Taste Test by Kelly Fiore
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository
Summary: 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.
With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.
The Good: This story takes you on the journey of a real girl in a reality show. Taste Test is Nora's big chance to win a scholarship and go beyond her father's BBQ joint, Smoke Signals. She is in love with cooking and while she loves her father and what they do, she wants to expand and see what she can really do. Nora has rivals, makes and loses friends and has to decide for herself if she really has what it takes to win this cooking reality show. Christian comes off at the start as an a-hole, no holding back. The twists and turns in this novel are more than enough to keep you glued whether or not you're a foodie and it's great to read a book without the potential couple playing tonsil hockey a few pages in or having sex on the table. You go through a tumultuous romance and whether or not you want things to work out, these characters don't leave you disappointed. The secondary characters shine as well and what is a reality show without tell alls and confessions. You get those as well as the producers work hard to get the juicy bits from the contests. Oh and did I tell you I'm not a fan of reality shows yet this book had me hooked
The Bad: There are times when the story drags and that can take away some of it's brilliance. But Taste Test characters will keep you coming back for more. Where this book falls in places in story, it makes up for with captivating characters who pull at your heart and make you love them or hate them. So while the book is almost excellent, the parts where the story wasn't enticing enough had to be saved by attachment to the characters and how they'd end up.
My Verdict: I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone. I'm not a fan of reality shows but this book has me hooked. Proving you can write a great book within a reality show without killing readership with all the 'reality'.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Thanks for your Support
Last Friday I wrote a post Getting Personal: Bad News about being sick and having to postpone the release of Sacrifice HER until 2014. So many of you came by and offered prayers and well wishes, it was almost overwhelming to see all who were hoping for my recovery and condolences about having to delay my novella. While I'm trying to proportion my time and wait until I can get the tests done so I can find the source, I must thank all who took the time to offer me support. Sometimes readers wonder if their words are noticed by the blogger/writer. Let me tell you that every last one of you was noticed by me and I'm so grateful to be a part of such a loving community. Thank you and I love you all.
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