Book Reviews

Review: Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez and illustrated by Danica Brine

Chef’s Kiss is a fabulous graphic novel about graduating college and having plans not work out like you thought. I feel like this is becoming even more common than before. Having an idea of what you thought you’d do, only for it to not work out. So what next? Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right? 

When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

What I loved about Chef’s Kiss is not only the gorgeous illustrations, but the way that it felt so utterly relatable. We have these ideas about how our future will be when we graduate. Then we see others living the dreams we all talked about and then we look at our life. We wonder what happened. And Chef’s Kiss presents not only a realistic look at this situation, but also a journey to finding our passions and unexpected joys.

Chef’s Kiss is a celebration of finding our joy. Of realizing that not everything is direct and that the journey can sometimes show us more about who we are. Additionally, Chef’s Kiss is charming from the beginning, it has a PIG! The character relationships are quirky and hilarious. I just want to spend so much time with them! At the same time, I love that Chef’s Kiss delivers romance and conversations about friendship as well as self-discovery.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

If you liked Giant Days, this feels like a fabulous graphic novel to pre-order. It’s a great read for anyone who feels like they’re in the same boat, or about to graduate. At the same time, it’s also just perfect for readers who want a cute story about change and re-evaluating our expectations. Find Chef’s Kiss on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite chef graphic novel?

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