The Plot (from Goodreads):
When up-and-coming investment banker Jess Kim is passed over for a promotion, laid off in a virtual meeting, and then overhears why (“she’s already being overpaid anyway for a woman” and “Asians are worker bees, not someone who can drum up new deals”) she delivers an “eff you guys” speech and storms out of the building. Not sure what’s next, she moves back home to Tennessee with her domineering Korean mom, who tries to set her up with her pastor’s son Daniel Choi, an M&A lawyer by day and a successful video game streamer by night. Turns out he’s swoony and smart, not the awkward preacher’s kid she remembers. With his help, Jess launches a Korean cooking YouTube channel focused on easy meal prep for busy professionals.
All is going well until her mom walks on the show mid-live recording and argues about cooking technique. While she hates being berated by her mother in front of the world, it actually works in their favor—they go viral!
Soon her cooking channel becomes an actual media company and brand. When a client is suddenly interested in buying Jess out, she finds herself sitting across the table from the very investment firm she quit not so long ago. But there’s just one other problem: Daniel, the guy who’s been helping her and that she’s been falling for, is the firm’s new general counsel.
This book made me so hungry! I’m definitely going to have to find a Korean restaurant near me asap.
What I loved most about this book was how much I related to Jess, from a professional perspective. I too am feeling wildly burnt out by my office job, and I would love to quit and do something I love instead. I’m not quite ready to make that leap yet, but I so admire how Jess said “eff this” to the sexism and racism she put up with daily and just quit.
Daniel reminded me a lot of Josh from Josh and Hazel. Was Josh a pastor’s son too? I enjoyed their romance, but I don’t know if I’d be able to fall for the person my family measured me up against for my entire childhood. And Nashville must be an incredibly small town for them to keep running into each other like that!
The cooking show was amazing. Jess’s parents were too cute! I wish these hacks for meal prep existed in real life. (Those meal kits are so expensive though…would people really buy additional supplies on top of that?)
Overall, the cooking parts were a lot of fun, but the love story was a little hard to believe in.
QOTD: Do you like Asian food? What’s your favorite cuisine, or what’s your favorite Korean food?