Salty, Bitter, Sweet – Mayra Cuevas Book Review

 

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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 prestigious 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?

Salty, Bitter, Sweet:

  • Is a YA contemporary #OwnVoices novel written by CNN producer Mayra Cuevas
  • Features a Latina main character who is trilingual
  • Is inspired by the author’s relationships with food and family
  • Explores complicated family dynamics and relatable themes of friendship, acceptance, and learning to care for yourself

 

Queenie’s Review

 Isabelle’s life falls apart after her parent’s divorce, her grandmother dies, and she has to move in with her dad and his new wife. She gets an opportunity to participate in a restaurant apprenticeship. She takes her grief and pain into the kitchen and leaves out with joy. The love for food was so inspiring. This young adult book themes our friendship, self-care, and acceptance. This story had me hungry with his mouth-watering descriptions of delicious food. The setting takes place in France. I think the message was women uplifting other women. And I really enjoyed this story. I’m reading more by this author. I give this book five stars.

Author’s Bio

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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 in 2019. She is currently a special projects producer 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 she and her husband appeared in Season 2 of Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers. Follow her journey on Twitter @MayraECuevas, on Instagram @Mayra.Cuevas and her website MayraCuevas.com.

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