A Taste For Love Cover
Title: A Taste For Love
Author: Heat: PG-12
Genre(s): Romance Contemporary Young Adult
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers
Tags: f-m baking retelling Asian Chinese-American Taiwanese coming of age
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Synopsis from the Creator:

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.

Review: A Taste For Love, by Jennifer Yen

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 2, 2021 10:50:46 AM / by Suzanne

Jennifer Yen's debut, A Taste for Love, is the fluffy YA romance you think it is. It reads like a season of The Great British Baking Show with Pride & Prejudice vibes and some complicated Chinese-American inter-generational dynamics.

While I would have liked a little more emphasis on the romantic arc, Liza's passion for baking was just what I needed in the cold, overwhelming landscape of January 2021. James is, as the blurb says, "annoyingly hot." That's one of the best tropes - "I don't want to be attracted to you but I am and I kind of resent you for it."

A Taste for Love is told entirely through Liza's POV and while she definitely makes some Lizzie Bennett-style assumptions, I never found her annoying or immature. (Can you tell I don't love P&P?) Liza's relationship with her mother is strained, but not quite for the reasons she thinks. Liza wants to pursue baking after high school, but her parents are pushing her to go to college for something "practical" and to date a nice Asian boy. A big part of Liza's arc is the reclamation of her love for baking and through it, her bond with her mother, who runs a baking contest every year. Her sister also plays a big part in the story and I'd love a follow-up book focusing on her.

Overall, this was a fun read with an unexpected baking-sabotage mystery and a sweet romance.

I regret not having any custard buns nearby, however.

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Content Warnings: Mentions of drunk driving, cheating (not MCs), microagressions, mentions of restrictive eating (sister is a model)

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

Topics: review