By Dana Bate
Available now from Hyperion (Disney)
Hannah Sugarman, like many chick lit heroines, is dissatisfied with her life. She hates her boring job at a think tank, which her parents got for her, and her long-term relationship ended in an ugly and public manner. Her stress cooking is the best part of her life. Then her best friend comes up with an idea: Why not start an underground supper club?
Supper clubs, basically, are unlicensed restaurants run out of people's homes. That would be one of the major complications of Hannah's: she's borrowing her landlord's home, while he's out of town, and he's running for an office with a platform that promises to crack down on supper clubs. I liked that THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS was very clear about why they're illegal - no health inspections, unfair competition with licensed restaurants, etc. What Hannah does seems harmless, but there are repercussions.
Despite all those consequences - and there are consequences - THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS is a great deal of fun. This is not weepy chick lit, where the heroine cycles into despair as her life implodes. In fact, I think THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS is as much a New Adult novel as chick lit. It's about Hannah learning to take control of her life. Not what her parents or her boyfriend want for her life, but figuring out what she wants and how to achieve that goal without becoming imprisoned or impoverished.
I love cleansing my palate with bubbly novels like this one. It's very optimistic, in the end, and sweet. There's a little romance, a little character growth, and some happily ever after. THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO LOVE AND SUPPER CLUBS will put a smile on your face and make you crave a nice bit of braised pork belly. Thankfully, some of the recipes are included at the back.