Published by Disney-Hyperion on November 27, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. . . .
Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent's school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn't all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.
Henry Yi grew up in his dad's restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent's school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie's growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away.
Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs.
Perfect for lovers of Chopped Teen Tournament and Kids Baking Championship, as well as anyone who dreams of a romantic trip to France, Love la Mode follows Rosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately, with each other.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
As soon as I saw Love a la Mode, I was here for it. Two teens falling in love at cooking school in Paris? YES, PLEASE. I’m happy to say this one didn’t disappoint!
I’ve been describing this as a more diverse, less problematic version of Anna and the French Kiss, but with endless delicious food descriptions. Basically, the perfect YA contemporary, tbh. In Love a la Mode, we follow two perspectives: there’s Rosie, an American from a small Ohio town who juggles her love of baking with taking care of her mom and siblings; then there’s Henry, a Chicago native who grew up in the kitchen of his father’s Korean restaurant. Both of them have been accepted to famous Chef Denis Laurent’s elite cooking school in Paris.
Of course, the setting was wonderful and different and the perfect backdrop for a romance, but what really cemented my enjoyment of this book was the cast of characters! The school is home to students from all around the world, from all different backgrounds. I loved how diverse Rosie and Henry’s friend group was– it felt very realistic. We see all of these characters bring their own personal and cultural backgrounds into the kitchen with them, and it was so heartwarming. Yumi and Marquis in particular were favorites, but the entire friend group’s dynamic was so much fun to read. Despite being at an elite cooking school and spending a year of high school in Paris, these are just teenagers being teenagers. I loved it.
The romance was definitely a slow burn, and if you don’t like the miscommunication trope, I would steer clear of this one. Henry and Rosie first meet on the flight to Paris, and their attraction is instant, but it takes virtually the entire book for the two to finally get together. There are endless misunderstandings that could’ve been easily cleared up with some good, old fashioned communication, but honestly, I didn’t even mind. These two characters had so much chemistry, and I was rooting for their romance the whole time. There is a bit of a love triangle, as well, which was just *shrug*. While the romance definitely employs a lot of common YA tropes, these characters are teenagers who make teenage mistakes, and I can’t fault them (or the author) for that.
If you’re an avid watcher of baking and cooking shows like myself, you’re going to love this. All of the descriptions of food and baked goods made me ravenous, and I went to get crepes pretty much immediately after finishing this, haha. I also loved reading about the chefs’ different processes in the kitchen. There was a healthy dose of competition between all the students, which added some high stakes to every day in the kitchen.
Overall, if you’re looking for a cute YA contemporary that is exactly what it claims to be– fluffy romance between two teenage chefs studying in Paris– I can’t recommend Love a la Mode highly enough!
Have you read Love a la Mode? If so, let’s discuss below! What’s your favorite baked good?