Forks, Knives, and Spoons by Leah DeCesare is a charming coming-of-age story about love and growth.
The story follows Amy York as she begins her freshman year of college at Syracuse University in 1988. Before she leaves for college, her father gives her some advice on men and chooses to use utensils as a metaphor. There are three types of guys: forks, knives and spoons. Nerdy guys are spoons, arrogant players are forks and husband-material, datable guys are knives. What starts off as simple advice from her dad, turns into an entire group of women classifying men as utensils. But as Amy navigates college and beyond, she learns that not all the guys can fit into a set utensil classification system. For more about the synopsis, click here.
While the book starts with Amy, I would say that she shares main character duties with her college roommate Veronica. They’re polar opposites in many ways: Amy is the enteral romantic optimist while Veronica is more of a skeptical realist. Amy wholeheartedly believes in the Utensil Classification System while Veronica has her doubts. Still, though, the women develop a strong friendship that lasts beyond college. I really felt that the characters were relatable and human. You might see some of yourself in one of them and it will probably remind of your own friendships, at least it did for me!
Since we first meet them in college, we see plenty of character growth and development throughout the novel. They go through first loves, heartaches, moving to the city and first-jobs together. No matter what, they are always there for each other. It’s an endearing friendship.
The ’80s and ’90s
I love that this book was set in the ’80s and ’90s! There’s just something about that era, it really does seem like a simpler time. Throughout the story, I kept thinking about how some issues or miscommunication could have been resolved with smartphones, it’s just funny how much we take that for granted now since we’re all so used to technology. There’s also plenty of vivid descriptions of the clothes, the hair, the music of that era, too. You’ll definitely feel like you’re transported back to it. I also feel that the era also lends itself to an innocence as well and is one reason why Amy believes life will be like a romantic comedy, which she eventually learns that it’s much more complicated than that.
Amy meets Andrew in college and he helped her during a traumatic experience. While Amy already had a crush on him because he’s handsome, outgoing, intelligent—he’s that guy—she begins to really rely on him after that event. She decides that Andrew is her steak knife (the best utensil of them all).
And because of that she closes herself off a bit to other experiences. She also fails to realize that her other best friend, Matt, is clearly in love with her. She never considered him as a romantic partner because she was already with Andrew and she also classified Matt as the nerdy spoon. Still, they grew close and she eventually starts to see cracks in Andrew’s perfect facade. Or should I see the knife starts to dull? And hey, a spoon is useful, too, right?