Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

e-ARC, 352 pages

 Release Date: August 2, 2013

Published by: Walker Children's


Source: Netgalley

For fans of: Mystery, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, YA

     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'm one of those people that will search for something on television and settle on one of three things: Re-runs of Criminal Minds, re-runs of Bones, and anything on The Food Network. Those things I will ALWAYS watch. That's exactly how I feel about this book. Not trying to say that its my last resort, but just saying that it made me feel comfortable. 

     With that being said, I fell right into the storyline. I was swept away by the competition and the characters. From the very beginning I knew who was going to be the love interest and who was going to be the "mean girl" and who was going to be the friend. What I wasn't expecting, was the mystery that popped up. But when it did, I began to see what was going on and who it dealt with. But, it was far more than I was expecting. Way more than I expected. I had let myself get too comfortable and missed it entirely. That's the kind of mystery I like. 

     One thing I did not like about this book was the characters. Nora definitely jumped on my last nerve a couple of times. Like when she went back and forth between liking him and not. This frustrated me because normal girls go through that, but at the same time, not to that caliber. It doesn't turn off and on everyday. I don't know, maybe it was just the competition, but it annoyed me. Then there was the fact that all she thought about was him. Like in the arena, outside the arena, just everywhere. I would much rather have heard more about Prescott and Joy vs hearing more of her thoughts about him

     I also loved that they put the recipes in the back of the book. That spicy casserole will definitely be one that I introduce to the boyfriend. I just wish that they had added them all. I would have loved to have that Lobster Roll one too. I'm from the South but would love to have a taste of the East Coast!

     This book really surprised me. I honestly wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. There were some minor hiccups, but overall it was a good, humorous debut. I look forward to reading more books by Fiore!