About the book:
Title: Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous
Author: Kathryn Williams
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult, middle grade
Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America’s finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame.
Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering–fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: By browsing through books at the library😜
I was DESPERATE to find something to read, so I scoured my public library until I found something that looked the least bit appealing, and this is the random book I stumbled upon. Pizza? Reality shows? Cooking? Talk about a delicious read!
Unfortunately, this book didn’t really live up to my expectations. I expected it to be a super fun read, full of competition and romance, but what I got was mostly boringness and repetition.
Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous is basically about Sophie, who has practically been growing up in her family’s special restaurant. Her friend Alex gets her to try out for a cooking reality show for teens, and she gets in, even though she has to sacrifice her dad’s trust, and a life in the spotlight. On set, lots of drama occurs, and Sophie isn’t sure if she can trust herself or anyone else any longer. Will she be able to push through all the drama, as well as win the competition?
Guys, I am not very picky when it comes to my book characters, but I found that Sophie was an exception. I didn’t really like or care for her very much, to be honest. She made so many decisions that made me shake my head, one of which was very early in the story, when she betrayed her dad’s trust and lied to him in order to audition for the show. I know I wouldn’t do that to my parents, even if it’s for something I would die to do. Trust is what’s key in a relationship, especially with a parent, and in the story, Sophie just proved that she wasn’t very trustworthy.
Sophie also whined and complained a lot. I mean, A LOT. She got into a super awesome teen culinary show, and she was barely happy AT ALL! Basically, all she did was complain. She was never satisfied with herself, her life, or her abilities as a cook.
Alex was a nice guy, though, and I felt like I liked him much more than the protagonist. He always supported and cared a lot for Sophie, which I like a lot in book characters.
This book claims to be a romance read, but I honestly don’t think it really is. There are literally one or two scenes that are even the least bit romantic, but that’s it. The book mostly focuses on the cooking and show drama, rather than anything else.
Pushing aside everything I didn’t really love, I really enjoyed that there were recipes included in this book. They seemed quite easy and fun to make, and best yet, they are like the meals made in Sophie’s family restaurant, so you can literally get a taste of their background!
I also enjoyed the ending, as things were wrapped up quite well, and most of the problems from onset were coherently solved.
Overall, I guess this book was just okay. It did make me hungry for Italian food, though, which was a plus! I’d recommend it to any tweens or teens looking for a cute book that will make you hungry, because this is the one! Check it out, and maybe you’ll enjoy it and connect to the protagonist more than I did!
Rating: 3/5 Stars