18289482All Four Stars by Tara Dairman
Release Date: July 10, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

“A scrumptious gem of a story!”—Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Timesbestselling author of The False Prince

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world.

But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right? – Goodreads

Review:

This book has been on my radar for months, probably even a year and while I’ve been wanting to read it, I just haven’t had time. Then one day I saw it at the library and knew it was time. Now, if anything, I’m mad at myself that I waited so long to read it. I had friends like, Jen and Kim, who loved it and I should have known I would, too. And fine, they were right. I did love it. I was hooked from the very beginning. This book was the cutest and I cannot recommend it more to people.

All Four Stars is the story of Gladys, a girl who does not fit in, in her family. Her family will eat whatever, and Gladys is constantly critiquing meals and wants to only eat the best. In fact, we first meet Gladys as she is making crème brûlée and kind of sort of starts her kitchen on fire with a blow torch. Gladys, very logically blames her parents for this, if they would have brought her a proper kitchen blow torch she wouldn’t have had to use a giant one which set everything a blaze.

Gladys’ parents just want her to be interested in normal 11 year old things. Playing outside, having friends, watching TV (something besides the cooking channel!) All of these things don’t interest Gladys, she likes cooking, eating amazing food, and fresh ingredients. Slowly however, throughout All Four Stars, Gladys learns it is possible to not only have friends, but be true to yourself. Her teacher has decided that everyone in the class will be writing a paper on what they want to be when they grow up. Gladys turns in her first paper about how she wants to be a veterinarian and her teacher sees through it right away, there is no passion and she calls Gladys on it and makes her re-write the paper. What Gladys’ doesn’t expect is to win the contest in her class and have the essay be sent into the newspaper in New York City.

Once her essay is in New York City, it makes it’s way to the food editors desk and the next thing Gladys knows she has been asked to be a temporary food critic and of course she loses her mind, mostly because she can’t do this alone. Through various people in her life, including her next door neighbor and a friend at her school, she has a chance at making it. All Four Stars is a solid, cute novel that left me not only hungry, but also wanting more.