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Virtually Perfect Paperback – September 26, 2017
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"Entertaining and incisive... Readers are treated to ample helpings of snappy dialogue and vivid characters. The book contains plenty of humor, but the ending turns more serious, giving readers some food for thought." - Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Paige Roberts is a former journalist who has written for publications such as McSweeney’s, Culinate, and Smithsonian.com. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
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I’m always up for a food-themed novel and this one caught my eye. I had heard about it several months before it published and knew that I had to devour it as soon as I had the chance. And devour it, I did!
Paige Roberts makes writing seem effortless, even when I’m sure she put a lot of effort into it. Her words just flowed throughout the pages, making me want to read her novel non-stop. I had no idea what would happen from one chapter to the next and was in for a lot fun (and sometimes outlandish) surprises.
I liked the variety of characters in this story. It was clear whom you could trust and whom to avoid. Paige creates some truly despicable characters that make the story even more exciting because you want to know that they’ll get their just desserts. I think it would be fun for Paige to write a book about Zoe and try to make her into a likable character. I think she has some potential to change. Kathryn, on the other hand, is a piece of work!
Lizzie is truly likable throughout, but I wish she would have shared what really happened with her TV show ending. It sounded like there was more than meets the eye, from what she alluded to, but she never got into details. The story probably could have worked just as well in first person, but I enjoyed Lizzie’s perspective no matter what. I couldn’t even imagine having her job and trying to cook for so many different dietary requirements. She sure had her hands full! The descriptions made everything easy to visualize without taking away from the narrative.
Overall, I truly enjoyed this novel. It was a nice distraction from everything else I have to get done during the week and I looked forward to any chance I got to pick it up each day. I look forward to reading more from Paige Roberts!
Dream movie cast:
Lizzie: Milana Vayntrub
Zoe: Skyler Samuels
Kathryn: Dina Meyer
Nate: Jason Ritter
April: Megalyn Echikunwoke
But little by little, her life changed. Her show was cancelled. Her cookbooks stopped selling. She was forced to work as a personal chef just to afford the rent on her Manhattan apartment in a trendy neighborhood, and then for her much smaller Manhattan apartment at the edge of a far less trendy neighborhood. And then a shake-up at the magazine meant her monthly column went to another chef, so Lizzie felt like it was time to move back to her mother's place in Philadelphia, to figure out where to go next.
"Next" turned out to be a beach house on the Jersey Shore, where she got a summer job as a private chef for an ultra-wealthy media mogul and his wife. Despite it being a step down from where she was, Lizzie quickly got accustomed to the lavish kitchen and the fresh food from the local farmer's market and the short walk to the ocean. She was willing to put up with her nervous chatterbox of a boss all summer. She was even willing to apologize for past sins and make amends to her former college roommate, who had helped her set up her original cable access show and who Lizzie left behind when she made the leap to the Food Network.
But it's her clients' daughter Zoe, an internet personality in her early 20s, who is Lizzie's biggest threat. Her website, The Clean Life, promotes organic, vegan cooking. But there is a problem with her premise, and Lizzie can see through it. Pointing it out could potentially save lives, but it could also destroy not only Zoe's online reputation and Lizzie's job and her new potential relationship, it could also bring to light secrets from Lizzie's past that she'd rather not revisit.
Virtually Perfect, the debut novel from Paige Roberts, is just that. It is virtually perfect. Smart and interesting, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of life as a private chef, this novel is packed with likable characters, a strong plot, an interesting sense of place, humor, timeliness, and the perfect balance. Adorable and fun, Virtually Perfect is the perfect novel for a day at the beach or a day snuggled in front of the fire wishing for a beach. A great read for foodies!
Galleys for Virtually Perfect were provided by Kensington Books through NetGalley.com, with many thanks.