Love from Scratch

­Delacorte. Apr. 2022. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593379165.
Gr 9 Up–Recent high school grad Reese relocates from Kentucky to Seattle for an internship at cooking network Friends of Flavor. When the cast is booked for another event, Reese and the other intern, Benny, are paired up to fill airtime with an amateur take on Piece of Cake, one of the network’s highest rated shows. On camera, the pair present as opposites. Italian American Benny showcases a broad knowledge of food and cooking techniques refined in his family’s Italian restaurant and traveling Europe with his grandparents while blonde Southern belle Reese’s background includes family cooking, but no formal training. Their banter and undeniable chemistry are a hit with audiences and soon Piece of Cake: Amateur Hour is hosting regular episodes while Benny and Reese are developing a solid friendship with the promise of romance. Standing in the way of their happy ending is the single internship Friends of Flavor will be offering, and the misogyny Reese is beginning to face as her star is rising; this triggers trauma she endured in high school involving a romantic relationship, social media, and misconceptions. Hill writes snappy dialogue that keeps the plot moving at a good pace. The characterization is top notch and offers diversity in both race among the Friends of Flavor stars and LGBTQIA+ representation among the secondary characters. The storyline revolving around the sexism Reese faces is treated thoughtfully and masterfully while the plot offers readers a pitch perfect resolution that doesn’t shy away from some of the downsides of working in the culinary world.
VERDICT This delicious romance is great for summer and a highly recommended purchase.

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