Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter

A Novel

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
28
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A lush, raw, thrilling novel of the senses about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant."Let's say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge..." This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the twenty-two-year-old at the heart of this stunning first novel. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, she's come to New York to look for a life she can't define, except as a burning drive to become someone, to belong somewhere. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a "backwaiter," on duty and off. Her appetites--for food, wine, knowledge, and every kind of experience--are awakened. And she's pulled into the magnetic thrall of two other servers--a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman she latches onto with an orphan's ardor....
Publisher: 2016
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : Knopf, 2016. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 725 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device. (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9781101875957

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WinstonO
May 08, 2018

One of the worst books I've ever read! I graduated from cooking school & worked in restaurants so to me the plot is totally unreasonable. No one with no experience is going to get a FOH or BOH job without experience, especially in a 3 - 5 star restaurant. It didn't have much description of people, places, things, impressions. The dialogue was flat. There was nothing to hold my attention.

This was a librarian recommendation but it makes me wonder if any librarian read it. I only read it as part of the Pick 10 program.

s
smpowe5
Mar 20, 2018

One of the first books I have checked out that I didn't feel the need to finish. I read about half of it and it seemed to be going nowhere with no real storyline. Characters didn't catch my interest and just reminded me why I didn't enjoy working in a restaurant.

k
Kcota22
Oct 11, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was wary at first, considering I am not one particularly interested in food literature or New York living; however, after reading a few chapters and getting into the style of writing, I was pleasantly surprised. The author has a beautiful way of prose writing and I felt like I could really relate to the main character solely through her descriptions of other characters in the novel and her mentality in general. I thought that the "lack of a plot" was intentional and was entirely part of the novel's glory. Not every character has to change or evolve in some way through the process of the book. I do believe that Tess learned a lot about the New York style of living and about the people and food, but she, as a character, didn't really change, and I think that was the point. Overall, I thought it was very enjoyable to read.

k
KatG1983
Oct 02, 2017

I never made it passed page 130. It's not that this a badly written book - the author is competent and somewhat talented ... but there was no plot, just vague storyline. The book would be better sold as 'scenes from a restaurant', rather than a story with any sort of plot to follow. Perhaps a more coherent story takes shape after page 130, but I just didn't care enough about the characters to get there.

jen480480 Jul 19, 2017

I had high hopes for this book, especially considering all of the hype, but I couldn't get past the first few chapters. The writing was spastic at best, the author did a poor job of introducing the characters and giving me a reason to feel emotionally invested in them (this is particularly true of the protagonist), and every chapter followed the same plot line. Yawn.

MichelleM_3 May 10, 2017

I really like the book. I like the author's writing. What I enjoyed the most about the book was the author's ability to transport the reader into Tess's world which is the restaurant. You kind of get sucked in the way she does. It all seems intoxicating. What I disliked about the book was that our main character, Tess, remains stagnant but I believe the author wasn't really interested in changing her too much. The book felt more focused on the restaurant's environment and how it can affect people; the customers and employees alike.

p
PinesandPrejudice
Mar 20, 2017

This was one the worst books I have ever read. I finished hoping the main character would change, learn something, redeem herself -- but alas, she remained stupid, ignorant and annoying the entire time. The characters were pretentious, flat, dull, and unnecessarily "messed up".

The format was confusing -- especially if you try to listen to it on audiobook. There was nothing exciting. It was full of stupid, self-harming choices that I felt no sympathy toward.

Also, I had NO IDEA what time period this took place in which was ridiculously annoying.

In short, reading this book was a waste of my life.

athompson10 Mar 02, 2017

Every time I eat at Union Square Cafe, I'll remember this book.

m
michelleritchie
Feb 22, 2017

I really enjoyed this book. I read it on vacation and had it done in 3 days. Some people describe her writing as lacking character development but I thought it was more about leaving details unsaid. You don't even learn her name for a few hundred pages, and that is intentional. It leaves it quite esoteric and to your own assumptions (and imagination) and I really enjoyed that. I love a mix of food-literature and a love story so this was a great mix of the two.

c
ctkvlk
Feb 07, 2017

Not a bad book, but I went into it hoping for more food and less about the drunken revels of the main character. Not bad but not great, imho.

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