Title: A Taste for Love
Author: Jennifer Yen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: February 2, 2021
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.
Liza Yang helps out at her family’s restaurant and bakery, Yin and Yang. Her mother holds a competition every year for young bakers, with the prize of a scholarship. Mrs. Yang is eager to find husbands for her daughters. Her oldest daughter, Jeannie, is attending school in New York and is working as a fashion model. Liza has always been the rebellious daughter who dated American boys, rather than Asian boys. Liza is given the opportunity to help her mom judge the baking competition for the first time, but as soon as she sees the contestants, she realizes this year’s competition has been set up as a dating competition for her. Each of the contestants is an eligible Asian teen boy. One of the contestants is James, who has already gotten off on the wrong foot with Liza. Despite that, and even though Mrs. Yang approves of him, Liza can’t help but be attracted to James.
I’ve been binge watching the Great British Bake Off in the last few months, so this book was on trend for me. The competition that Mrs. Yang holds in the story is very similar to that baking competition. There was even an episode of the Bake Off that was referenced in the book that I watched a few days ago. The characters made a wide variety of baked goods in this story. I had to look up some that I had never heard of but they all sound delicious so I’ll have to try them!
This book also had me hooked when I realized it was a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. There have been so many retellings that it’s hard to get an original story. This one definitely worked for me. I really enjoyed this story because it wasn’t an exact copy of Pride and Prejudice. Some of the plot points were rearranged, but it followed the general story of the Jane Austen classic.
This was such a fun story. I recommend having sweet treats on hand while reading it!
Thank you Razorbill for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Have you read A Taste for Love? What did you think of it?