young adult book reviews & more

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

Sophie Nicolaides has always dreamed of being a chef. As much as she loves Taverna Ristorante, her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, and particularly getting to help out in the kitchen, she also wants to be bigger than that and to eventually have her own restaurant. But when her best friend Alex tries to convince her to audition for Teen Test Kitchen, a new reality cooking show, as a way to jumpstart her culinary career, Sophie isn’t so sure. She doesn’t think that being filmed constantly and subjected to who-knows-how-harsh critiques isn’t really for her, but the prize of a full scholarship to one of the best culinary schools in the country is a tough opportunity to pass up. Soon, Sophie finds herself in Napa, California working and competing with her fellow teen contestants as they cook their way through a summer of drama and good food. If Sophie can weather this through and find a way to be true to herself, both as a girl and as a chef, then this just might be the best summer of her life.

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous is a sweet, quick, and enjoyable contemporary read about life, love, and cooking. I think what made me like this story the most was a combination of Sophie’s strong voice and Williams’ wonderful writing. Even the least culinary-inclined reader is sure to be drawn in by Sophie’s passion for cooking and her desire to, if not be the best, at least do things right. The fact that Williams really knows how to tell a story helps keep everything moving along nicely with a perfect mix of intrigue, on-camera pressure, culinary near-fiascos, and drama of all types. Every new development in the story felt very natural, which greatly helped the plot flow smoothly from the very beginning to the end. In all, Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous is a perfectly charming contemporary story sure to satisfy the palate of all readers.

Fans of Williams’ earlier young adult novels, including The Debutante and The Lost Summer, will not want to miss her latest, Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous, nor will readers who also enjoyed The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski and Breakfast at Bloomingdale’s by Kristen Kemp.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from publisher Macmillan

2 munch(es) :

Chey said...

Great review! This book just sounds so cute! I can't wait to read it. :)

fakesteph said...

This one looks so freaking cute. I think I'm going to read it then next time I'm having a bad day and need some cheering up.

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