I was forging my own path into uncharted territory, which was both terrifying and exhilarating. Everything was new, challenging, unfamiliar—I was completely out of my comfort zone. Yet I couldn’t wait to see what was waiting for me around the corner.
Investment bank Jess Kim’s career is not going as she planned. She got passed up for a promotion and just found out that she is getting laid off because “Asians are worker bees, not someone who can drum up new deals” and is “overpaid for a woman.” After telling her bosses that they could “eff off,” she heads home to Tennessee to figure out what her next career move will be. Going home means that she will be living under the same roof as her loving but meddling Korean mother, who is busy trying to set Jess up with the local pastor’s son, Daniel, a gorgeous swoon-worthy successful banker who seems to have his life together.
With Daniel’s help, Jess starts up a Korean cooking show on YouTube that shows people how to make delicious fast Korean dishes. But at her first live cooking show, Jess’s mom pops in and starts correcting and arguing with Jess about cooking methods. Jess thinks that the whole thing is a disaster until she realizes that everyone loves her mom and the banter that goes on between the two of them. Before she knows it, Jess’s cooking channel starts to become its own brand. But running her own business has many ups and downs, and falling in love with Daniel was not part of her business plan.
I was excited to read this book because I love books about food (who doesn’t). I spent my weekend reading this book, and I have to say it was a weekend well spent! Beware! This book is going to make you want to eat lots and lots of food. The food descriptions in this book are so vivid I felt like I could taste and smell what Jess and her mom were cooking. When I wasn’t reading this book, I thought about the food and tried to find a Korean restaurant in my city or surrounding cities (which I did!).
The story and characters in this book are lovely. Suzanne created a fun and diverse cast of characters that, as a reader, I just adored. The mother-daughter relationship between Jess and her mom was perfect in my eyes. They don’t have that picture-perfect “hallmark” relationship, but I loved that they didn’t. The ups and downs and miscommunications between the two made their mother-daughter relationship seem authentic and relatable. I think many of us can relate to being super embarrassed by something our parents (or grandparents) have done or said. I have never laughed so loud or cringed so much when Jess’s mom is on screen or being interviewed by someone. You never knew what she was going to say or do. I felt so bad for Jess.
Jess is a character you can’t help but love. She is smart, caring, and driven. I love love, love books about women who follow their dreams and start their own business: Jess’s business idea is so cool and smart. I just love the concept of taking meal prep packages people get delivered to their houses and putting a Korean twist on them, and the fact that they are simple recipes is an added bonus for those who aren’t great cooks (which would be me!).
I loved how in this book, Suzanne didn’t try to sugarcoat the issues of sexism and racism in the corporate world (or most workplaces, for that matter). It really pissed me off listening to Jess’s bosses, and colleagues say what they were saying to Jess. Though, I did get immense pleasure reading the scene where Jess told her bosses to “eff off,” something I think many of us wanted to do at times. As much as it was hard to read these scenes, I am glad that they were there because it is a problem within the workplace and should be addressed.
The romantic aspects in this book are not the main focus of the story. But romance is woven into the story with such care, and I thought it felt like everything in this story was so perfectly balanced and served a purpose. Those cute romancey moments between Jess and Daniel happen at just the right times, in my opinion. It was a lot of fun watching as Jess tries to come to terms with this “new” Daniel and realize that even when someone’s life appears perfect, that is not always the case.
So We Meet Again is the perfect recipe for a great way to spend your weekend. I would highly suggest you read this book!
Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.