A cute title and a cute cover? I’m intrigued. 👀 I have been on a major contemporary reading spree lately, and The Art of French Cooking *ahem I mean French Kissing* was one that I knew I needed to pick up. 💖 However, while the premise and plot had major potential, it lacked that special spark that made me fall in love.
THE ART OF FRENCH
COOKING KISSING by Brianna R. Shrum
PUBLISHED BY Sky Pony on June 5th, 2018
Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom’s warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in Chopped style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.
After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they’re involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid’s constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn’t necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.
What I Loved 💘
- The beginning is super captivating, and I was instantly engrossed in the story. ✏ The writing is very simple and direct which makes it easy to follow.
- I loved the storyline—a YA romance meets a cutthroat cooking competition. 🍴 We have the structure of Chopped meeting the intensity of Cutthroat Kitchen sprinkled with the cuteness of Cupcake Wars.
- The food descriptions are really satisfying. You’ll be hungry right from the first page. I wanted to start snacking the second I started reading, and I loved the descriptions of Carter cooking because it was a major throwback for seven-year-old Tiffany who wanted to be a chef.
- THAT COVER…I adore it. 😍
What I Didn’t Love 💔
- It’s a cutthroat cooking competition with teenagers 🔪 so we can expect some sneakiness to make the plot more interesting, but all the sabotage became juvenile and repetitive very fast. At first, it was captivating and made everything more intense but eventually, it became more frustrating than interesting.
- There is almost no mention of French cooking??? (I mean it’s crossed out in the title, but I still expected some French cuisine) 🤷♀️
- The story itself isn’t well-paced. Although I loved the beginning of the story, the middle and ending were too jumbled. We would fly through 3-4 competition tasks with no explanation, but I would’ve preferred the author just focusing on a few big missions that were better developed.
- Towards the middle of the book, everything becomes super predictable—you’ll know how everything is going to play out. (And not the good kind of predictable)
Overall, the storyline had the potential be as heartwarming as a Kasie West or Morgan Matson novel, but it needed a bit more development and refining. 😕 While it started off very promising, I found myself skimming the pages towards the end. I would still recommend this book, but personally, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.