Summary: Rosie Radeke is a firm believer that happiness can be found in a mixing bowl. So imagine her happiness when she gets accepted to celebrity chef Denis Laurent’s culinary school in Paris, where Rosie’s cooking skills get put to the test.
Henry Yi grew up in his dad’s Chicago restaurant, and much like Rosie, his life-long love for food has found a home at the Ècole. Henry and Rosie quickly connect, but academic pressure from home and Rosie’s friendship with gorgeous bad-boy baker Bodie Tal makes Henry push his dream relationship away. As sparks fly between the two, Rosie and Henry must prove that they have what it takes to be chefs—if not to their nightmare professor, but to themselves.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Stephanie Kate Strohm’s Love à la Mode had been on my TBR for all the right reasons. A YA contemporary following two teen chefs semester at a culinary academy in Paris? Add that to my TBR any day, because as expected, I absolutely adored Love à la Mode!
Love à la Mode took me back to Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss (a series I now most definitely want to reread in 2019), as Rosie, Henry, and co. experience Paris in all the right places- aka the best places to get pastries, crepes, and steak-frites that is. While mostly taking place at the Ècole, the culinary school, Love à la Mode just felt so atmospheric, likely thanks to its many signature French dishes.
And speaking of the food, have I mentioned yet how much I love the incorporation of cooking and baking? Because I think this is my new favorite baking-inspired book!! Rosie is the absolute QUEEN of baking. Her determination and creativity makes me want to never look at another cake-mix box again (also reminder that I need to learn how to make my own brioche ASAP). I love how much time we spend in the kitchen with Rosie, Henry and their classmates, as they must prove that they are meant to be studying at the Ècole. It was also really fun to see why Rosie and Henry loved cooking so much, beyond the food. Plus I never thought I would meet an MC, like Henry, who loves potatoes as much as me.
Besides all the chocolate and delicious-sounding desserts, what makes Love à la Mode all the more sweeter is Rosie and Henry’s romance. And yes, I wouldn’t mind meeting a guy over a picture of a Momofuku Milk Bar cake either. This is only my second Stephanie Kate Strohm book (I also have much love for Prince in Disguise), but I’ve noticed that she doesn’t wait until the very end of the story for her characters to acknowledge that they like each other. While Henry and Rosie don’t have the most ideal relationship throughout the book, they at least you know…act couple-ly and share a kiss or two. In addition, there’s also a big emphasis on friendship, as Henry and Rosie bond with their classmates and take on the kitchen together.
Overall, Love à la Mode was a culmination of almost everything I love in YA contemporary- baking, food, Paris/ traveling abroad, friendship, self-discovery and romance. If you’re ever craving a heart-warming contemporary (and maybe a croissant or two), Love à la Mode is the book for you.
Have you read Love à la Mode? What books featuring food or baking do you love? Share in the comments!