Hot Mess by Emily Belden

9781525811418.inddThis was a very interesting book. I thought it was going to go one way, and then it didn’t. Wow, is that cryptic or what?

The story is about Allie Simon. She gets involved with a hot shot up-and-coming chef, Benji Zane, who has a myriad of issues, mainly that he is a drug addict. The book follows the ups and downs and Allie deals with Benji, manages the hoops of a relationship with him.

The first part of the book Allie basically makes a bunch of bad decisions. You know as the reader these are going to have consequences later in the book. If she was your friend, you would want to take her out and have a heart-to-heart with her. But you can’t, it’s a book.

I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go after the climactic event happens (no spoilers here) and I wasn’t sure how the author was going to sustain the book for another 200 or so pages. But she does and does it well.

I thought that the characters were well developed and I really cared what happened to them (mostly). It was interesting – it focuses on the restaurant industry – something I am not familiar with. So that was cool to learn about that.

There are some serious issues that are being talked about, mainly drug addiction and the effect it has on loved ones, and the author does a good job balancing the narrative – it’s not too morose or maudlin, but it does hi light the severity of the problem.

Overall I would recommend this book. If you want an easy-ish read with a bit of bite to it (see what I did there…bite? the book is about a chef) then this is your book.

I gave it a 4/5 star rating on Goodreads.

Full disclosure: I received this eARC from Edelweiss for a fair and honest review. (Thanks Edelweiss!)

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