And the metaphors are also on food! Do not read this book on an empty stomach.
Lastly, there is music and dancing. Jessie’s dance routine was so vividly described I can clearly see her dancing hiphop on my head.
Jessie, as the main character, is easy to like. She may not be perfect and she may have made mistakes, but I love how she wants to change herself to become a better person. I particularly like how she readily owns up to her faults and how readily she forgives, including herself. I love that humble spirit in her. If only we can be like Jessie and forgive easily, too.
As I mentioned, I love how the story delivers despite its brevity. Choco Chip Hips is a book that I will willingly recommend to anyone, young and old alike. Jessie’s story tells us that change is not something we wait to happen to us. Change must come from within and it starts with just one step — and sometimes with a little nudge from someone who matters the most to us.
My Rating: 4/5 stars.