Reviews

Arc Review: Chef’s Kiss by Melendez, Brine, Jones & Otsmane-Elhaou 🧑‍🍳 Cooking, Crisis & Romance

Arc Review Chef's Kiss

Watch things start to really heat up in the kitchen in this sweet, queer, new adult graphic novel!

Expected Publication: March 1st 2022 by Oni Press

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Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right?

When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear.

Info

CW’s: Overbearing Parents, Job Insecurity, Workplace Stress

Representation 🌷 Gay MC & LI

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Review

Thank you to Netgalley and Oni Press for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review! All images are taken from the Arc.

This New Adult Graphic Novel was the most relatable thing ever 💗 It’s about 22-year old Ben Cook who just graduated from college and is moving in with his three best friends, determined to start Adult Life. I loved reading about a protagonist close to my age who is struggling with his own independencen future. Just like Ben, I’m not so sure what I want to be and I liked that we saw an uncertain main character trying to figure out what he wants from life. Job hunting isn’t going well for Ben, who is frustrated that he is written off as soon as he discloses that he doesn’t have an practical experience. This is all still ahead for me, but I felt his annoyance and growing despair, as he did ‘everything right’ with his studies and has no idea how he is supposed to gain experience when everyone expects he should already have it. I also loved seeing his friendships and roommates who each have their different experience with Adult life: two already have a job and is getting another degree. The book was much focused on Ben’s journey adjusting to working and dealing with overbearing, controlling parents who have a specific life planned for him.

I also loved seeing Ben discover his passion for cooking and falling for Liam 🥰 When he fails to find a job and is about to give up, Ben discovers a restaurant that hires people without requiring experience. He takes his chance and is put on a trial period, as his strict and choleric new boss doesn’t 100% trust him yet. The head chef and restaurant owner is a pretty horrible boss at first – something that’s sadly common in kitchens – requiring Ben to succeed in a challenge each week in order to keep his job. However, Ben has a natural talent for cooking and is determined to stay on, improving himself constantly. It also helps that one of his new coworkers is charming cook Liam who immediately tries to include and help him. Ben develops a big crush on him and I loved seeing the pining between them, though it wasn’t the focus of this story!

chef's kiss

© Melendez, Brine, Jones & Otsmane-Elhaou

IN CONCLUSION.Chef’s Kiss was a fantastic, charming New Adult graphic novel that deals with growing up, finding your place and discovering your true passion. I loved the blend of pining & romance, friendships and cooking (so much delicious food!) The story addressed difficult topics but was still so heartwarming and lovely 😊

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Are you going to read Chef’s Kiss? What is your favorite graphic novel with LGBTQ rep? Any new adult graphic novels you like? 🌈

3 thoughts on “Arc Review: Chef’s Kiss by Melendez, Brine, Jones & Otsmane-Elhaou 🧑‍🍳 Cooking, Crisis & Romance

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