Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's Sara Reading? Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Considering the cover of this book is solely a shot of a wine glass (albeit broken, but still), could I have chosen a better outfit to match this review? I think not! The best part? It was totally unplanned!

I had a successful swap a month or so ago where I sent a lovely gal a playsuit from Collectif that just didn't sit on me right (me and my short torso!) and she sent me this LindyBop wiggle dress that I have always liked but always hesitated to buy.

Though I enjoy a cocktail every now and then, I don't consider myself a big drinker (I hate beer and wine, don't like liquor straight, margaritas gross me out, and am very picky about what cocktails I will drink) and didn't know if it was a print I'd wear often, considering. If it were covered in ice cream cones or donuts, well you know that'd be another story.

Still, I loved the colors of the drinks and the retro look. LindyBop offered it in a swing dress as well as wiggle dress. Of course, I gravitated to the swing version but never made the leap. Then I sort of regretted it as I saw other gals rocking it.

That's why when I saw this wiggle version up for sell or swap on the Facebook boards, I threw out my Collectif fail just in case and was delighted when the swap was a success.

I am glad I ended up with the wiggle version instead of the swing. Not only can I see this becoming one of my night out dresses (hello, date nights!), I just LOVE the neckline. It's kinda sexy without being revealing and it's different from other dresses. It also resembles a halter without it actually BEING a halter! As a Halter Hater, I am OK with that illusion.

I also only have a couple wiggle dresses so this helps expand my collection. Lord knows I am much more comfortable in a full skirt and petticoat, but every girl's gotta "va-va-voom" it up on occasion.

Okay, dress aside, let's chat about this book. I downloaded this book from my Kindle off Amazon's "recommended for you" before I flew out to Austin last month and I read it on the plane to and from. It's essentially your typical "girl packs up and moves to NYC to make something of herself, girl gets job at big impressive restaurant, girl is impressionable and starts drinking too much and snorting coke with co-workers, girl falls for bad boy at the bar, girl's life gets a bit messy, girl comes out of that mess in the end and has a happy ending" kind of book.

I liked it and really loved reading about the restaurant and the food and the stories of the staff there but it also weirded me out how "normal" and casual drugs came off in the story. Like, hey, no biggie, I'll take a snort of that coke.

Like, wait, what? I can't imagine that is something that you randomly just start doing without hesitation and just keep doing without much thought - although, maybe it is! I have never done drugs - not even a puff of a cigarette - so I have no idea. It just felt a bit...disjointed and, I want to say, unattached to the character. Does that make sense?

Also, I didn't feel a bond with Tess, the lead. We sort of knew her as the book was in her POV and knew a little of her past and where she came from, but I felt the narrative was very action based and focused on the present so much that we never really got to know the girl in the story. Now that I think of it - I don't know if we ever even knew her hair color! See? Disjointed.

As disjointed as it was, it was still very well written and I ate it up. I really do love books that have a big focus on food (are you surprised?). If a food related story is well done - you can practically smell the dish being described in the scene. Sweetbitter definitely felt genuine in that sense and I loved every scene in the restaurant. Even the more painful ones when she was just beginning and was messing up left and right.

Cheers to another good read and another good wiggle in my closet!