Reviews for Batter royale

Publishers Weekly
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Aspiring Canadian chef Rose, who is 17 and mixed-race (Black and white), works as a waitress at a local diner owned by Chef Bonnie, the mother of her white childhood best friend, Fred. Rose tries to assume more responsibilities at the diner, hoping to make her way into the kitchen, but her perpetual tardiness causes Bonnie to keep her on a tight schedule, leaving no time to experiment with recipes. Eager to prove she has what it takes to make it in the culinary world, Rose hijacks a special dessert order for a renowned food critic without Chef Bonnie’s knowledge. Swept away by Rose’s talent, the critic extends an invitation for her to join a televised baking competition in London to compete for half a million dollars. With Fred as her partner, Rose strives to win, navigating sneaky cheaters, professionally trained competitors, and the manufactured reality TV drama. Using thinly lined art, eye-catching hues, and animated facial expressions, Adams portrays an endearing cast populated by varied skin tones and body types. Employing simple paneling, uncomplicated dialogue, and a wish-fulfilling premise, Adams ably celebrates foodies and childhood crushes in this slice-of-life graphic novel debut. Recipes for desserts, such as apple crumble, feature throughout. Ages 12–up. Agent: Adria Goetz, Martin Literary Management. (June)

School Library Journal
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Gr 6 Up—When 17-year-old Rose unexpectedly impresses a famous restaurant critic with her dessert skills, she receives an invitation to a baking show in Britain; the winner will receive $500,000 and a book deal. With some effort, she convinces her best friend, Fred, who's the son of the owners of the restaurant where she waits tables, to join her team, and her parents to let her compete. Fred and Rose travel to Britain, compete against cutthroat teams, and explore themselves and their friendship. The story is fast-paced and exciting, and both Rose and Fred are likable, relatable characters. The competition is reminiscent of popular reality cooking shows, and fans of these shows will enjoy the story. Rose and Fred's eventual romance won't come as a surprise to readers, though it will delight them, and readers will recognize many of the issues they face, such as dealing with family stress and navigating friendships and relationships with peers. The chapters are marked by the recipes made in the story—a fun touch that aspiring chefs will appreciate. The artwork is bold and cartoonish; fans of authors like Reina Telgemier and Kayla Miller will be drawn to the work. Rose is biracial (her mother is Black, while her father is white), Fred is white, and the competitors in the Batter Royale competition are diverse in terms of race, many of them hailing from across the world. VERDICT This fun, engaging graphic novel will have readers eager to discover the winner of the contest. Budding pastry chefs will be inspired to follow suit and prepare delicious desserts of their own.—Ellen Conlin

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Rose wants to pursue her dream of becoming a great chef; unfortunately, money and her parents’ marriage woes are major obstacles. Rose, whose father is White and mother is Black, takes any opportunity to try her hand at making desserts. Her impulse to serve one of her creations to an influential food critic dining at the restaurant where she waitresses results in an opportunity to join a London baking competition that could help fund her dreams of culinary school. It takes a bit of arm-twisting, but she convinces her friend Fred, a freckled, redheaded White boy whose mom owns the restaurant where they both work, to come along as her partner. The two of them are plunged into an intense battle to stay in the contest as they face underhanded competitors, challenging ingredients, and personal setbacks, all of which are designed to make compelling television viewing. As they work together to get through the tough rounds, Rose and Fred find their friendship growing into something more. This delightful graphic novel with its multiracial cast is a nice blend of romance, contemporary culture, and coming-of-age themes. Baking-obsessed Rose has an infectious personality, and the supporting cast members contribute to a lively narrative that is well supported by bright, expressive art. Recipes included throughout the text will inspire readers to experiment in the kitchen themselves. A welcome addition to graphic storytelling. (Graphic fiction. 12-17) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

High-school seniors Rose and Fred score the opportunity of a lifetime when a food critic offers Rose a spot on a baking competition show, Batter Royale. With half a million dollars on the line, they sign up with dreams of culinary school and saving Fred's mom's restaurant. Although Rose feels a little out of her depth, she approaches the challenges with optimism and professionalism. The story has the sort of cooking-show drama one might expect from teens, such as sabotage, and a few unexpected twists, like rings of fire, booby traps, and a little romance. The panels generally have simple colors in the background to convey moods while letting the main characters be the highlight. The high-stakes competition is a great vehicle for showcasing each character's personality, and readers will genuinely be rooting for kind and creative Rose and partner Fred to succeed. Somewhat realistic cartoon drawings and little touches, such as included recipes and details in the dialogue, make it easy to fall into this appealing story. Just the right flavor for foodie teens.