If you can grill it, smoke it, or fry it, Nora Henderson knows all about it. She’s been basting baby back ribs and pulling pork at her father’s barbeque joint since she was tall enough to reach the counter. When she’s accepted to Taste Test, a reality-television teen cooking competition, Nora can’t wait to leave her humble hometown behind, even if it means saying good-bye to her dad and her best friend, Billy. Once she’s on set, run-ins with her high-society roommate and the maddeningly handsome—not to mention talented—son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, mean Nora must work even harder to prove herself. But as mysterious accidents plague the kitchen arena, protecting her heart from one annoyingly charming fellow contestant in particular becomes the least of her concerns. Someone is conducting real-life eliminations, and if Nora doesn’t figure out who, she could be next to get chopped for good.
Blurb obtained through Goodreads.
I felt like this story was really cute, but didn’t really come out to much. In terms of books about teens in cooking tv shows, I much rather prefer Kathryn William’s PIZZA, LOVE AND OTHER STUFF THAT MADE ME FAMOUS. I felt like that was a much more mature, developed book than TASTE TEST.
There’s a lot of reasons behind why I didn’t like TASTE TEST, a major one being that Nora and Christian’s rivalry and accidents really make up a lot of the book and after all that–the relationship seemed somewhat forced. Not only that, but what ended up happening with Billy? I didn’t really understand that, and if I understand it correctly–the ending was pretty predictable.
Then there’s Nora and Christian, who are really very annoying at times–especially Nora. I wish that I could’ve gotten to like her more, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. In my mind, Sophie was much more reasonable, kind and more talented as a chef.
Which brings me to the food, which was skipped by a little bit more than I would have liked in this story. I feel like it would’ve been really fun to look at all the different recipes of this story like it is with a lot of the other cooking fiction I’ve read. I was disappointed to see that there wasn’t much.
All in all, 3 stars. I wish it could’ve been more, but for what it was I did have fun with this story and some parts of it really made me smile. For more great food fiction, click here!
pg count for the hardback: 352