About the Book
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?
I figured that I better wait to write my review for this book until I started making dinner. I think it is only fitting that I write about this book while being surrounded by food! And boy does this book have some food in it!
The foodie aspect of this book is actually the main reason I wanted to read it. I, in case you can’t tell, may or may not be a HUGE foodie myself, and it’s something that I often find lacking in books. There never seem to be any big sit down dinners, food is never really on the minds of any of the character (or am I the weird one?), and I really only ever see food being mentioned as a plot device for the first date or something. So, as you can tell from my mini rant right now, I was so in love with all of the salivation worthy food scenes throughout Salty, Bitter, Sweet.
The other aspect of this book that I love is the utilization of my all time favorite trope: enemies to lovers. It just gets me every time! The wit! The banter! The frustration! I don’t know, again, there’s probably something wrong with me.
And yet even with all of these seemingly positive things this book is also really sad. It is a story about grief and finding oneself, so it covers some heavy themes. I loved how important family was in this book. Through the ups and the downs, family is still family. And this is another thing that I often don’t really see in books. Overall this book was as refreshing as the cup of matcha lemonade I’m craving right now!
About the Author
Mayra’s YA contemporary #OwnVoices debut SALTY, BITTER, SWEET hits shelves on March 2020. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mayra is a professional journalist and fiction writer who prefers love stories with a happy ending. Her debut fiction short story was selected by best-selling author Becky Albertalli to appear in the Foreshadow YA serial anthology Issue 04 in April 2019. She is currently a special projects producer and writer for CNN. She keeps her sanity by practicing Buddhist meditation and serving on the Board of Directors of Kadampa Meditation Center Georgia. She lives with her husband, also a CNN journalist, and their cat, in the charming town of Norcross, Georgia. She is also the step-mom to two amazing young men who provide plenty of inspiration for her stories. Her claim to fame came as her family appeared in Season 2 of Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers.
Monday, March 2nd: Becca Leighanne
Thursday, March 5th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Monday, March 9th: @myreadingchronicles
Wednesday, March 11th: @amanda.the.bookish
Thursday, March 12th: @rcbooksandfood
Thursday, March 19th: @babybibliophile
Monday, March 23rd: @createexploreread
Tuesday, March 24th: @_ebl_inc_
Friday, March 27th: Run Wright
Win one copy of Salty, Bitter, Sweet! (US only, must be 18 years old). To enter:
-Comment “I’m in!” and that’s it!
Giveaway ends March 23 at 12PM EST
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*