Title : A Taste for Love
Author : Jennifer Yen
Genre : YA Contemporary
Release Date : February 2nd, 2021
Publisher : Razorbill
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.
When I heard that Jennifer Yen is going to write a Pride and Prejudice retelling, I was so ecstatic. I know there are A LOT of Pride & Prejudice retelling out there, but I’m still excited for it because a) the MC is Asian!!, b) it features baking, and c) how can you NOT be excited for a Pride & Prejudice retelling? Anyway, thanks to the publisher, I got an early copies of it and I’m happy to say that A Taste for Love is as good as I imagined.
A Taste for Love follows Liza Yang, a baker with the strictest of strict mother who only wants her to date “good Asian boy”. Her mother constantly set Liza up with her friends’s son, but Liza has become some sort of master of dodging the set up. Until one day, when she helps her mom in her annual baking contest and it turns out all the participants are boys that check her mother’s box. Also not helping was the fact that she sort of hate-attracted with one of the contestant, James Wong.
Since A Taste for Love is a Pride & Prejudice retelling, almost all the characters and the plot bore some resemblances to the original book. There’s one thing that I didn’t expect from this book though, and it’s the rom-com vibes. There were some scenes that’s just didn’t make sense, just like how some of the scenes in rom-com movies didn’t. Not that I’m complaining though, since it made the book more fun. Along with pop culture references and over-the-top jokes, this book successfully made me laugh several times.
Another thing that I appreciate in this book is how it’s truly made for teens and young adult. Sometimes when I read a book with teen characters, I get the feeling that they act older, which made me picture them as someone in their 20s and not the usual 16-18 (not that teen was supposed to act a certain way, but I hope you get what I mean). But that’s not the case with this book. I can easily pictures all these characters as a teenager in a high school. From being obsessed with bubble tea to popular meme references, I think a lot of teenager or young adult can relate with the characters in this book, especially Asian teens.
Even if, in my opinion, A Taste for Love wasn’t the best Pride and Prejudice retelling I’ve ever read (it’s not bad, it’s just I didn’t get the ~feels~ that I usually get when I read a P&P retelling. This is not an issue though), it’s still a fun and engaging book that I highly recommend. If you’re looking for a book with relatable teen characters, lots of baking, and a bit of hate-to-love romance, do try A Taste for Love!
I receive an ARC in exchange of honest review from the publisher. Thank you Razorbill for the book!