Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 304 pages
Author: Jennifer Yen
Release Date: February 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking Show, A Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao.
To her friends, high school senior Liza Yang is nearly perfect. Smart, kind, and pretty, she dreams big and never shies away from a challenge. But to her mom, Liza is anything but. Compared to her older sister Jeannie, Liza is stubborn, rebellious, and worst of all, determined to push back against all of Mrs. Yang’s traditional values, especially when it comes to dating.
The one thing mother and daughter do agree on is their love of baking. Mrs. Yang is the owner of Houston’s popular Yin & Yang Bakery. With college just around the corner, Liza agrees to help out at the bakery’s annual junior competition to prove to her mom that she’s more than her rebellious tendencies once and for all. But when Liza arrives on the first day of the bake-off, she realizes there’s a catch: all of the contestants are young Asian American men her mother has handpicked for Liza to date.
The bachelorette situation Liza has found herself in is made even worse when she happens to be grudgingly attracted to one of the contestants; the stoic, impenetrable, annoyingly hot James Wong. As she battles against her feelings for James, and for her mother’s approval, Liza begins to realize there’s no tried and true recipe for love.
I read this in about a day (via audio book). I loved the fast pace and all of the baking. It made me want to whip out my mixer and try out new recipes. The GBBO allusions were clear, but the addition of the “dating pool” idea was humorous.
The other side plots were a biiiiit much. I felt like they added extreme levels of drama and took away from the romance. I didn’t know where I was supposed to see the focus. There were many side stories that didn’t truly affect the main character or even necessarily the love interest. All of this took me out of the novel multiple times.
What I got of the romance was pretty cute. It was a very little enemies to lovers, but once misunderstandings were put aside I thought Liza and James were adorable. I would have really loved to see even more of them and have the story feel like it was directed at them.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Contemporary Romance
- Language: a little
- Romance: kisses
- Trigger/Content Warnings: body shaming, racism, sexual assault mentioned, cheating