Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter
By Stephanie Danler
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9781101875940, May 2016, 368pp.

The Short of It:

An apt title for a story that pushes you away as much as it pulls you in.

The Rest of It:

Youth. Remember it? Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve felt that elusive, fleeting happiness that percolates ever so gently when it comes to love. Well, this story captures it beautifully.

New York City is the backdrop for this novel and it’s dizzying in its perfection. Even with the bug infestations and the rats running through the street, Tess finds it to be magical in its own way.

“It’s ludicrous for anyone to live here,” she thinks, at the same time, she thinks, “I can never leave.” ~Sweetbitter

Tess moves to the city with the hopes to reinvent herself. In her twenties, it’s as if the world is there for the taking so when she lands a job at a well-known restaurant, she quickly falls into the routine of the place which includes many players, much drama and Jake, the bartender she’s completely obsessed with.

Tess is a work-in-progress. She’s green when it comes to love and war and she takes a beating both professionally and personally. Her eagerness to learn and her willingness to take it all in makes her vulnerable and somewhat innocent. Often times I found myself wanting to shake her a little but as I approached the final pages, I realized just how masterful the writing was.

There’s so much to love about this book. There’s food and wine and plenty of flawed, interesting people and Danler absolutely nailed the restaurant industry. I suppose it’s a coming-of-age story but it’s sophisticated, gritty and brutal in its honesty. I highly recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: End of Watch (Audio)

End of Watch Audio

End of Watch
By Stephen King
Simon & Schuster Audio | ISBN 9781508211365 | June 2016

The Short of It:

A solid conclusion to the Bill Hodges trilogy.

The Rest of It:

*No Spoilers*

These days, I am not a fan of trilogies. When I read Mr. Mercedes, it had not been announced yet that it was the first book in a trilogy but it’s King so what do you do?  You read all of them.  When Finders Keepers came out, I ran right out to get it. It was pretty good but the story strayed a little from the main bad guy which made it less interesting to me.

However, with End of Watch, retired detective Bill Hodges is once again forced to deal with bad guy Brady Hartsfield which made my heart sing. He’s a real “baddie” and in this book, he’s taken it to a whole new level.

King has always been good at developing awesome characters and he built a good one in Bill Hodges. I always worry about the last book in a trilogy because it has to do so many things. It has to tie-up all the loose ends. It has to give the reader a sense of finality without bashing them over the head with some trite ending. It should be good…and this one is.

As you can see, I didn’t go into the story because I’d inadvertently give something away but as a trilogy this series is pretty solid and enjoyable to read and/or listen to.

Audio Note:

I listened to this book on audio and then alternated between it and print due to a technical glitch with my device. If you’ve not listened to a King book on audio then you are missing out.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.