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Forks, Knives, and Spoons
There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York’s father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond. Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys —from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks—all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves—and not to settle in love or life.
DeCesare’s charming debut novel (after her Naked Parenting guides) follows two college roommates who test their dating theories. In 1988, Amy York is excited for a new chapter of her life to begin at Syracuse University. There, she bonds with her roommate, Veronica Warren, and the two balance studying, partying, and shared trips back home. As for boys, Amy has come prepared with “the list,” a set of criteria for her ideal future husband, along with the Utensil Classification System, adapted from advice from her dad (“There are three types of guys: forks, knives, and spoons”). The UCS comes in handy as Amy, Veronica, and their friends encounter plenty of forks (the guys you want to avoid), knives (the guys you want to keep), and spoons (the guys who will avoid you) along the way. Amy is quick to spread the UCS message around, but both young women come to learn there’s more to life than labels. Throughout college and beyond, Amy and Veronica’s friendship sees them through various obstacles, and their bond comes through strongly on the page. While the book’s lessons of self-acceptance verge on self-help tropes, DeCesare makes the trip consistently pleasant. (Self-published)
Chick Lit Plus

Talk about a book I could not put down. My Kindle was coming everywhere with me while I was reading Forks, Knives and Spoons. Even while waiting in line at a drive through, I pulled out my Kindle to keep reading. I loved the story of a college friendship between two women, their relationships, and their life after college. The early 90s nostalgia had me smiling as well, and if you’re a 90s child, I bet you’ll get a few throwback laughs as well. I was surprised to see this is Leah DeCesare’s debut novel, as it was extremely well-written, well-organized and kept me hooked from the first page to the last. I highly recommend you add this to your reading list! 5 stars

Crossroads Reviews

This was AWESOME

Forks, Knives, and Spoons was such a great read. The characters in this book were so likable and the friendships in this book were written very realistically. The time period in this book was really interesting to read in. The pacing of this book was perfect and really moved the story along. The ending may seem too easy for some people but I found it to be perfect for this story. Overall this was a great read and I would absolutely recommend this to everyone.


Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

This book was such a fun read.  I really loved it.  It is one of those reads that has a ton of heart.  It is one of those reads that you cannot wait to get wrapped up in.  I cannot help but to look back at my younger years with both wonder and fondness because De Cesare captures what is was like to live through that time with beautiful perfection.  Ever since I finished this book I am noticing forks, knives and spoons everywhere!  You want to add this book to your to be read pile and I am certain that you will love it as much as I did.  A home run of a read and a perfect book club pick.

Pop Sugar

We can't get enough of the Archie Comics spinoff Riverdale, and we're guessing you can't either. With its upcoming Winter hiatus on the horizon, we've put together this list of books we think fans of the smash series will love because we can always use more drama-filled, suspenseful high school stories.

Roumani's Books

If this book sounds a little quirky, it’s because it is, or was now that I’ve finished it. The premise of the book caught my attention quickly, and seeing the cover, I thought it was a book that combined food and love. Two things I love the most.


But I was wrong and I’m glad.


One of the things I loved the most about this book was that although the book covered a vast amount of years, it gave you a chapter or a few chapters of the important stuff you needed and then jumped to the next big milestone. Nothing was dragged out and beaten to death, but the jumps were seamless and didn’t leave you scratching your head going, “What the frick happened between these two points?”


The characters are fully developed and while in the beginning, it felt like a YA book written about adult topics, it lent itself to see the full progression of the characters from beginning to end.

Everybody’s going to be all like “I totally guessed the ending from a mile away, blahblahblah,” but the ending is just part of the ENDING. Ya get it? No? Okay, let’s try this. This is a book about the progression of the three (yes I said three) main characters, Amy, Veronica, AND Jenny. It’s about three girls discovering that while having a boyfriend/fiancé/ husband is sometimes great, you need to be able to stand on your own and be yourself before you let anyone fill in that space for you.


Forks,Knives, and Spoons was a fantastic read about women discovering their self-worth, staying true to themselves, and navigating men. It’s funny, it’s sometimes sad, but in the end it’s fulfilling. This is the book if you care about character journeys and the nitty gritty about finding love.

Suzy Approved Books

Amy York is leaving her Connecticut home to begin her freshman year at college. Her father provides her with light advice on choosing a life partner before she leaves.  One of his hopes is that she selects a boyfriend that will not distract her from the dream she has of becoming a journalist. His advice classifies men into three types of utensils: forks, knives, and spoons.  Amy takes this advice to heart, providing her with a guide to assess the male population at college and beyond.

Amy and Veronica meet at Syracuse University and quickly become best friends. Amy passes along her father’s wisdom to her friends and they all put it to use. It justifies tough breakups, why a relationship went sour, or just to size up someone at a party. The book takes us through the two friends college journeys as they delve through relationships, skepticisms, spring breaks and formals. Amy leaves school with a boyfriend she hopes to marry while Veronica is still looking for that perfect utensil.

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Womanly Woman

There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York’s father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond.

Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys―from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks―all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves―and not to settle in love or life.

Local author publishes romantic novel

EAST GREENWICH- According to Amy York, there are three types of men: forks knives and spoons. Although she is a fictional character, the concept of separating men into categories of cutlery is one that is explored fully in East Greenwich author Leah DeCesare’s novel, ‘Forks, Knives and Spoons.’

The novel is set back in the late 80’s at Syracuse University, through the eyes of a college freshman Amy York, who is described by DeCesare as being an optimistic and romantic character. While starting her life in college, Amy takes with her the wise words from her father who came up with the “Utensil Classification System,” (UCS) and shared that advice with her before she left for college.

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A Delicious Debut From a Local Author

Leah DeCesare's Forks, Knives and Spoons is a love story for a pre-Tinder worldCheck out Leah DeCesare's debut novel, Forks, Knives and SpoonsBy Kemill LogartaIn today’s technology driven world, many may have forgotten what dating was like in the pre-Tinder ‘80s. Some don’t even have a clue. East Greenwich author Leah DeCesare takes readers back to those times with her debut novel Forks, Knives and Spoons. Inspired by advice given to her by her father, she’ll have you on an emotional rollercoaster you won’t want to get off of. Author of Waiting to Surface, Emily Listfield says, “Leah DeCesare brings humor, warmth and wit to the timeless themes of female friendship, looking for love in all the wrong (and right!) places and the fine art of growing up.”

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Classifying the guys: 'Forks, Knives, and Spoons' is simply 'delectable'

By Tessa Roy

When Leah DeCesare left for college, her father educated her on the three "types" of men she'd encounter; forks, knives, and spoons. The prodding jerks were deemed the "forks," nerds the "spoons," and nice guys with potential the "knives." She brought that lesson with her to Syracuse University, and it never left her mind.
The "Utensil Classification System" (or UCS) grew "very organically" at Syracuse when she attended, DeCesare said. If men didn't fit into one of the basic categories, they'd be put into subcategories like "steak knives," "slotted spoons," "sporks," or "butter knives." The utensil comparisons became a normal part of everyday conversation for DeCesare and her floor mates.
"They would meet somebody and go 'oh, he's such a fork,'" she recalled.
Years later, DeCesare made the ever-evolving UCS the groundwork for her novel Forks, Knives, and Spoons, set for release in April 2017. Early reviews praise the book, with author and New York Times Well Blog columnist Dawn Lerman calling it full of "Imagination, highly relatable characters, and witty dialogue," and author Nicole Waggoner describing DeCesare's writing as "simply delectable."

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Debut Novelist Leah DeCesare Talks about Making the Switch from Nonfiction to Fi

Q. So I have to ask: in this novel, your character Amy goes off to college and tries to convince her friend Veronica that they should use the “Utensil Classification System” as a guide to finding a suitable boyfriend. Did your father give you this guide when you left home, like Amy’s gave it to her? Do you believe the UCS holds true?

A. That idea of labeling guys as forks, knives, and spoons is the nugget from real life that I spun the rest of the story from. The August before I left for Syracuse, out to dinner with my parents, my dad spontaneously gave me this last ditch talk about guys.

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Forks, Knives, Spoons: An Interview with Leah DeCesare

I met Leah DeCesare where I tend to meet many new bookish friends—at an author talk hosted by Robin Kall, host of Reading with Robin. This event, hosted in the historic Casino at Roger Williams Park, included an interview with novelist Jane Green and an absolutely delicious meal that came right out of Jane’s wonderful cookbook, Good Taste: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Family and Friends.

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Husband-Hunting On Campus? Still a Thing or Dying Trend?

My parents met their freshman year of college. In their day, that was pretty typical.  It was even something of an expectation, especially for women: you go to college, you meet your husband — the pillar of your future.

By the late 80s and early 90s when I was a co-ed, the “MRS” degree was no longer an acceptable goal.  We women were at school to earn our degrees, and ultimately to pursue a career. If we happened to meet Mr. Right while we were there, great. But it was not at the top of our list.

At least not explicitly. The fact that my own parents met in college planted a subconscious seed that I might meet my future husband on campus.  Freshman year, sophomore year, then at last senior year came and went, all without a would-be hubby.

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Is it ever to late to dream a new life? Novelist Leah DeCesare says no

'm so happy to host novelist Leah DeCesare here today to talk about her debut novel, Forks, Knives and Spoons. Thank you so, so much, Leah for encouraging everyone to follow their dreams.


If you think it’s too late to go for your dream, you’re wrong. I took the circuitous path to write FORKS, KNIVES, AND SPOONS but I can now proudly say, I am a debut novelist.


I mulled and pondered how to take the concept of labeling guys as forks, knives, and spoons and turn it into a story for literally decades before ever writing more than a few notes.

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Sarah Scoop

Leah DeCesare is an author whose personal experiences have been reflected all throughout her writing. Although she is the mastermind behind the insightful Naked Parenting series,  it’s her most recent fiction novel that has shown her true creativity.

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Leah and learn more about her debut novel, her personal writing process, and how her family has inspired her to follow her dreams. Check out the interview below!

Syracuse alumna pens a new novel with a lot of heart: CNY books and authors

Adventures in romance on the Syracuse University campus

Leah DeCesare has worked in public relations, as a party planner, a doula, an early parenting educator, and a mom of three, but it's writing that has captured her heart the longest. "From the time I was five, I wrote stories and poems, and even sent a few chapters of a book to a Big Five publisher when I was 10 years old," the Syracuse University alumna says.

While DeCesare has been putting her writing skills to good use in the non-fiction world of parenting columns and press releases, "Forks, Knives, and Spoons: A Novel" is her fiction debut.

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