SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler

I am flying through the books at the moment, a fact I'm attributing to my recent decision to quit Snap Chat. Truth be told I haven't actually deleted my account as occasionally I need it for work stuff; but I have quit posting to Snap Chat and have cut right back on looking at other people's stories. Going on Snap Chat was like entering a time warp and I was spending way too much time there. Anyway the upside of cutting back on Snap Chat is that I have so much more time to do other things and last month I seemed to have filled that time with reading. I managed to get through a book a week, the most recent being SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler.

I started seeing this book pop up on people's Instagram feeds over the past few months but didn't know anything about it. Thanks to the power of social media, I instantly spotted it was soon as I walked in to the book store last week and left five minutes later ready to dive in - I had most definitely been influenced !!

SweetBitter is described as a novel of the senses. Of taste and hunger, of love and desire, and the wisdom that comes from our experiences, both sweet and bitter. It is the story of a young girl who moves to New York on her own and finds a job at an upscale restaurant in downtown New York. The story is of her experience as she navigates the chaotic and punishing life of a waiter, both on and off duty. It's a coming of age novel set in one of New York's most elite restaurants. It's described as a high on adrenaline insight into the food industry and that is exactly what it is.

This is another really quick read; not so much because it's a page turner, but more because the style of writing is captivating and I found myself constantly propelled to keep reading. The book carries you along without a whole lot happening. Unlike most of the other staff in the restaurant, Tess, the narrator of this novel isn't an aspiring artist, writer or musician. She is just trying to figure our who she is. Tess finds herself drawn into a love triangle with Jake, the object of her affections and Simone an older more experienced waiter, with whom Tess is infatuated. The love triangle story is my least favourite part of this book; I don't really get the attraction to Jake and Simone is a little tedious at times. However, it doesn't really matter as the writing pulls you in and you can easily ignore the weakness of this particular storyline. I liked Tess, but more than that, I liked the fact that this book reminded me of that time after college when you are experiencing and learning so many new things about yourself and the world around you. I also loved the insight into restaurant life and the way it was told with such intimacy.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It's exciting and fun to read. I would also recommend it to anyone who has worked (hands up) in the restaurant industry or who enjoys the hustle and bustle of that scene.

Enjoy, and if you read the book I'd love to hear what you think of it. Just pop a comment in the comments section below.


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