About The Book
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. Both high school senior Liza Yang and her mother share a love and talent for baking but disagree on the subject of dating, especially when Mrs. Yang turns her annual baking contest into a matchmaking scheme.
This book sounded like a cute YA contemporary with a baking element. The main character, Liza, is an Asian-American teenager that has been compared to her older sister Jeanie for years. Her sister is a New York model and college student, while Liza, on the other hand, is a typical teenage girl with dreams of being a baker.
Liza is a respectable main character that doesn’t want to be controlled by her parents, mainly her mother. I understood Liza’s annoyance with her mothers constant need to set her up with upstanding Asian boys, and slight digs at her appearance and choices. The books take on Asian parents is similar to how they are portrayed in Claire Ahn’s ‘I Guess I Live Here Now’, which I have also reviewed. Liza’s mother is constantly telling her that she needs to focus on school, and trying to find her a suitable Asian boy to marry. She even goes so far as to tell her daughter that ‘true love’, so to speak, is a work of fiction.
I wasn’t a fan of how her mother treated her. She put her daughter down, and had no real faith in her. She even body-shamed her, which is not acceptable for anyone, especially a parent, to do. However, she did this all under the pretense that she was just trying to help, and was worried about her daughter’s future. On the flip-side, Liza’s father was kind, and understood Liza’s desire to figure out her own path, which was a nice contrast to her mother.
Although Liza was the main focus of the story, there were many other characters that played a big part within the plot. Her sister, Jeanie, was her confidant, and had her own struggles that Liza was a bit too blind to see. Her best friend, Grace, was a find character, but I felt as though her relationship plot happened way too fast.
“Maybe because I don’t want the guy I date to sound like a walking college application.”
I liked the addition of Liza’s friend Sara, since she tended to put her foot in her mouth a lot. She said a lot of ignorant things about Asian culture, but she acknowledged her fault, and even made it a point to say that her words never come out right. It is a very honest portrayal of a person that might say insensitive things, but without malicious intentions.
There is a baking contest in the book, but I felt that not only did the contest happen rather far into the book, it was way too long. Truthfully, the contest wasn’t as engaging as I hoped it would be, but maybe I would have felt differently if it had been more of a focus from the start.
The romance was good, but not my favorite, since I was hoping for an enemies-to-lovers type of story. It was more of an accidental encounter turned more. And even though somebody leaves a bad first impression, they deserve a second chance. Although, I didn’t think Liza and James had the greatest chemistry, and he did some frustrating things throughout the book.
James claimed to like Liza, but was willing to turn on her without even an explanation, which rubbed me the wrong way. He was older than her, but immature, and should have had the guts to talk to her before walking away.
Overall, the plot was interesting enough, and the writing was nice. My biggest problem was that I didn’t have the urge to pick the book up. I can usually finish contemporaries fairly quick, but there was just something about this book that didn’t grip me. I found that I was having to force myself to read it, which doesn’t make for a good reading experience. The moral of the story, no pun intended, is that this book just wasn’t for me.
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Until The Next Chapter,
Related Posts: I Guess I Live Here Now // Book Review