Review: Love À La Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm


This morning I'm so excited to kick off the blog tour for Stephanie Kate Strohm's Love a la Mode, a new rom com from Disney Books! Check out my review, and then scroll down to the bottom to enter to win a copy!

Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, ALA annual conference
Status: standalone

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!



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 à la Mode follows Rosie and Henry as they fall in love with food, with Paris, and ultimately, with each other.

Review:

Stephanie Kate Strohm is cementing herself as one of my go-to authors for contemporary YA stories. Love a la Mode is sweet as sugar and more fun than any other book I've read in long time!

This story is about two midwestern teens who have an adorable airplane meet cute on their way to high school culinary school in Paris. The story isn't similar at all, but while reading, I felt so much nostalgia for Anna and the French Kiss and even When in Rome, the old Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen movie. I'm an absolute sucker for stories about a group of teens who meet during a school program and have adventures in a new city, and the students of the Ecole Denis Laurent are worth rooting for. There's a lot of diversity as the program is international, and I love that each of the characters' cultures influenced their cooking, especially when given the opportunity to create unique dishes instead of working on the fundamental basics of cooking.

And WOW the food portions of Ove a la Mode are spectacular! If you're the kind of person who loves to watch the Food Network or Gordon Ramsey shows, you'll really love this book, but beware: it'll make you hungry! Even descriptions of cheeseless omelets (wtf, France?? Everyone knows the cheese is the bwst part!) made me want to run to my kitchen, but I melted when the group hits a creperie and every time Henry or Rosie visited the boulengerie for some croissants, tarts, and baguettes! And one of my favorite parts of the book were all the scenes leading up to and including Thanksgiving, when all the students banded together to create a delightful Friendsgiving that featured a huge helping of delicious dishes.

But the detailed descriptions of food are like the cherry on top of the sundae. What really makes this book such a delight are the characters. Rosie and Henry are adorable, of course, nd they manage to have a quick burn AND a slow burning romance at the same time. That takes talent. Their chemistry sizzles like butter in a skillet! I also adore their ragtag friend group including Japanese-American sassmaster Yumi, sweet forager and morning fitness enthiast Swedish Hampus, English fangirl Priya, solid New Yorker Marquis, and "bad boy" celeb baker Bodie. As much as I love a good romance, I'm even more a fan of great friendship groups, particularly when written well and realistically. I work with a big teen group at my library, and the EDL students could have been my teens. They felt so real to me!

If you're looking for a fun, quick read with an authentic teen voice, I definitely recommend picking up Love a la Mode or Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm! She takes really fun premises and creates thoughtful, tummy-butterfly-inducing stories full of heart. 

Purchase Links:
   

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
11/26: Mary Had a Little Book Blog

Week Two:

Week Three:
12/14: Kait + Books

Week Four:

About the Author:
Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of The Date to Save; Prince in DisguiseIt's Not Me, It's You; The Taming of the Drew; Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink; Confederates Don't Wear Couture and the upcoming That's Not What I Heard (January 29, 2019). She grew up on the Connecticut coast, where a steady diet of Little House on the Prairie turned her into a history nerd at an early age. After graduating with a joint major in theater and history from Middlebury College, she acted her way around the country, performing in more than 25 states.

Although she was born in New York, she currently lives in Chicago, and doesn't discriminate against any type of pizza. When she's not writing, she loves baking, walking her dog Lorelei, taking dance cardio classes too seriously, and playing board games with her husband. Photo credit: Melissa Lynn

Author Links:
    

Giveaway:
3 winners will win a signed finished copy of Love à la Mode. US only.

6 comments:

  1. This book is one of my most anticipated fun reads this year. Love the premise and can't wait after all the prelease reviews I've read.

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  2. You had me at "teen chefs" and "Paris"!

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  3. I only just heard about this book today (while reading another review for it) and I'm SO GLAD I FOUND IT. I am adding it to my TBR pile and I am so excited to read it when I can. It sounds like something I need right now. Great review! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I loved all of the friendships in this one! Their group was amazing, and I enjoyed experiencing Paris and food through them. I'm happy you loved this one as much as I did! <3

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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  5. Love Ala Mode sounds like a good read. Thanks for your review.

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