*I was sent a copy of The Arctic Curry Club in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Avon Books UK and Dani Redd*
Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.
In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.
But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…
This book was not at all what I was expecting. I went into this thinking it was going to be a cute festive romance, oh boy was I wrong. This feels like a very honest mistake to make as I have seen other people say the same thing so I’m not a complete idiot for thinking this was going to be way fluffier than it was.
The Arctic Curry Club was a hard read at times. There was basically no romance and the anxiety talk hit a little too close to home for my liking. I have no issue with characters having mental health issues, as that’s realistic, but it was a bit much at times.
With that being said I didn’t dislike this book at all. It was a very good read, but not what the cover set my expectations for.
Surprisingly a good chunk of The Arctic Curry Club was actually set in India. Absolutely no complaints from me though because those were the best parts. I loved reading about all the different foods and sights that Maya was trying and seeing for the first time.
The food was a huge reason why I enjoyed this book. Everything sounded amazing. So much so that I had to order Indian food one night whilst reading because it made me so hungry.
Character-wise this book was ok. A few, Ryan included, were quite two-dimensional and really weren’t imperative to the story. Especially considering Maya didn’t start remembering things from her past until she was in India again.
I did like this book, but it did fall flat for me at times. Going into it and expecting cute romance and cosy nights in the arctic meant I was quite disappointed with the lack thereof. However, it was very well written and could become a favourite for a lot of people.
Unfortunately, this isn’t actually a festive book, which is the biggest reason why I read it in the first place. So basically it makes no sense that it is included in my ‘The 12 Books of Christmas’ series. However, it is too late for me to read another book now, so sorry.
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