SYNOPSIS: A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to becoming a top chef for 17-year-old Isabella Fields than just not getting chopped … especially when the chances of things heating up with an intriguing boy and becoming a food star in the kitchen are both on the chopping block.
Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef.
The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down?
Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.
How can Isa expect to hold it together when she’s at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?
When Isas grandmother passes away, her family goes to ruins. Add on top of that her parents divorce, Isa knows her life will never be as it once was. Going to live with her father and his new wife in Grance, the only upside to this turn of events is being a mere distance from a world renowned chefs kitchen. Hoping to piece back the pieces of her old life, Isa is anxious to excel in the lucrative international apprenticeship she was able to obtain in hopes of getting an internship with the renowned chef. But still dealing with grief of losing both her abuela and her parents divorce, Isa is finding it much harder to do than she originally thought.
Overall I did enjoy Salty Bitter Sweet. It was a sweet coming of age story. Isa had great growth as the story progressed and I loved all the FOOD in this. Mmm it made me so hungry. The slow burn romance was fun I just wish the love interest would have been someone other than her new stepmoms step son. This story touches on dealing with grief, the trials and tribulations of growing up, and family. While I found the first bit of the book hard to fully get into, I really started to get into it around the halfway mark. This was a quick read that gave me all the feels. I am giving it 3 out of 5 stars
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Mayra Cuevas is the author of the YA romcom SALTY, BITTER, SWEET (Blink/HarperCollins), to release on March 3, 2020.
She is also an accomplished writer and TV producer for CNN Worldwide.
Connect with Mayra
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