Lisa Joy’s first novel, Yes, Chef!, has all the makings of a good chick lit book – cute guy, bright cover, heck, even the protagonist Becca is described as ‘sassy’. What’s not to love?

Set in London, Yes, Chef! is told from the perspective of Becca Stone, a girl about to turn thirty who is stuck in a dead-end office job. When she gets the opportunity to work as the personal assistant to celebrity chef, Damien Malone, she’s at first hesitant – it’d be great for her career, but his nasty reputation precedes him. Becca’s life quickly becomes a whirlwind of work, travel and cute boys, but in the meantime she loses track of what’s really important, like her friends.

I enjoyed this novel, but admittedly there were a few flaws. First, it was abundantly clear that it was Lisa Joy’s first foray into fiction, because at times the writing came across as clunky and over-thought. This specifically occurred during the conversations that Becca would have with her work colleagues, and while I know that many authors struggle particularly with dialogue, these passages just reinforced that I was reading a make-believe world.

However, the other problem with Yes, Chef! is one that frequently occurs in chick lit, and that was the sloppy storytelling. While there were definitely storylines that didn’t really go anywhere (Becca’s friend who tries to kiss her for one), the two main plot lines were so thin they were almost laughable. First, the biggest problem in Becca’s life is that her friends get upset with her because she’s been working too hard and haven’t been making time for her. I’m sorry, but what? If Becca had dropped off the scene because of some boyfriend, then yeah, I could understand why they’d be a tad annoyed. But to get angry at her because she’s working outrageous hours for a bully of a boss (they should know, his their boss too) is simply ridiculous. And the love interest, though very cute and very nice, is both obvious from the get-go and so ‘convenient’ that I was routinely reminded that this was a chick lit. Like, I’m sorry, but it is very unlikely that Becca would ‘just happen’ to run into him both in Florence, but also just randomly on the streets of London. Have you ever been to London? It’s more than double the population of Melbourne, and let me tell you, not once have I ever ‘conveniently’ run into a cute boy I’ve been interested in.

So, in a nutshell, unfortunately Yes, Chef! is a bit routine. It’s entertaining yes, and if you don’t want to use your brain cells, go for it. It’s fun, and the character, though a bit exasperating, is likeable, so you want her to find success. Plus, the cover is delightful and the setting is in London, two things that are always thumbs up from me. Basically, it is exactly what you’d expect from a chick lit that isn’t particularly memorable, but is thoroughly enjoyable. Give it a read if you’re away on holidays, trying to avoid study, or want to be transported to ‘la la land’.

Have you read Yes, Chef! by Lisa Joy? Are you a fan of Chick Lit? Let me know!

yes chef by lisa joy

Yes, Chef! – (image taken from http://www.amazon.com)

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