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Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Synopsis: Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?

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.

Review: Pizza, Love and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous is a fun and easy read. Sophie is extremely down to earth, smart, honest and overall likable. I thought the story's concept was original and I enjoyed reading it from font to back. It was interesting reading about the procedures of the reality cook show and the pressure that Sophie, Shelby and Stan were under. It came off as realistic yet funny. I loved the ending and I thought it was a great finish to the story. I couldn't have asked for a better one. One of my favorite aspects about this story was the recipes included between some of the chapters. I think it added a very homey feeling to the overall book and it fit well the overall theme of the book. I can't wait to try them especially Sophie's pork chops recipe. It probably didn't help that I read this before dinner! I was so hungry by the end! I really loved the detail throughout the book and I felt that the author was well informed about the art of cooking. From how to chop and dice onions to cooking eggs benedict I really felt a connection with Sophie's challenges. It made me laugh that Sophie and several of the other contestants were dreading baking. I for one think it's much harder than cooking an entree, so that really hit home with me. Overall, I found the story enjoyable and the characters were fun, even the ones that weren't so nice. My only complaint would be I wish there would've been some more drama in between the challenges, ironically what the judges were aiming for.

More about the author:
Kathryn Williams

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