TGIF, book lovers! Our page turner for this weekend is foodie romance novel Pasta Wars by novelist Elisa Lorello, author of Faking It and Ordinary World. Ready to fork a mouthful of yummy in your mouth? Dig into this.
Slim, successful, and soon to marry the man of her dreams, Katie Cravens is leading the life she always wanted. As the face and CEO of Pasta Pronto, a “Carbs for the Calorie-Conscious” line of frozen food, Katie chooses to live life like one of her Slimline Spaghetti dinners―no mess, no surprises, and everything tied up in a neat little package. But when Katie’s fiancé runs off with another woman and a quality control fiasco sends her customers running for the hills, it’s time for Katie to make a change.
Her company’s salvation presents itself in the form of a partnership opportunity with the legendary Ristorante Caramelli of Rome, and Katie has no other choice but to jet off to Italy to convince gorgeous, hotheaded co-owner Luca Caramelli that she’s a worthy partner. Gaining Luca’s respect proves harder than Katie could have ever imagined, however, when he insists that she must learn how to cook―and how to eat―true Italian food before he will ever agree to their companies’ partnership.
Katie and Luca’s tension in Italy mounts into a fierce public rivalry that erupts back in the States with a nationally televised cooking competition. As Katie tries to channel her inner Mario Batali to win the competition, she must choose between the flavorless prepackaged life that she worked so hard to maintain and the mouth-watering uncertainty of a life chock full of carbohydrates and Caramellis.
Pasta Wars is a quirky quick read for the Valentine’s Day season. I can’t say that the plot or the pacing is altogether novel or interesting. You know basically exactly what is going to happen when. But isn’t that why we read a romance novel or watch a chick flick during this particularly mushy holiday season? Pasta Wars is as comforting as ripping into a box of heart chocolates, or digging into a homemade bowl of bolognese. Lorello writes a story laced with the customary balance of sweet and spicy, salty and bitter to give you that delicious yum moment at the end.
This book is all about Katie’s journey. That’s where the book is saved from utter sameness. While not overwhelmingly complicated, Katie is a complex character with good background who comes to some good self realizations during her journey to real food.
Lorello does something special in her comparison of how and what we eat to who we become. Mother always said “good in, good out” but really what does that mean? Lorello takes time to develop that line of questioning and flesh it out a bit. She takes on more questions like: Is that even a good saying, just because mom said it? and What constitutes good, who decides? and What was mom’s motivation when she said that? Here Pasta Wars has some depth that is worth delving into these pages to plumb.
The more I think about it, the more I really do like this book. If it weren’t for the cookie cutter formula plot, I would give this more stars. Having said that, this is a really readable, funny, engaging book that will add flavor to this season of love.
What will you be reading this weekend?
Kate E. Stephenson is a freelance communications specialist whose business encompasses content writing, comprehensive editing and quality resume services. Lexicon is her brainchild, a blog all about Language—insight into today’s job market and hiring tips, book releases and reviews, and general folly concerning the many mysterious facets of the English language and human communication. Be sure to read more about Kate, check out a full listing of services, and enjoy her columns here on Lexicon and on Kate.Book.com!
5 stars = Amazing, Out of this World, Pick it up TODAY!
4.5 stars = Loved it!
4 stars = Really liked it!
3.5 stars = Liked it!
3 stars = Totally readable
We don’t review anything less than this because what would be the point.