Batter Royale

Batter Royale is sitting next to a plate. There is a blueberry scone on the plate. The book cover has a young boy with short red hair wearing a backwards cap and wearing a white chef coat. He's looking over his shoulder at a young black woman who is also in a chef coat. She is carrying a cake with three tiers. There is a flower at each level. They are both smiling. In the background is one more person in white who is carrying a cake of some kind.

Batter Royale by Leisl Adams

Publisher’s Summary: In Leisl Adams’s debut graphic novel, Batter Royale, an aspiring amateur baker enters the toughest, ugliest, most fearsome fight she’ll ever experience: a baking reality show.

When seventeen-year-old small-town waitress Rose impresses a famous food critic, she and her best friend, Fred, find themselves thrust into the tough world of competitive baking. The contest is an intense ten days of bizarre challenges, and the competition is cutthroat. Some competitors are willing to lie, cheat, and sabotage their way to the top. Rose may be in over her head, but she is determined to show that she can become a top chef. Batter Royale is a fish-out-of-water style romantic comedy about climbing out of the circumstances you’re in and making your dreams come true.

My Thoughts: Even before reading, I could see Battle Royale was going to be a treat. The jacket design by Andrea Miller was lovely and the endpapers are pink and cute with strawberries floating here and there. The dedication page even has a smattering of sweet looking little macarons. It’s really not advisable to read this while hungry, but if you do, you’ll be wanting something to munch on pretty quickly.

There aren’t a lot of huge surprises in the story if you read the summary, but sometimes I like a book that I can just read without having to worry about huge twists. There are some shenanigans during the contest, but it never really goes into nail biting territory. I appreciated that the characters had some high stakes things happening, but the book wasn’t stressful to read. It was mostly like a cozy evening watching a baking competition on tv. Of course you might be cheering on a contestant or two and having hopes or small disappointments, but mostly, it’s just fun to watch.

There is a question about whether or not the main characters are interested in each other so there’s a little romantic tension, but again, not super stressful.

The book is open. There is a recipe for blueberry scones. The ingredients have small images next to each. Above the portion of the pages that are visible is a plate that has a scone sitting on it.There are recipes between quite a few of the scenes. I hadn’t anticipated them, but after reading, I knew I would have to try something. I gave the blueberry scones a shot. They had less sugar than I usually use so they definitely weren’t overly sweet which I appreciated. The texture was perfect and they made for a wonderful breakfast.

Recommendation: This is a fun and quick story that anyone could enjoy especially if they lean toward low-key romance and like the potential for yummy treats.

True North Podcast interview with Leisl Adams

Publisher: Abrams
Pages: 234
Review copy: Public library
Availability: On shelves now