Sabrina Elkins' debut novel, Stir Me Up, has a lot going for it: a charming romance, a positive undertone regarding female sexuality and a great portrayal of how the college track right after high school isn't the best thing for everyone (more of this, please). Unfortunately, just as many frustrating, unnecessary and un-nuanced plot and character issues kept Stir Me Up from being that satisfying read I hoped it would be.
High school senior Camille (Cami) grew up in her father's French restaurant in Vermont, and dreams of a career much like her father's. Becoming a chef is truly her passion, and over the years, she's slowly earned her father's trust as she's worked her way up from prepping vegetables to making the restaurant's soup du jour once a week. While her father wants her to attend University of Vermont so she can keep her future options open, Cami knows what she wants: a future in the kitchen of a top restaurant.
Her world is disrupted, though, when her stepmother Estella's nephew (whom she raised), Julian, moves into Cami's house. Julian is a 20-year old Marine who was severely injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. He's lost part of one of his legs and sustained numerous other injuries. Understandably, he's angry and hostile.
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