Katie: As is so often the case, Patty messaged me and said I needed to read The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson. You can imagine my skepticism at this point. Then she added the deciding words: it’s cheap and Mariana Zapata.
Patty: Have a little faith. I stumble upon decent reads every once in a while. A great while. My advice isn’t all bad…
The reference to Mariana Zapata came into play because though we adore her, she tends to be a little long-winded. This book was perfect in length, the author’s style is reminiscent of Zapata but you get through plot points efficiently. Oh, and you don’t have to wait until the 90% mark for sexytimes.
Vera Delane studied to be a chef. Food is her passion and running her own kitchen in a successful restaurant was her goal and she was on track to get there until life, in the form of a black-balling, piece of shit ex-boyfriend, got in the way.
She decides to diversify her culinary skills and opens up a food truck catering to the late-night bar crowd. She parks her new venture across the street from a fancy restaurant, run by one Killian Quinn, chef extraordinaire. He is not amused.
Patty: Honestly, the whole thing is good. Great supporting characters, no contrived plot twists, no extraneous barriers getting in the way of our HEA. The story is told in one of my favorite ways: it’s really a story about a woman doing her thing, the romance just kinda happens but isn’t the end-all, be-all nor does her finding a man magically cure all that ails her.
Also: food. Because both our H/h’s are chefs, there are plenty of descriptions of some really delicious-sounding dishes.
Katie: Patty, you’re wrong for that. You know what you did.
The Opposite of You really is delightful. I appreciated that both of our protagonists have their own baggage that they’re working to get past. I hate it when it’s one saving the other with sex.
Katie: The only bad thing I have to say is that I found the ex-boyfriend’s behavior to be entirely predictable, but I can’t even say that that was bad. I mean he was written as a dick. They’re going to dick.
I take that back. This book takes place in Durham, NC. There was a marked lack of POC for a city in the Deep South. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but I find myself noticing this more and more.
Patty: The only real issue I had was with the fact that our hero had a beard. Mind you, I love me a beard but on a chef? I mean, they make folks tie up or otherwise cover their hair when working in a kitchen… does this mean he had some kind of beard cozy or facial net he used? I was mildly distracted thinking of which beard-containing apparatus would work.
Katie: I don’t know that we have an argument this time, except for Patty’s questionable taste in memes. Here is some food porn from the last time I went to a fancy restaurant like the one in the book to make up for it.
and for parity, awesomeness from Torchy’s Tacos in Austin.
Btw, that night at Torchy’s… Y’all. This is the look olds get when having an inappropriate amount of fun. (We discovered this later when we got home, which made it that much funnier.)
A delicious bon bon of a book.
Get this one. Read it. It’s only $1.20 on Amazon right now, so you really don’t have an excuse.