I was disappointed that this book did not match the synopsis. The part about the cooking school is great, but then Kelly takes a job on a cruise ship. The story then changes to the sexual partners that she has for the next few years. Some of the men were interesting (Boris), some could have been interesting (John), and some should have been cut out of the book (Jason). This book is really about a woman in her twenties exploring her sexuality with long and short-term partners. There is nothing wrong with that storyline, but I would not have read it if I had known that was the real story.
This is why I gave this book three stars: the first half is very well written and a good character voice, but the second half loses those features. It reads more like a second draft that has not been fully fleshed out. Kelly stops being a round character and just lists what is happening to her. Dull city. Because the first half was good, though, I started reading faster to see if the last part improved. It didn't. I put all that time in, and the payoff was very small. I don't believe that they are in love or that she won't cheat on him if he leaves for more than a week. Why did she keep doing that to John? It didn't ring true with the rest of her character, so now I wonder if I misunderstood her strengths earlier.
There is true potential here, however. If this were my book, I would develop Gil much more; drop most of the third quarter of the book, including Jason after the first incident (because after that is just too disgusting) and Aarti (loved her but she doesn't move the plot at all); have Kelly mature more while with John and strengthen John's character because he comes across as wussy; and add several more pages to the ending so the reader gets a good return for the investment. But above all, Kelly desperately needs a stronger character arc and voice in the second half to show us that she has grown up and is ready to form a lasting, loving relationship. The lack of these is why other reviewers are calling her a slut.
If I get a notice that this book has been redone, I would read it again. I want Kelly to have the ending that first-half Kelly deserves.