Food and Book Pairing: Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein

The Book:

  • Title: Love at First Like
  • Author: Hannah Orenstein
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Release Date: 8/6/19
  • Genre: Romance
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Rating: ★★★
  • Publisher’s Summary: Eliza Roth and her sister Sophie co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn. One night, after learning of an ex’s engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a photo of herself wearing a diamond ring on that finger to her Instagram account beloved by 100,000 followers. Sales skyrocket, press rolls in, and Eliza learns that her personal life is good for business. So she has a choice: continue the ruse or clear up the misunderstanding. With mounting financial pressure, Eliza sets off to find a fake fiancé. Fellow entrepreneur Blake seems like the perfect match on paper. And in real life he shows promise, too. He would be perfect, if only Eliza didn’t feel also drawn to someone else. But Blake doesn’t know Eliza is “engaged”; Sophie asks Eliza for an impossible sum of money; and Eliza’s lies start to spiral out of control. She can either stay engaged online or fall in love in real life.

Eliza and her story remind me of the musical Dear Evan Hansen. Both Eliza and Evan tell lies that get out of control. Neither of them really end up facing consequences for their actions, which is certainly frustrating. It becomes hard to like Eliza because of the way her lies have a negative affect on those around her. I was pretty sure that everything would work out okay for Eliza, but I remained curious to see if she would be able to pull off her fake wedding.

While Eliza is not the most likable protaganist, her bartender friend Raj is incredibly winning. He is there to support and listen when Eliza is upset and is there to provide her with food and alcohol as well. He is never judgmental about Eliza’s predicament and constantly makes her laugh. Throughout Love at First Like, I hoped that Eliza would realize that Raj is a better match for her than Blake.

Love at First Like is a fun and quick read that is comforting in its predictability.

Food Pairing: Mozzarella Sticks

If you know me, you know that I absolutely love mozzarella sticks…and cheese in general. Raj offers Eliza mozzarella sticks when she is stressed and upset. Honestly, that is relationship goals.

Fried cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and it can be exactly what you need after a bad day. This is how I feel about Love at First Like. It is fun and makes you smile and can make you forget about your problems for a little while.

I have tried making mozzarella sticks at home, but they never turn out quite as well as the ones you can get from a diner. The best ones have a salty and crispy outside that contrasts with the melty and gooey cheese inside.

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