When 16-year-old Sophie is accepted as a contestant on a new reality show for aspiring teen chefs, it seems like a dream come true.
Working in her family’s Greek-Italian restaurant might have prepared Sophie for the pressure of the culinary big time, but when the drama begins heating things up, Sophie needs to figure out if she has what it takes or if she needs to get out of the kitchen. Ruthless celebrity judges, a secret burn book that trashes the contestants and a crush-worthy French culinary student all combine to make this the hottest summer Sophie can remember. Sophie finds herself on the brink of everything she wants, but then why does she miss her best friend, Alex (whom she has yet to admit she like-likes), and her unglamorous life back home? This too-familiar story is little more than a mashup of reality-television drama. Sophie manages to shine in spite of the predictable plot, but even she is not enough to brighten up the otherwise long cast of one-trick secondary characters. Cooking tips and recipes are sprinkled throughout the teen drama. Unfortunately even a recipe for Deconstructed Baklava fails to spice up this otherwise bland story.
Uninspired and flavorless. (Fiction. 12 & up)