Title: A Taste for Love
Author: Jennifer Yen
Review copy: Purchased
Availability: On shelves now
Summary: To everyone else, high school senior Liza Yang is practically perfect. Pretty, smart, and well-liked, she’s salutatorian of her class and starting a prestigious university in the fall. To her ultra-traditional Taiwanese mom, however, Liza is stubborn and rebellious, unlike her older sister Jeannie. She won’t even date a proper Asian boy! The only thing mother and daughter agree on is Liza’s talent for baking. With Mrs. Yang’s annual junior baking competition on the horizon, Liza’s determined to prove she’s more than Jeannie’s shadow. If only she knew her mother has plans of her own…
My Review: This was a seriously yummy book in more ways than one. Of course, with the cover and the many, many references to boba tea, I did have to run out and get some to enjoy while I was reading. And then there is the food! So much food is mentioned throughout and of course there is baking galore between the bakery and the competition. Anyone who enjoys reading food related books, and that includes me, will have plenty to enjoy though it may give readers hunger pangs.
The book was also a call out to Pride and Prejudice fans. It opens with an immediate Austen reference, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a mother in possession of great wisdom, must be in want–nay, in need–of a daughter who will listen.” Liza’s mother is definitely aiming to match her daughter up with a young man as soon as possible. The storyline isn’t exactly the same, but there are many nods to the classic and readers will likely enjoy finding the many connections. The story would stand on its own though for those who aren’t familiar with Pride and Prejudice.
I appreciated that though Liza and her mother are often at odds, there are also moments when they truly listen to each other. Liza’s mother seems to have more layers than Mrs. Bennet from Jane Austen’s imagination. She is willing to reconsider and change her opinions. For a long time, she seems to believe that Liza won’t date Asian boys because she is avoiding or ashamed of her cultural heritage. This is just one of the many misunderstandings that happen between characters before honest communication brings some healing to relationships.
This is a true rom-com featuring plenty of mix-ups and laughter with a few tears along the way. For anyone looking for a fun escape, this would be a great book to pick up.
Recommendation: Get it soon especially if you need a few smiles. Liza, along with her friends and family, deliver a light and dreamy boba tea kind of story that is very satisfying.