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.
Content Warnings: Mentions of drunk driving, cheating (not MCs), microagressions, mentions of restrictive eating (sister is a model)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.