Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review: Life from Scratch

By Melissa Amster

The latest trend in fiction is to write about blogging. There was even a recent article that referenced this trend. Of course, as an avid blogger, this appeals to me big time! So I could definitely relate to certain aspects of Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford, in that respect.

Rachel is a recent divorcĂ©e and looking for something to fill her days while she tries to figure out what she wants to do with her life. When she realizes that her pre-divorce meals were all from restaurants, she takes it upon herself to learn how to cook and decides to blog about her experiences. (Think Julie and Julia here...) What she doesn't realize is how much she'll decide to reveal about her personal life to her ever growing blog audience. Toss in a sexy Spaniard, and an overbearing sister into the mix and sprinkle lightly with a best friend who has something to hide, put it in the oven with feelings she's harboring for her ex-husband, and soon Rachel is cooking up a storm she doesn't know how to control.

I found Life from Scratch to be instantly engaging. Rachel was down-to-earth and genuine, not afraid to show her flaws. I felt I could relate to her because we're both Jewish, in our 30s and heavily immersed in the blogosphere. She also reminded me of a mix between my sister and my best friend, for a variety of reasons. I could see her as someone I'd hang out with if she actually existed. The supporting characters in the story were interesting and easy to visualize. I enjoyed seeing Rachel's interactions with each of them. The story went at a nice pace and flowed easily. There was never a point where it dragged, so if I had a day to myself, I probably could have read it all in one fell swoop. The balance of blog posts and actual story action was nice and they didn't detract attention from one another. There were a lot of surprises throughout the story, even though some felt slightly predictable. In the long run, I wasn't sure what was in store for Rachel and felt like I was along with her for the ride.

If you're looking for something light and entertaining, this is the book for you! I look forward to reading the sequel, Measure of Love, and hope to meet Melissa Ford in person someday (as she lives nearby), so that maybe some of her writing talent will rub off on me. (We share a first name and curly hair, so why not?!?)

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