Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

By 8:21 AM , , , ,

Taste Test
   by: Kelly Fiore

Publication Date: Aug. 27, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 352 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars


If you can grill it, smoke it, or fry it, Nora Henderson knows all about it. She’s been basting baby back ribs and pulling pork at her father’s barbeque joint since she was tall enough to reach the counter. When she’s accepted to Taste Test, a reality-television teen cooking competition, Nora can’t wait to leave her humble hometown behind, even if it means saying good-bye to her dad and her best friend, Billy. Once she’s on set, run-ins with her high-society roommate and the maddeningly handsome—not to mention talented—son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, mean Nora must work even harder to prove herself. But as mysterious accidents plague the kitchen arena, protecting her heart from one annoyingly charming fellow contestant in particular becomes the least of her concerns. Someone is conducting real-life eliminations, and if Nora doesn’t figure out who, she could be next to get chopped for good.

With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.


I was quite excited to see this pop up on NG and even more excited when I got approved. I really enjoy cooking and while I've never really gotten into the cooking shows on TV, I still thought this would be a really fun story. And it was. While I would say this was just meh for me- I still enjoyed reading it. However, I found the characters to be very one-dimensional and didn't really see any character development.

I liked the main character Nora ok, but I did find her to be a bit immature. Especially when it came to Christian. But we'll get to him in a minute. Nora earns a spot on Taste Test and naturally has to deal with the assumptions that she's nothing but a country bumpkin from a few of the elite, rich kids. She is determined to prove herself and that she has a fighting chance of winning. Upon setting foot on the bus, she is immediately insulted and criticized by both Joy and Christian- two of the aforementioned elite, rich kids. What reality tv show would be complete without drama, right? Joy is a pampered princess who we think has something going on with Christian. It turns out Joy's taste in guys is a bit more advanced, which leads Nora to believe there is bias amongst the judges.

Nora and Christian have an interesting dynamic. They go from insulting and hating one another one minute to questioning their feelings for each other the next. Yet, I just didn't quite buy it. Christian is a straight up douche. He ran hot and cold the entire book with Nora. One minute he'd be insulting her, the next he'd be playful and teasing, and in the next he would be serious and almost vulnerable. It was hard to get a read on him and whether he was genuine or not because of the back and forth. They acted rather childish when it came to one-upping the other. I would have liked Christian a bit more had he shown some kind of redemption or bettering of his character in the end. But I didn't see that myself. Personally, I didn't find myself swooning over him at all.

Now, Billy, Nora's best friend? YES. He was sweet, caring, and encouraging. He is defensive of Nora and you can tell he has feelings for her. However, there really seemed to be no point in introducing his character as a potential love interest. It didn't go anywhere and seemed a bit awkwardly incorporated into the story. Such a shame- I would have preferred those two with one another, because it's a relationship I could actually believe. But Nora is too caught up with her infatuation/revenge with Christian.

I did like how there were interviews and such placed strategically through the novel. I thought that was pretty cool how the interrogator was trying to pit contestants and friends against each other and get the kids to try and say things they didn't necessarily mean. It was very realistic to what real reality tv shows try to do. I also liked the competitions and I wish we had seen a bit more of those instead of focusing on the drama surrounding it.

We do have a bit of mystery and intrigue in this book. Someone is trying to sabotage the competition by injuring contestants. Trying to figure out who was guilty of such heinous acts was really kind of neat, even though I hated who it ended up being.

Overall, not a bad read- there were definitely aspects I really liked and I tried not to focus on how much I disliked the love interest and just enjoy the story for what it was.

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12 comments

  1. This book look so totally adorable xD Too bad the love interest stinks....Great review!!
    Happy reading
    Jackie

    http://nobentspines.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Jackie! I wish I liked him more, but I just couldn't. Oh well.

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  2. I don't like it when the love interest is just a jerk - that really bugs me!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Me too! I need my love interest to be swoon-worthy and awesome!

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  3. This book sounds cute. I like the idea of a teenager participating in a reality show and I've never seen it before. The fact that the characters are immature bugs me. Guess I'll see if I can stand them since I have an eARC of it I should read soon! :P

    Great review!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Good luck Sapir! Hopefully you can stand them more than I could!

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  4. I really liked this book so much. It made me so happy. It's just so cute, plus there's not that many YA books (at least that I've read), that are like Taste Test <3

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    1. I really liked how unique the concept was. I feel like we don't get enough of the uniqueness, so that definitely was a perk for me.

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  5. Great review! I like the sound of this one but seems like it needs a little more development and I need the romance to be front and center. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks girl! This is another I'd probably pass on, sadly.

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  6. Bah such a shame this one fell short! I love the funky cover and it's an original concept!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah! I was bummed, especially like I said above- it's such a unique concept! And we need more of those these days!

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