The novel HOT, SOUR, SALTY, SWEET all takes place in one day - Ana Shen's eight grade graduation day. Ana is salutatorian of her class and just as she starts her graduation speech, something very unexpected happens and the rest of the ceremoney is canceled. But Ana's problems are just beginning.
Ana's father is Chinese American and her mother is African American. The two sets of grandparents don't get along very well and always compete for Ana's attention. When the whole family takes over the kitchen to cook for Ana's graduation party, it's a recipe for disaster. Especially since her arch rival shows up unexpectedly, the boy she's crushing on comes with his bigoted father, and her grandmothers are ready to slug it out. Still the hot, sour, salty, and sweet meal shows Ana that different flavors and different heritages can blend together perfectly.