Saturday, December 15, 2018

Book review: Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Book Summary
Take two American teen chefs, add one heaping cup of Paris, toss in a pinch of romance, and stir. . . .

Rosie Radeke firmly believes that happiness can be found at the bottom of a mixing bowl. But she never expected that she, a random nobody from East Liberty, Ohio, would be accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent's school in Paris, the most prestigious cooking program for teens in the entire world. Life in Paris, however, isn't all cream puffs and crepes. Faced with a challenging curriculum and a nightmare professor, Rosie begins to doubt her dishes.

Henry Yi grew up in his dad's restaurant in Chicago, and his lifelong love affair with food landed him a coveted spot in Chef Laurent's school. He quickly connects with Rosie, but academic pressure from home and his jealousy over Rosie's growing friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry lash out and push his dream girl away.

Desperate to prove themselves, Rosie and Henry cook like never before while sparks fly between them. But as they reach their breaking points, they wonder whether they have what it takes to become real chefs.

Perfect for lovers of Chopped Teen Tournament and Kids Baking Championship, as well as anyone who dreams of a romantic trip to France, Love la Mode follows Rosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately, with each other.

Flo's Review
Adorable. This book, you guys. Adorable. 

I first heard about it because I attended the Foodie Funactics event at YALLFEST this year and Stephanie was the one who put it together and moderated it. As soon as she described this book, my two friends and I were like, "Ooohhh....!" I knew it was going to be a must-read.

I had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook, and the best thing about it is that the author reads it! She does such a great job, too. Everybody sounds really distinct. This was no easy feat, either, because the students are from all around the world. Stephanie does a great job with the accents, I must say.

You can tell this story was written by a foodie, because the food is described just as lovingly, if not more so, than the romance. I really enjoyed it. Not knowing a lot about how to cook or bake myself, it was fun to see these characters' relationships to food and how they were in the kitchen. Stephanie did a great job with characters. By the end of the book I felt I really knew everyone in Rosie and Henry's friend group well. They were all fully fleshed out individuals, not side characters with minimal characteristics there to comment on the main story line. My favorite, and I already told Stephanie, was Henry's rooomate Hampus. Hampus is everything, you guys. From his morning workouts, to him foraging for food, to Swedish TV show marathon all-nighters with Henry -- Hampus is everything. 

Rosie and Henry were both awkward and realistic teens, and I was rooting for them the whole time. The only qualm I had with this book was the lack of Paris. It was sold as this fantastic love story in the city of love...and I felt like I rarely saw Paris. Like, this story could have taken place in Liberty, Ohio, without much alteration. That's a shame. Paris has so much potential for first love scenes.

But that's it! Other than that, I simply adored this one. Also, I randomly baked a cake about a week or so ago, while I was listening to this audiobook. Coincidence? I didn't do it intentionally, but all the food in this book is so amazing, and maybe I was inspired? 

So, go read this book. In the meantime, I will contact the author again and try to convince her to write a sequel revolving around Hampus. 

This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on

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