Eating around other people is a struggle for salaryman Yutaka, despite his talent for cooking. All that changes when he meets Minoru and Tane—two brothers, many years apart in age—who ask him to teach them how to make his delicious food! It’s not long before Yutaka finds himself falling hard for the meals they share together—and falling in love!
Note: Not a YA book; but crossover material, as the main character is 23.
Short version of this review: It’s a cute romance with a found family trope!
The story is about a lonely person, Yutaka, who has a complex about eating food with other people, finally finding belonging with a family that loves him as he is. In an incredibly adorable meet-cute, Yutaka crosses paths with two brothers, Minoru and Tane. Tane, the toddler, loves Yutaka’s cooking, and urges Yutaka to teach him how to make delicious onigiri; Minoru, happy to see his little brother enjoying something, invites Yutaka to have a meal at their house. Thus begins their weekly ritual of eating together, and Yutaka himself is surprised as he doesn’t feel the same apprehension about eating with them and instead starts looking forward to the weekends when he gets to meet them. Slowly Yutaka and Minoru open up to each other about their backstory and how much this has come to mean to them. The romance develops subtly, but we have to give credit to Tane for starting much of it, unknowingly. At one point, the kid literally was like ‘stay for dinner? nah, stay here forever’
though there were also parts where he interrupts Minoru gathering his courage, while blushing, to make some sort of confession. The latter half of the story was speeded up a bit, when they start dating, and Yutaka is scared of things changing; that story arc merited its own entire volume, to be honest, but I liked how it was resolved nevertheless (also I love Minoru’s dad: so enthusiastically supportive!). So much of it was about finding people you are comfortable with, finding people you are happy to share a meal with, and I would be lying if it didn’t bring me to tears at some points. Overall, it’s a sweet story about food, comfort and family!
Is it diverse? mlm romance, with queer characters
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Seven Seas, via Edelweiss.
Released on December 17, 2019