All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

All Four Stars #1. Putnam (July 2014) Library
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?

I've been waiting forever for All Four Stars to cross my path. Just look at the cover? It screams adorable and that there will be a lot of talk about desserts. There were.

Gladys secretly learned how to cook and bake after school. One day, she makes a mistake with one of those mini blowtorches for creme brulees. She gets the curtains set on fire and her parents see her which leads to a monumental change in Gladys life.

Her parents are fast food types of people that don't know how to cook. They don't trust Gladys to cook because she's so young. They don't even understand why she cooks when she explains to them what she's been doing the last few years. This is her passion. But her parents aren't having any of it. Her parents are so ridiculous that I couldn't help but furrow my eyebrows at them when all they did in the kitchen was put something in the microwave to heat up. The would "nuke it" in the microwave specifically. How are they not all fat?

Gladys and her parents get into a fight after the curtain burning which leads to her getting banned from cooking. That single act as well as her new teacher leads her down a path of food, risks, and friendship.

She gets this assignment about what she wants to be when she grows up. It gets sent as a job application for a food critic. So now Gladys is a food critic with no way to critique a restaurant! She has to scramble to find a way to meet her deadline. She has to go to the one person that she positively does not like to do so.

This was perfectly fun from beginning to end. I love the way the author writes. I like how the parents actually made right choices for her even when they haven't been doing so in regards to food. Gladys is a plucky little girl with passion and ambition. The food she describes in her critiques sound scrumptious which was just what I was hoping for. If you are looking for something light, fun, and to satisfy the inner foodie (or hungry) side of you I would check out All Four Stars. It won't disappoint.


  1. This sounds amazing. I want to read it!

  2. I can't wait until my granddaughter is old enough to read these kind of books so that we can read them together and talk about them.

  3. This sounds delightful, and I am glad the parents weren't completely bad. I adore the cover and a foodie book...noms!

  4. Well I need it just for Gladys. That's my kitty's name. lol


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