Jenne's Reviews > Delicious!

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
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's review
Nov 13, 2013

it was ok
bookshelves: arc, fiftyfifty-me-2013

oookaaaayyy, well let me just start out by saying that I love Ruth Reichl. Garlic and Sapphires is one of my favorite books ever. Genius. Lovely. Gorgeous.
However. This novel. I mean, it's definitely a "write what you know" kind of thing, about a woman who works for a venerable food magazine that suddenly ceases publication. Fine. Gotta start somewhere.
But it's just...okay, so the main character is a genius food person with a miraculous palate! but she doesn't cook! because of her Tragic Past! and she thinks she is USELESS but everyone she meets loves her! and gives her free chocolate and cheese and bakes her souffles and whatnot. OH and there's a gruff but kind boss, and a different gruff but kind boss, and a fabulous older gay man who mentors her and gives her a makeover (of the kind which is like, just take off those glasses and get a haircut and stop wearing those baggy clothes which are covering up your perfect figure which you have despite all the free chocolate BUT I DIGRESS) Anyway there's also a SECRET LIBRARY and a MYSTERIOUS PUZZLE and a HEARTWARMING WWII STORY and a HOT ARCHITECT and an UNDERGROUND RAILROAD THING and not one but TWO colorful Italian families. and a line of dialogue about rose petals that was so incredibly hokey that I laughed extremely hard in the break room at work and had to try to explain to my coworkers about how the people had sex for the first time in a SECRET LIBRARY. Oh and also she is secretly a FASHION GENIUS too! Because being only one kind of genius is just not enough.
On the other hand, it was a pretty fun and fast read, and if you're looking for a souffle-type novel, you could do worse! Plus, so many AWESOME OLD LADIES, which are my favorite.
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Reading Progress

November 13, 2013 – Started Reading
November 13, 2013 – Shelved
November 14, 2013 – Shelved as: arc
November 14, 2013 – Shelved as: fiftyfifty-me-2013
November 14, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-39 of 39) (39 new)

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message 1: by Liz (new)

Liz OH no. I love Ruth Reichel too - may have to read it anyway

Jenne You might like it! It's silly but fun.

message 3: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Szantyr Great review. You told it like you saw it, yet, ended on an upbeat, encouraging note. I too, love Reichl, with Garlic and Saphhires my favorite, so I will still attempt to read this.

message 4: by Ivonne (new)

Ivonne Rovira Jenne wrote: "You might like it! It's silly but fun."

Hey! I don't mind silly but fun! That's basically the entire Honey Driver series.

Jenne Yep, sometimes that's what you want!

message 6: by Joann (new)

Joann Darn, I wanted to read this one..heard her interviewed on NPR--but I trust you assessment and am not in the market for souffle--will keep it on the maybe pile for now. Thanks Jenne!

message 7: by Bas (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bas I think I would find all the issues you raised bothersome as well...these "Cinderella" types of characters who just fall into a wonderful life become rather nauseating after a few chapters. Where are the wicked stepsisters when you need them?

message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Love your review, Jenne. The book was beyond stupid and you nailed it. The rose petal line...all I could think of was "...said no guy ever"!!

message 9: by Ivonne (new)

Ivonne Rovira Stephanie wrote: "Love your review, Jenne. The book was beyond stupid and you nailed it. The rose petal line...all I could think of was "...said no guy ever"!!"

I haven't read the book, but I suspect there are guys who would say really romantic lines. Only they all already have boyfriends. More's the pity. :-(

Laura I had the exact same reaction to the rose petals. You have GOT to be kidding me, Ruth. Gross.

message 11: by Sean (new)

Sean Thanks for this review. I've been waffling (pardon the food pun) about whether to read this or not and your review tipped me into the "pass" category. I subscribed to Gourmet magazine during Ruth's heyday and also loved Garlic & Sapphires. But this sounds sort of ridiculous. And maybe not in a good way.

Alycia I already forgot about the awful sex scenes!I thought the clothes were bad enough! Ugggghhhhh!

message 13: by Kay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kay Joanne, sometimes you just need a souffle, and this one is terrific - it did not fall for me. I love the way Ruth writes. I loved the mystery and the characters. Just give it a chance - the cover was enough to entice me - but I'm a sucker for a great cover.

message 14: by Liz (new) - rated it 3 stars

Liz Pitcher I did not read your review until I had this book almost completed. Now I don't have to review it because you said everthing that I've been complaining about. I like Delicious! but there are some serious eye roll moments.

Stephanie Right??? How is she good at clothes TOO!?!

message 16: by Bas (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bas Liz wrote: "I did not read your review until I had this book almost completed. Now I don't have to review it because you said everthing that I've been complaining about. I like Delicious! but there are some ..."


message 17: by Bas (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bas Stephanie wrote: "Right??? How is she good at clothes TOO!?!"

Yup...that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me!

Nathan Eilers This is a stellar and hilarious review!

Erica Fantastic review!!!

Kendra The line that bothered me most what the bf saying "I'd like to meet your father". What bloody century are we in seriously? Hilarious review and spot on. I so loved everything else by her, but ...well it's a fun summer read with a marg, but it's nowhere near the quality of her other books.

Jenne Yeah, it was...kind of embarrassing. :-)

Jeanneo I laughed all the way through this reviews. The CAPITALS provided the perfect emphasis! Agreed with everthing stated, but I still enjoyed the wild ride.

message 23: by Donna (new) - added it

Donna I am just reading this now. I'm at the Thanksgiving chapter and found myself wondering, "is anything ever actually going to happen in this book?" So I decided to look for some reviews. I'm heartened to see that there is some plot to it and there are things coming. Although it doesn't sound like it's going to get much better. At this point I feel like "okay I get it she's got an amazing time palate and she can taste things" but I'm going to hang in there ...what the hack I like food, it's about food. Thanks for the reviews.

message 24: by Sammie (new) - added it

Sammie You had me laughing at your proper-noun-infication of "Tragic Past" because I TOTALLY feel you on that whole concept. It's like watching the testimonials of the contestants on an episode of America's Next Top Model..."but my Past..." and then I just. Couldn't. Stop. Laughing throughout the rest of your review. This is such an excellent review! Thank you :)

Jenne haha, thank you!

Margery Your review is infinitely more entertaining than the book! I was going to write a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger (I greatly enjoy Ruth Reichl's nonfiction) review, but you did it for me.

message 27: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim This is the perfect review. You absolutely nailed it and all I have to do in my review is to send folks to yours!

Jenne Kim wrote: "This is the perfect review. You absolutely nailed it and all I have to do in my review is to send folks to yours!"

Ha, thank you!

message 29: by Maddie/Art3mis (new)

Maddie/Art3mis Oh my God, this review is just PERFECT.

message 30: by Beth (new)

Beth Duder Great review! Pure fluff!

Jeanine Thanks for saving me the trouble of having to review this book :-)

message 32: by SHH (new) - rated it 3 stars

SHH thanks for assuring that I need not go any further. It feels like the Devil Wears Prada meets Julia Child . Big disappointment. I prefer all the past ones about HERE life

message 33: by Tam (new) - added it

Tam Star yes, it's no Pulitzer prize winner but if you let yourself just let go of preconceived expectations, it's been fun. The letter puzzle is awkward and seemed too contrived, but I guess it the easiest way to prolong the letter excitement which, to me, is the draw of the book

Becca Agreed on all counts

Gretchen Also, EVERYONE is wealthy! Thanks for the great review. I didn’t like it almost from the start, and then I read the NYT’s review and he’s with us. Yet I had to finish. Like cleaning my plate perhaps? Luckily I have several more of her memoirs to read.

Virginia Fox Tam Star, I'm with you. I have just started reading this. Found it at the thrift store and after reading some random parts decided to hand over the 3$ it cost. I love food, talking about food, fantasizing about food, and grew up doing that very thing Billie did, smelling everything in the spice cabinet. Itis a journey with a
kindred spirit. If I understand correctly, this was her first novel. If that is the case, most of the time you see a bit of the clearing of the cobbwebbs of the past in those first efforts. I have been a joyful and willing passenger on her meanderings. I can feel the heart in this work.

Alyssa Hahaha--this review is spot on! It was a fun book, but I felt like one minute the character would meet someone new, and the next second would suddenly be best friends with them--despite her being socially awkward and shy.

Ashley I couldn't agree more.

Seawitch Jenne - you naughty reviewer, you! I confess she had me the first third of the book but then... yeah, you said just what I didn’t want to admit to myself. There’s a heatwave here and so I finished the book...I hated the Complainer. Pompous know it all was he. That’s where Reichl really lost me.

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