Book Review: Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

Taste Test
Kelly Fiore
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.
My actual rating is 2.5 apples out of 5 if we're following my blog rating. 

It was okay but not that good. It was just a story following the main character's bout in a cooking competition. Sure there were some intrigues and a lot of drama but nothing whatsoever contributed to the development of the story and especially that of the characters. 

As Nora said, she was the same person as she was before the competition. She was really stubborn and terribly suspicious (this description reminded me of the tape measure in Mary Poppins when the titular character measured Michael), always thinking that everyone's out to get her. Oh yeah, she snagged a boy a long the way, too (sometimes I feel like some of these books feature a love story angle just for the sake of it). One of the contestants, Christian, who also wasn't developed really well and never changed at all. He had this whole relationship angle with his father that could have been explored but no, his father remained a douche bag and Christian will be off chasing Nora to Paris.

There were some parts I like. It wasn't all a narrative. There were sidenotes of the judges' critiques, interviews and most importantly the food. 

Yes, the food. Who could say no to food? Perhaps one redeeming quality of the book. I am really glad there were some recipes at the back and I might try to cook the Blackened Mahimahi with Mango Butter on Monday.

All in all, it was a cute read. Nothing major.
and a half

ETA
Well, I made it. The recipe that was featured at the end of the book? That Blackened Mahimahi with Mango Butter. Only, I used grouper instead of mahimahi. Let me tell you. I am not really into spicy food. So, the mango butter really did its job and my grandmother was going in for seconds and thirds and fourths.
Ayanami Faerudo

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