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


Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous (Christy Ottaviano Books)

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams

Summary: 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 persuade 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.

{kindly taken form Amazon}

My Thoughts: I’ve been wanting to read this because it has two of my favorite things in it: cooking and reading! :) Actually, I really do enjoy reality shows in the kitchen, so I thought this story was right up my alley. I wasn’t expecting anything outstanding, but the story could have used some improvement in places.

Sophie has always dreamed of being a chef, so when she makes it on to the new television show, Teen Test Kitchen, it looks like her hope could come true. I really liked this plot idea. What would be more fun than to learn all the behind-the-scene work that goes into reality shows?! Unfortunately, although the premise is great, the actual “product” fell short. I felt like the whole storyline was mainly fluff, and there was really no depth to the development of the characters and the plot. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cute, quick read, just not really what I had in mind.

Sophie had some great character traits. I liked how determined she was and she didn’t let others win unfairly. She made a pretty good protagonist. There was a wonderful cast of secondary characters, although, like Sophie, they needed more development. I really like the other members of the “S” team, Shelby and Stan. What supportive friends! :) There was a bit of a love triangle going on, but it didn’t really get anywhere. And, to be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of either of the boys.

The plot felt awfully rushed, which was sad because there was so much the author could have done with it. For example, it was pretty clear that Shelby had an eating disorder, so why did the author just brush over that topic? I know it wasn’t the main part of the story, but it’s awfully important, especially for the intended audience. Another example would be the relationship between Sophie and her aunt. We saw glimpses of it developing, but I would have loved to seen more to it.

Overall, this wasn’t bad, and it makes a good beach read, but I think it could be much better with a little work.

Pros: Good story idea.

Cons: More development needed in plot and characters.

Heads Up: Some language.

Overall: I give it 3 1/2 stars {*** 1/2} and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Have a good Sunday!

Bella :)

Psst. Friday’s tragedy is so very sad, and I keep the families affected in my heart, but I’m trying to keep Ciao Bella! on the lighter side because we all need something to cheer us up, especially around the holidays. So, on that note, click here to see today’s featured holiday blogger, Katie, at Youth Literature Book Reviews, who has posted some tasty homemade gifts!


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