4 out of 4 stars
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Honesty is Key: The Magic Ingredient by Tayma Tameem is a story centered around two people: Atlas, an actor with a failed career who ventured into a TV show as a chef, and Selina, his producer. Atlas had lied about being an excellent cook, which got him into the TV show. But he later realized that what people loved was not his culinary skills but his honesty and ability to be himself. What would become of his career and relationship if he spilled the beans?
The author did an excellent job with characterization. She managed to create fictional characters the way they would exist in real life. For instance, Atlas was a know-it-all. He felt he could get whatever he wanted by cheating his way through. His unique personality trait was confidence; he believed that he could do anything. On the other hand, Selina was an independent lady who worked very hard to be where she was. She was always bossy; that was how she got by. She was also cold to feelings or at least too scared to admit she had one.
The author's straightforward and descriptive style was terrific and quite commendable. This was how she described Selina:
When it came to the ingredients and the process involved in preparing the dishes, she was also very descriptive. She showcased her writing prowess in this book. However, what I liked most was how the narrative freely flowed. She knew the terminologies to use that wouldn't confuse a layperson unfamiliar with culinary jargon.When she came in, she looked radiant. It was a hot, summer's day outside and she had on a sleeveless, floaty long dress, a big floppy hat and a pair of sunglasses. She had a straw bag casually thrown over her shoulder, and on her feet were gold sandals. He noticed that her toenails were painted, and that the slight tan she had caught flattered her complexion and made her look even more beautiful.
I learned great lessons from the life of Atlas. As the sequence of events progressed, the author used Atlas' fictional life to communicate hope and encouragement. I learned again that no matter how bad someone's beginning was, they would succeed if they kept improving.
The author's occasional use of comedy provided a little relief from the book's emotional pressure and mood. It somehow kept the tone of the book balanced.
I found a few errors in the book; they were barely noticeable and didn't affect how much I enjoyed it. I'd give it four out of four stars because it was exceptionally written and professionally edited. It would be an excellent book for anyone who enjoys a light emotional story with a touch of humor. The profanity level was minimal. Therefore, younger folks could also enjoy it.
Honesty is Key
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