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A Taste for Love
Cover of A Taste for Love
A Taste for Love
For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking Show, A Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao.To her friends, high...
For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking Show, A Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao.To her friends, high...
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Description-

  • For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking Show, A Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao.

    To her friends, high school senior Liza Yang is nearly perfect. Smart, kind, and pretty, she dreams big and never shies away from a challenge. But to her mom, Liza is anything but. Compared to her older sister Jeannie, Liza is stubborn, rebellious, and worst of all, determined to push back against all of Mrs. Yang's traditional values, especially when it comes to dating.

    The one thing mother and daughter do agree on is their love of baking. Mrs. Yang is the owner of Houston's popular Yin & Yang Bakery. With college just around the corner, Liza agrees to help out at the bakery's annual junior competition to prove to her mom that she's more than her rebellious tendencies once and for all. But when Liza arrives on the first day of the bake-off, she realizes there's a catch: all of the contestants are young Asian American men her mother has handpicked for Liza to date.

    The bachelorette situation Liza has found herself in is made even worse when she happens to be grudgingly attracted to one of the contestants; the stoic, impenetrable, annoyingly hot James Wong. As she battles against her feelings for James, and for her mother's approval, Liza begins to realize there's no tried and true recipe for love.

Excerpts-

  • From the book “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a mother in possession of great wisdom, must be in want—nay, in need—of a daughter who will listen.”

    The neon letters mock me from the plaque’s smooth black surface. Surely, Mom hasn’t twisted the words of one of my favorite authors. My jaw swings open, but the curse never quite leaves my lips. Instead, I squeeze my eyes shut and wish for the words hanging over my desk to disappear. I pry one eyelid open.

    Nope. It hasn’t changed.

    Jane Austen, give me strength.

    The corner of Mom’s mouth twitches as I swivel to look at her.

    “So, what do you think? Sharon was running a sale, and I thought this would be the perfect addition to your room.”

    Of course it came off Etsy. I wish I’d never introduced her to that hell site. It’s like Pinterest for people with insomnia and money.

    “It’s clever, right? I came up with the quote myself,” she continues, eyes glinting. “By the way, I don’t know why you love that story so much. If I were Mrs. Bennet, those girls would have been married off in half the time.”

    I cringe. If fictional characters aren’t safe from her meddling, what chance do I have? I can’t even remember a time when Mom wasn’t bossing me around. I’m pretty sure Jeannie and I were barely out of diapers when she taught us the two most important things to have in life:

    1.   A useful college degree, so we can take care of her when she’s old.

    2.   A good husband, so he can take care of us.

    Not one to leave things to chance, the minute we hit puberty, Mom also gave us her cardinal rules for dating:

    1.   No dating while you’re in school.

    2.   Only Asian boys allowed. The more traditional, the better.

    2.5. The best type of Asian to date is Taiwanese, then Chinese. There are no others.

    3.   He must be tall. At least three inches more than you.

    4.   He has to be smart and choose a stable career like doctor or engineer.

    5.   He must be Asian (this point is so important, it’s stressed twice).

    Jeannie, my older sister, is the poster child for obedient Asian daughters. She followed all but the first rule to the letter, something Mom easily forgave. To make matters worse, everyone loves her.

    “She’s so graceful and well spoken!”

    “Jeannie is the nicest person! She’s always smiling.”

    “I love her style. I’m always stalking her Insta to see what she’s wearing!”

    Jeannie’s so pretty a modeling scout chased after her for weeks to sign her. In fact, we have one of her first pictures sitting on the mantel. Whenever we have guests, Dad always jokes it’s the one that came in the frame.

    As for me?

    I’m the rebel—or if you ask Mom, the troublemaker.

    “Watch where you’re going, Liza! I can’t believe you just walkedinto a parked car.”

    “Why did you have to say that in front of Mrs. Zhou? I’m so embarrassed!”

    “Stop slouching. It looks lazy.”

    And let’s not forget one of Mom’s favorites:

    “You act too smart. Boys don’t like girls who are smarter than them.”

    She had a million of these—advice for how to make a boy like me. Not any boy, mind you. Only the ones who fit her list of rules. It didn’t take long for me to realize what she really wanted was for me not to be . . ....

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2020

    Gr 7 Up- Determined to push back against the traditional values held by her Taiwanese immigrant mother, Liza Yang constantly battles against the model minority student image that her mother tries to mold her into. Different from her over-achieving older sister Jeannie, one thing that Liza and her mother have in common is their love for baking. Once she has agreed to help Mrs. Yang at their family bakery's annual baking competition, Liza finds herself surrounded by contestants-all from well-off Asian families-that her mother has picked for her to date. Attracted to hot contestant James Wong, Liza finds it hard to fight her feelings for him and for approval from her mother. She is destined to try her own recipe for love. A plot-driven romance with a happy ending, Yen's debut is filled with mouth-watering descriptions of jelly cakes, egg waffles, matcha cookies, boba tea, and char siu bao. Yen, a child psychiatrist, writes with a great deal of insight into the adolescent mind. This spotlight on a tight-knight Asian American family and community is ripe for a film adaptation. VERDICT A fun story about family and friendship, this romance will circulate well in public and high school libraries.-Raymond Wang, Community College of Baltimore Cty., MD

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2021
    High school senior Liza Yang is used to her mother's matchmaking schemes, but her latest strategy takes the cake. Liza is flattered when her mother invites her to be a judge for the annual Yin and Yang Bakery and Restaurant's Junior Baking Competition, which began as a way to promote her parents' business. However, her happiness turns into frustration when she discovers her mother's ulterior motive: She's handpicking contestants in order to find a nice Asian boy for Liza. The only upside is that Liza is certain she can rule out two of the contestants as suitors. Easygoing Ben Chan is dating Liza's best friend, Grace, and handsome but reserved James Wong, his cousin, left a poor impression on Liza at their first meeting. When James takes the lead in the competition and reveals an unexpectedly thoughtful side, Liza finds herself reconsidering her opinion of him. This is a story that highlights love not only through the romance storyline, but also in the push-pull dynamic between immigrant parents and their children, moments of sisterly banter and bonding, and bubble tea shared between best friends. Mouthwatering descriptions of steamed buns, matcha cookies, and other treats sprinkled throughout the novel will have readers searching for the nearest Asian bakery. Main characters are Taiwanese American. Scrumptious. (Romance. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    February 1, 2021
    Grades 8-11 Liza Yang knows what she likes. Unfortunately, her dreams don't align with those of her traditional Taiwanese mother, who wants her to date a nice Asian boy and choose a practical career. Liza adores her parents' Yin & Yang Bakery and wants to go to culinary school--and she dates plenty of guys her mom wouldn't approve of. With her latest relationship up in flames and her parents pushing her to pursue accounting in college, Liza agrees to be a guest judge for her mother's annual baking contest--only to discover, to her horror, that the contestants are all boys her mother considers viable dating options. Worse, the star baker is James Wong, who could be cute if he wasn't so uptight. Liza is a warmly familiar, modern teen, and many readers will recognize themselves in her and her story, which takes a surprise turn just as they'll think they've figured out its beats. Pride and Prejudice gets a taste of The Great British Bake Off in this debut, which hits all the right notes.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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