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Good Enough to Eat

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  3,660 ratings  ·  329 reviews
The last thing Melanie expected to lose when she went on a diet was her husband.

Former lawyer Melanie Hoffman lost half her body weight and opened a gourmet take-out café specializing in healthy and delicious food. Then her husband left her—for a woman twice her size. Immediately afterwards, she's blindsided by a financial crisis. Melanie reaches out to a quirky roommat
Paperback, 308 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Berkley (first published July 29th 2010)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,660 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit, 2010
I really wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I felt like a lot of the dialogue was forced and more proper than people actually speak and i found that rather jarring. While I liked the overall idea of the plotline, it fell rather flat. Some of the characters felt a little forced and all of Kai's nicknames for Mel? Just didn't fit at all with either of their personalities, at least to me. ...more
Kris Irvin
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
So I started this book loving it. I love Melanie, and the characters, and the whole idea of Mel's business.

But then it started getting all language-y, and a little too rated R in the bedroom, and then the ending was like, what was that? Was that an ending? That was a crappy ending.

So what I am saying in this intensely badly written review is, I wish this book had been cleaner, and ended more solidly. If for those things, it would have been a 5 star review. Alas, 2 stars it is.
All in all a disappointment. I was expecting to read a romance/chick lit type book and it was all over the place. The hero in this one (Nate) really sucked. And the heroine (Melanie) wasn't great either. Other reviewers complained about the constant speech making by everyone involved and I have to agree. Real people do not speak like this. Ballis definitely knows her way around a stove though. The recipes that she included sounded awesome and were honestly the only reason why I gave this one 3 s ...more
Angela C
Oct 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
For me, the first half of this book was much better than the second half. Towards the end, I just wanted it to be over with already. Cheesy dialogue at times. Do grown men actually say, "now, scoot"? Unsatisfying ending. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. ...more
May 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
When one reads the description of a book on the back or the inside flap, you get certain expectations. There are some books that make me REALLY excited to read them, and others that leave me lukewarm. And it's absolutely impossible to tell how a book will turn out other than simply reading it. That being said, what drew me to this book was the fact that the main character had lost a lot of weight, just like myself. Melanie was married to a thin guy, Andrew. She was fat. Then she lost weight, and ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Nice plot idea and sympathetic main character, however the dialogue started to bother me almost immediately. The author used no contractions at all, and that's simply not how people talk. Also, most of the secondary characters are not particularly well-developed, their backstories are only sometimes believable, and some are downright stereotypical. Also, the ending comes abruptly and was not satisfying. ...more
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
I had so many hopes for this book. Melanie is a former fat girl who lost her husband to another woman (a fat one) after she lost a bunch of weight. Then she decides to open a healthy eating store. I think part of what saved this book was the food . . . all the glorious food!! Every single chapter had a food name or a dish as the title and it talked about a childhood memory that Melanie had regarding that food. And oh man, the descriptions of the food throughout the book were glorious. It made me ...more
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
What its about: A woman who realizes that her body isn't going to be able to sustain her unhealthy ways. She loses half of her body weight and quits her high stress job as a lawyer. She goes to culinary school and opens up a gourmet take out cafe that specializes in healthy food. She's finally getting her life together when she receives a huge shock. Her husband leaves her for a woman bigger than she ever was. Introduce a financial crisis, a new roommate and a potential boyfriend, stir vigorousl ...more
Below is from my review on my blog:

I received Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis at a very appropriate time in my life. The main character Melanie Hoffman has just gotten divorced, and so have I--different circumstances, but both Melanie and I have gone through big and interesting changes as a result.

Melanie has achieved what so many women work at and obsess over--she lost over 100 pounds and has gotten herself to a healthy weight. She has also changed j
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Melanie Hoffman, the heroine of Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis, tackles what could be some very depressing challenges in her life: divorce, food issues, entrepreneurship (she owns a gourmet take-out café) and relationships. She manages (and sometimes mismanages) it all with pluck and support from family and friends.

Each chapter in this novel begins with Melanie's reminisces about how certain foods relate to events in her life, be they large or small. Quite a variety of food is covered - mas
Jul 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
I really wanted to like this book. I love Jen Lancaster, so I figured that her BFF is my BFF, right? I also love books about food, so this seemed right up my alley, but I really struggled to get through it.

The story centers around Melanie, a former fat girl who left the law business to open a healthy take out restaurant. If that wasn't enough reinvention, her husband (clearly a chubby chaser) leaves her for her fat boss. Melanie is now forced to navigate a new world with her co-workers, roommate
Tiffani Long
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
OH GOOD READS, PLEASE LET ME HAVE HALF STARS!! I have a love/no love relationship with this book (hate is too strong a word). In the first two chapters, I was ready to put it down but since I was at the pool with nothing else to read...I carried on. I could TOTALLY identify with Melanie's love and adoration of food and her struggle to feel "normal" after losing over 100lbs. I did enjoy her dialogue with her food counselor about how we obsess over 5 pounds and what we are really saying/doing when ...more
Aug 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this in 2 days flat. It's a light hearted read with serious warmth. Melanie, the heroine, is struggling with a new life...She's coping with all sorts of new stresses from her recent divorce, significant weight-loss, a business, unexpected financial woes, as well as new personal relationships.

What I like most about Melanie (and all of Stacey's heroines that I've "met" so far) is that she's real. She has flaws & insecurities, as well as, successes & pride. Ballis provides the crucial amount
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
I couldn't get through this book. I made it to page 26 and said to myself "that is it. no more." I kept reading the same pages over and over either due to lack of interest or the fact that she kept saying the same things over and over. When I picked it up, it looked like a fun book to read but I ended up not being able to picture the characters and get my mind truly into the book. I don't like books that are unrealistic...she was a high powered attorney turned chef of health foods....used to hav ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but it seemed to be missing some depth. Even though all of the characters had backstories that lent them some complexity (especially Nadia), I alternated between not really caring and feeling like it should have been explored more. At no point did I really "feel" any of the characters.

Also, all of Melanie's "crises" seemed to be magically resolved within a chapter or two. With the exception of her fixation on Andrew, nothing seemed to really impact her for very long.
Jen CE
May 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
It took me foreeeevvver to read this book. It was dull, and for most of it I felt like I was reading a menu (not a novel), written by a whiny, insecure, woman. The main character is addicted to food, and I found her weakness and self-doubt concerning her life decisions and eating habits equally frustrating. The other characters seem to be there simply for the main character to have new situations in which she can second guess herself and struggle not to eat "the wrong things." Sigh. I will give ...more
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
At first this book started to piss me off when the heroine was starting in on her size previous to her weight loss and blah-blah. A few more pages in, and I stopped being pissed. Melanie had lost weight, and her husband because of it. She is a recovering food addict and I get the feeling that the author has had her share of food issues too. I know how hard it is to deal with food issues myself and I really felt that Ballis hits home with this book. I did find one thing to be VERY annoying. Her c ...more
Barb Lawrence
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary-fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed this book--probably the best culinary fiction I've read, and in the top five if you add in culinary non-fiction and memoirs. At first I was disappointed that recipes weren't included, until I realized they're all stuck at the end of the book (why not between chapters?). I can't wait to make the banana cake! I hope the author writes additional books--I found the characters believable and interesting. And inspiring. ...more
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, food-novel
I really liked this book. I loved how spot-on Ballis's writing about being a fat girl and being a former fat girl was. It resonated so much with me. The characters were smart and sweet and interesting. And I want to try a bunch of the recipes! And it's always nice to read about a character with your own name. :) ...more
Oct 06, 2010 rated it liked it
This was okay. I liked the general story line but at times it felt too scripted and not "real" enough. ...more
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a total chick lit, and a very light read, but entertaining too.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Didn't get this in time to read it for book club, but am enjoying it more than I expected. Finding lots of simiarities in my former really heavy self and the protagonist. Lots. ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
This book was So painful to finish. I never liked any of the characters (I hate "quirky" characters). It started off okay and just went downhill from there. ...more
Andrea Holladay
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really good book that had you feeling a variety of emotions! I was slightly disappointed with the ending but overall it was a great read for any foodies out there.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Initially, thought it was an okay read, but the last chapter to me, had tons of meaning to it. Almost quite in the middle, glad I didn't. ...more
Cassandra Johnson
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I've read several books by Stacey Ballis, and this is one of my favorites. Ultimately, I'm not going to say that Ballis is an outstanding writer, rather mediocre actually. Her characters all pretty much have the same characteristics and personalities with a small difference here or there, and the writing is fairly juvenile and forced. That said, I keep coming back to her stories for one reason, and this book exemplifies it: Easy chic lit with a decent story centered around food and recipes.

Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This wasn't my favorite Stacey Ballis book. For some reason Melanie (the main character)'s healthy journey rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like I was "missing" part of the story -- scenes just seemed to end abruptly and I wanted more "substance." The way the novel itself ended was just disappointing.

I did love all of the food and restaurant scenes. I loved how Melanie and her ex-husband didn't have children, and Mel surrounded herself with a family of coworkers and friends. The last chunk of the
Goodreads Description- Former lawyer Melanie Hoffman lost half her body weight and opened a gourmet take-out café specializing in healthy and delicious food. Then her husband left her-for a woman twice her size. Immediately afterwards, she's blindsided by a financial crisis. Melanie reaches out to a quirky roommate with a ton of baggage and becomes involved in a budding romance with a local documentary filmmaker.

In this warm and often laugh-out-loud novel, Melanie discovers that she still has a
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This book started off great. Melanie loses half her weight and then her husband leaves her, so she's trying to navigate her new life and her newly opened restaurant. I appreciated Melanie's attitude toward things, especially food. There were wonderful insights and recipes here. And she doesn't meet "the man" until 1/3 of the way into the book! But then about halfway everything just stalls. It didn't feel like the story was progressing, and there was just a lot of talking. It wasn't fun anymore, ...more
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“Being a compulsive overeater is no different from being an alcoholic or drug addict. The only difference is that you can avoid drugs and alcohol completely and you have to have a relationship with food every day for the rest of your life. It's actually the hardest addiction to live with. If you were an alcoholic and someone said to you that you were required to have a single drink three to five times a day, but were not supposed to ever drink to excess, or a drug addict who was required to take just one pill severeal times a day every day, but you're not supposed to ever take more than one would ever make it through rehab.” 20 likes
“Going to the gym...all those people who always told me that you get addicted to it, that endorphins kick in, that eventually you crave it and look forward to it are sick lying ****s and I want to choke them with a protein bar and pummel them about the head with a bottle of SmartWater.” 13 likes
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