Welcome to the Next Best Junior Chef, a book I was really looking forward to and a book that certainly delivered. It was almost a 5+ star, but due to a few little things 5 stars is all I can give at the moment (which is still awesome).
I just love shows like the one written in this book. I have seen quite a few and they are always so much fun. Though the one in this book was slightly different. Not only was this one taking place over a week, but it also yielded field trips (so much fun!), mini-challenges, one big competition, private lessons (I would love one as well), chances to win gadgets for the kitchen (I know what I would pick), and much more.
We have 4 characters, and I will list them in order of like/love.
First up: Rae! My favourite girl. I just loved how normal she stayed even though things got very competitive. I also didn’t get why everyone was hating on her for saying those things about Oliver. I was agreeing with Rae. He didn’t really save her, he just caught her. Plus it was refreshing that she didn’t fall for Oliver’s charms like everyone else seems to do in this book.
It was fun to read about her grandma and her cooking up a storm and how that has formed her to participate in this challenge.
Second: Caroline. Yep, another girl, but she was so sweet and fun, and I loved how she immediately wanted to be friends with Rae. You don’t often see that happen in these kind of events, so I was really delighted. Plus I loved her cooking (she made some interesting things), and she wanted to show her mom that she could cook without her looming over her all the time.
Third: Oliver. He got saved from last place because he did change a bit over the book. He was still a big egomaniac, but he tried his best to help people out. But in the beginning? I hated his cockiness and how he thought he would win because he had done private lessons and was more superior in cooking. No. Just no.
But nearing the end I did see some good in him, though I was a bit pissed at how he acted when things didn’t go his way. He should really grow up a bit more. This week is also about having fun and making new recipes. And not only about winning.
Fourth: Tate. Sorry, he just had zero presence for me, at times I even forgot about him, and the only thing he seemed to be able to do was doing stuff with knives. Plus I hated how he got a preference treatment at one point in the book (that is just not done. This is still a competition and just because he got a bad review doesn’t mean you have to please him by making a challenge just for him). Also I didn’t like how in the end competition he had to be called back because he was with his dad. I get, he misses his dad, but sorry, you are in a big final competition. 😐
The book switches between these characters, though there are characters that seem to get a bit more of the spotlight (like Rae or Oliver). At least that is how I felt, these 2 seemed to pop up just a bit more than the others did.
I loved that we also see the comments from the kids on questions they are asked in the interviews or at the start/end of challenges. It definitely made it feel even more like those cooking shows on TV.
Of course there are also sneaky/dirty directors who love drama and don’t care about the feelings or thoughts of the kids. It did fit with the whole tv show element, but I still wanted to punch them for doing this crappy thing.
I just flew through this book, I couldn’t stop reading it. Everything was just too much fun.
Oh and at one point there was a scene and this GIF just fits way too perfectly with it:
Also the book is peppered with fun illustrations! It made some scenes even nicer. 🙂
Mm, what more, I think I have mentioned everything. The only thing I want is for the second book to come out, and maybe to have a prequel about the selection process.
I would recommend this book to everyone!