Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction

[Book Talk] The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Schrum

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Read: July 2018


Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom’s warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in Chopped style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.

After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they’re involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid’s constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn’t necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.

My Thoughts

Thank you to Thomas Allen & Sons for a copy of this book! 

This book probably would’ve gone unnoticed by me had it not been for my friend Ambur who works at Thomas Allen & Sons. She sent me a list of upcoming releases and the title and cover caught my eye. I loved the cute little macarons on the cover, the Julia Child-ish title. And then I read the synopsis – a book with cooking, romance, and a competition? Sign me up!

The Art of French Kissing was just such a cute book. I was a little worried because when I added it to my Goodreads currently-reading shelf I noticed that the rating was a little lower than I would’ve liked. Would I still like it? Turns out, it was just what I needed at the time. This book made me think of when I started reading The Selection by Keira Cass – that one was a spin on the Bachelor TV shows. This book is like a spin on Chopped, where a group of young adults are chosen for a cooking competition with the prize being a full scholarship to a prestigious cooking school.

I loved all of the cooking, even if I was a little skeptical of Carter’s acceptance to the show after writing about grilled cheese, of all things. BUT, I was still totally sucked in. I loved the competition aspect of it, even if it maybe wouldn’t have happened that way in real life. There’s romance, which was adorable. The attempts at sabotaging other players was fun (even if one was definitely overstepping boundaries) and I enjoyed the “evil” character of Andrew.

The only thing that kind of drove me nuts was Reid’s nicknames for Carter, one being “princess” which had me cringing. I also would’ve loved this book to be a bit longer (it’s just under 250 pages) – it would’ve been great to have more from the cooking show, more detail, more competition. I also would’ve loved something more at the end since the book pretty much ends after the competition is over. But it was still such a fun read, perfect for summer!