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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ARC Book Review: Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous

LC's Summer Reads will be featured throughout the Summer of 2012-- These are books that I decided would be perfect for on the beach, in the sun, or pretty much wherever I happen to be this summer! Click on the button above to see what other books I plan on reading! :)
Author: Kathryn Williams
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Pages: 240
Read it in: 1 day
Source: ARC from the Publisher

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America's finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame.

Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering--fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.

LC's Take:

Pizza/Love (my lazy way of writing that super-long title) was a really cute and light-hearted read-- definitely perfect for summertime! I knew from the moment I read this plot summary that this was going to be one of those books that is just a lot of fun to read, and puts you in a good mood :)

Sophie Nicolaides has spent pretty much her entire life living and working in her family's Greek/Italian restaurant, surrounded by the sounds of the kitchen and the smells and tastes of amazingly delicious food. Cooking has become her passion, but it isn't until her best friend Alex convinces her to join a teen cooking reality show that Sophie starts thinking she might have a chance at making it big-- maybe one day owning her own 5-star restaurant. As the show progresses, Sophie finds that being a reality star is nothing like she thought it would be, and she has to figure out how to remain true to herself and her family heritage while also making some of the best food anyone has ever tasted to win...

So this book was actually the second one I have read that centers around a popular kind of reality show-- the first one was The Selection by Kiera Cass, which was a spin-off of The Bachelor. I definitely think that Pizza/Love did a much better job at capturing the action and conflict of being on a reality show, and since cooking reality shows are my all-time favorite,  it was a lot of fun to read this kind of plot. The author takes the time to introduce us to all the contestants, and you definitely get a sense of all the crazy drama taking place as the show makes it more and more difficult to compete.

Another fun aspect of Pizza/Love was how it included recipes that were woven throughout the book-- I thought that this just added a unique touch and made you feel more connected to the whole story. 

I guess there were only two major problems that I had while reading-- the first was that I sometimes found the characters and even some of the writing to be slightly generic, even formulaic, in its style and the way things were presented. There wasn't anything blatantly horrible about either the writing or characters, but at the same time there wasn't anything incredibly mind-blowing or truly memorable about them either. The second issue I had was with the love triangle between Sophie, Alex, and Luc, which got to be sort of confusing. You never really had much of an idea of where Sophie stood-- it seemed as though she chose whatever guy was right there in front of her at the moment, and the other one was just conveniently forgotten.

I think maybe some readers could be a little iffy about this book, thinking that maybe it's a little *too* cutesy. I mean with that quirky title and slightly juvenile cover, I sort of knew going into this one that it was going to be targeted to the younger YA audience. However, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised that there was some edginess to the story-- nothing crazy, but the book wasn't so sickeningly sweet that I couldn't stand it or anything, and it didn't come across as being so juvenile that I felt like I was way too old to be reading it either.

Altogether, this was a fun and entertaining book that provided a really nice break from the darker paranormal/supernatural genres I'm reading this summer. I would say that if you are looking for a light, quick read to add into your summer TBR pile, this one is a good choice! But be warned-- you're going to want to eat a lot after finishing it ;)

~Cover Talk~

Totally going along with the cuteness of the story, the cover for Pizza/Love is really fun and adorable and immediately made me go "awww!" when I saw it. I guess the only thing that I don't like so much about this cover is that it does comes across as being a bit juvenile-- it just looks like a book cover for readers much younger than the 16-year old main character, maybe more like the 12-13 range. And I think that could be slightly misleading, because the story itself was definitely a lot of fun to read and isn't targeted only at a young crowd.

LC's Rating:
Totally cute and light-hearted, Pizza/Love was a perfect summertime book that can easily be finished in a day. The writing was slightly bland, but the reality show twist still made this one a lot of fun!

Check it out!


  1. Oh my goodness LUCKY YOU! I'm super excited for this book! Totally want to read it! Glad you liked it!

  2. Spectacular review!!!!!!!!! I love cooking reality shows the most too!!!! I will always remember the day when I met a winner of top chef at a bakery and had probably the best chocolate chip cookie ever.
    I'm glad you were able to enjoy it!!! and I also would feel from the cover that this book is for younger YA, but it is the perfect summer read! The love triangle issue makes sense.

    1. No way I would flip out if I met someone from Top Chef! :P Cooking reality shows are seriously THE most addicting things ever haha...

  3. Lovely review, Lea! The cover for this one is cute, but it didn't exactly catch my eye - until now :D I'm really curious about what this story is about, especially because you enjoyed it, even though the writing wasn't as good as expected :3 yet another contemporary book I've added to my TBR list, LOL.

  4. Hallo,I am also a Italian book blogger, I discover your blog last night is pretty and Always update with fresh information: I'm already become your follower
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  5. Awesome review! I love a good foodie novel.

  6. This does look like a super cute read!!!

    Oh and PS... I FREAKING MISS YOU! Gah! It seems like YESTERDAY that we started blogging dude!!!

  7. Just stopping by to say how lovely your blog is! I'm a new follower :).

    Here's mine: Leah



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