I had gotten the impression that many people around the internet really loved this book to the point that they put it in their top books of the year. But honestly, I didn't find it to live up to those expectations.
Except for one single aspect of the book: the immensely mouthwatering descriptions of food and coffee. The scenes where the little rat-cook bakes cinnamon buns (and his other, increasingly experimental treats) are my favorite.
And sure, it is nice for a change to read a more wholesome story in the fantasy genre. But the book just lacks a depth of character and theme that makes it more of a Young Adult work in my opinion. I enjoyed reading it, ultimately, but it wasn't as inspiring or defying in novel directions for fantasy books as I'd thought.