Book Review: Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous

Title/Author:  Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic, Food, Cooking

Published:  August 21st, 2012 by Henry Holt and Co.

Hardcover, 229 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from my library.

Why I Picked It Up?:  A) Cover is super cute.  B) There are recipes inside!  and C) Kathryn will be at YALLFest.  All great reasons to pick up this quick contemporary read!

Book Jacket Blurb:  “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.”

My Review of this Work:

I must admit, this book had me at the cover.  I just saw it and immediately thought “SUPER CUTE CONTEMPORARY READ!”  And the cover completely told the truth!  I found Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous to be a light and fun read!

In terms of story, Sophie is the daughter of an Italian restaurant owner who has cooking aspirations of her own.  When she has the opportunity to compete on a teenage reality show, she believes that this could be her chance!  But reality television is…well, reality television, and Sophie realizes that this is more than just a cooking competition.  This contest is trying to turn Sophie into someone that she is not, but she stays true to herself.  And she meets some other contestants that she can trust.

I really appreciated the realism this novel took on with reality t.v.  As an avid reality t.v. watcher (I can’t help but love me some bachelor!), I thought that the progress of the show, and the effect that the show has on the characters was true to the nature of reality television.  And I thought that Sophie’s character understood these realities and coped with them in an appropriate way.

As a girl who enjoys cooking, I really loved that this novel centered around cooking awesome food!  And best of all, there are some really yummy recipes in here that Sophie cooks for her reality contest!  Such a nice little bonus!  A combination of Italian and Greek food!

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous is a fun rainy-day type read. It’s a story that can be read in one sitting because of it’s actually book length and the pacing of the story itself. I found this book entertaining from beginning to end! It truly is a fun read!

(And I’m sorry this is a short and vague review.  But it’s a short story that is just a fun read.  Not much to it, not much to criticize either!)

My Bookshelf Rating:

A Middle Shelf Book!

So this book is a great book to pick up when you are in the mood for a light contemporary YA story!  I loved that it tied in the ever-popular reality television culture–it allowed for some character development that would have otherwise been left out in such a short story.  Just a great one-sitting read, and you get some good recipes!  It’s a rainy-day winner!

Love and Pizza,


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