A Taste for Love is a cute romantic comedy about baking competitions, second chances, and honesty. I had heard absolutely nothing about it maybe being a retelling, but by the end I was feeling the Pride and Prejudice vibes so strongly! I was reading A Taste for Love before bed time and ended up enjoying relaxing to it. Keep reading this book review to find out how I didn’t realize this was a retelling till the end.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: racism, restrictive eating
I was SO ready for a cute romcom about cooking, family, and love. And A Taste for Love delivers. I loved the core of family within this story – parents with the best of intentions, even though we hate it. Or siblings who don’t understand the pressure. A Taste for Love is mouthwatering! I need to go on a food tour immediately. Yen infuses this Pride and Prejudice inspired story with plenty of charm, mentions of “Doctor Who”, and conversations about racist microaggressions.
While I totally didn’t catch on until 2/3 of the book through that this takes inspiration from Pride and Prejudice, you definitely don’t need to read the original at all. In fact I think it will go past a lot of readers as well because I really had no clue until then. I enjoyed how A Taste for Love is so committed to delivering endearing characters. The pressure from her mother, the knowing glances from her father, and the shared moments with her sister. It’s one of those feel good romcoms which would make a perfect beach read.