Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dear Julia by Amy Bronwen Zemser

Elaine Hamilton would love nothing more than to follow her idol, Julia Child, in attending Smith College and then going to a culinary school in France. The only thing stopping Elaine from pursuing her dream of being a chef is her ultra-feminist mother who doesn't want her daughter slaving away in domesticity. When Elaine meets Lucida Sans (yes, named after the font), she gets pulled into Lucida's wacky escapades, which include exacting revenge on pretty-boy Croton, acquiring a cable-access channel and winning a cooking contest. During these adventures, Elaine realizes that she does have the courage to fight for what she wants, if she could just find it in herself.

Dear Julia was okay. Not bad, but not that good, either. It was definitely a fast read - I read it in a weekend. The plot had a good premise, but it needs some work. The characters also could have been fleshed out better. Elaine, especially. She had two character traits: timid and polite. The only thing that made her interesting was her passion for cooking. Besides that Elaine was literally an empty shell. Lucida's M.O. was to be famous, in any way possible. This included dressing up in crazy costumes to school (she wore a mouse costume to school), which was very weird and maybe not allowed in the dress code? At least at my school it wouldn't be. I also really liked Elaine's five brothers, though, they made the book funny. In spite of the other stuff, the one thing I did enjoy about this book was the fact that the author included real French cooking terms and even though I didn't understand a thing, it made the book authentic. There were even cooking techniques, and I could tell that Amy Bronwen Zemser did her research.
5 out of 10.

Release Date: October 14, 2008

No comments: