Salty, Bitter, Sweet

Mayra Cuevas (Author)


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?

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

Product Details

$18.99  $17.47
Publish Date
March 03, 2020
5.5 X 1.3 X 8.4 inches | 0.9 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Mayra Cuevas is a professional journalist, a television and digital producer for CNN, and a fiction writer who specializes in young-adult novels. When not writing or working, she keeps her sanity by practicing Buddhist meditation and serves on the Board of Directors of Kadampa Meditation Center Georgia. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she currently resides with her husband and their cat in Georgia.


'A treat for foodies.'--Booklist
'Cuevas effectively touches on the complexities of female ambition in a male-dominated field and multiracial identity, making this an engaging, multilayered read for aspiring chefs.'--Publisher's Weekly
'Full of culture, love, and loss, every page is a feast for the senses in a story that never shies away from exploring complicated family dynamics. Cuevas's writing is pure magic.' - Nina Moreno, author of Don't Date Rosa Santos--Nina Moreno, author of Don't Date Rosa Santos
'Salty, Bitter, Sweet sparkles with wit, humor, and heart. I devoured this charming novel in one sitting and can't wait for more from this talented author.' - Gilly Segal, author of I'm Not Dying with You Tonight--Gilly Segal, author of I'm Not Dying with You Tonight
'I'm not kidding when I say that Salty, Bitter, Sweet will make your mouth water from the very first page... Salty, Bitter, Sweet is a wonderful contemporary YA novel full of heart, hope, and, of course, mouth-wateringly delicious descriptions of food. It'll inspire you to grab an apron, get in the kitchen, and start whipping up something tasty for your loved ones. It's a balm for the soul and an inspiration for the cook inside you!'--Hypable
'Jam-packed with all the food-related goodness that foodies will love, Mayra takes you to the beautiful country of France (where the novel takes place) with her vivid and imaginative writing as we journey alongside Isa.'--Hola!
Isabella Field's life just fell apart. Her parents got a divorce, her grandmother passed away, and she had to move in with her dad and his new, pregnant wife. At least the move happens to be to France, where Isa gets the opportunity to participate in a cutthroat restaurant apprenticeship. What follows is a slow burn romance with a boy named Diego and the start of her emotional healing.--BuzzFeed
'A heartwarming testament to the power of female friendships, the drive for success on one's own terms, and accepting one's family, even if they turn out differently than originally thought.'--School Library Journal (Margaret A. Robbins, University of Georgia, Athens)
'An impressively and deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling.'--Midwest Book Review--Midwest Book Review