I had seen Yes, Chef! advertised, and was very excited when I received a copy from netgalley, but now…
It’s not a bad book, but…
It just seemed to be missing something that elevated it to a book I would rave over and recommend.
The book follows a very strict chick-lit formula, to the point that I wondered if Helen Fielding was going to call up Lisa Joy and discuss plagiarism. Written in the first person, we follow the narrator, Becca Stone, on her ‘adventures’. Maybe this is my main problem: there is no adventure, nothing really happens. She sleeps with a couple of guys (I will assume we were supposed to cheer on the book for being so modern in this regard, but I’m afraid the way she jumps from one lover to the other with no real buildup or sexual tension, and the lack of characterisation and details of the men in question, means Becca comes across as a little desperate, self-absorbed, and, well, tarty), she gets a promotion, she goes overseas for work a couple of times, she has lunch with her friends, she visits her parents, she whinges about her job and the fact she isn’t married with children. To me, her life is so boring (for a fictional character).
As I said, all three (or four, depending on your definition) potential suitors are very underwritten. If I was producing Yes, Chef! as a movie I’d cast their roles as cameos. We get to read about Becca’s friends and workmates a lot more. In fact, there were so many friends and workmates that, at times, I got them all confused and forgot who was who.
It’s not a particularly hilarious book, and the quirky edgy situations the author tried to add fell flat.
I would also assume we are supposed to think Becca is a champion of women and like her assertive workplace relations, but… This also doesn’t work.
There were some nice exotic locations, but nothing excited me enough to skip off to the travel agent straight after finishing.
And despite the title, food descriptions and restaurant locations were limited. There is more action in the call centre than the restaurant.
I feel like I’m being harsh, because I didn’t hate the book, but… Somehow it fell short of its potential.
A lower scale 3/5.