Okay, this may be contrary to popular opinion, but I just never truly got into this one. The writing is strong, the descriptions of food and cocktails are vivid. What makes this book unique, however, is also it’s downfall; the characters are just not all that likable. The protagonist struggles to make personal connections, she makes many bad decisions; and because we read the story through her eyes, we never have the chance to truly feel connected to any of the supporting characters, herself included. Though I understand the writing tactic, it makes it very hard to root for anyone in this story, or to feel committed to the tale unfolding on the pages. Not a bad read, just not a favorite.
Per the book’s description on Amazon:
Newly arrived in New York City, twenty-two-year-old Tess lands a job working front of house at a celebrated downtown restaurant. What follows is her education: in champagne and cocaine, love and lust, dive bars and fine dining rooms, as she learns to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing life she has chosen. The story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the glitzy, grimy backdrop of New York’s most elite restaurants, in Sweetbitter Stephanie Danler deftly conjures the nonstop and high-adrenaline world of the food industry and evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, and the fragility and brutality of being young and adrift.