Book Review: The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand

Blue Bistro

Title: The Blue Bistro

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published: June 2005

Rating: ★★★


Summary: Adrienne, a twenty-something adventure seeker, spends her life hopping from one resort town to another working in hotels all over the world. While she has spent her adulthood getting her passport stamped, she has found herself falling into making the same bad decisions over and over again, especially when it comes to love. The last straw is when her most recent boyfriend in Aspen is caught stealing from the guests at Adrienne’s hotel and then steals her stash of cash for her future plans to fuel his drug habit. This sends Adrienne seeking a new resort town, Nantucket, looking for a new job and a fresh start. She gets a job in a restaurant, an industry she has never worked in, meeting new friends and trying to make better life choices.

Thoughts: This is my very first Elin Hilderbrand book and I can’t say I was impressed or plan to go back for more. There were some interesting elements to the story and I thought the writing was fine, but I couldn’t help but compare this book to a much better one I recently read also set in the restaurant industry with a young twenty-something trying to find their way: Sweetbitter. There were actually a lot of things in common between Blue Bistro and Sweetbitter, including a weird relationship between the main character’s love interest and another woman working in the restaurant. Blue Bistro is like a more wholesome version of Sweetbitter. I had a hard time liking Adrienne and supporting her in her romantic endeavor with a man that didn’t really show he was willing to prioritize her. I also didn’t really feel the romantic connection between her and this fellow. It sort of went from zero to 60 and I was just expected to swoon at their love. I didn’t swoon. Adrienne should have stood up for herself more instead of waiting around for this guy. The way the story was written made me think that major events were being left out. For example, there would be a build up to a certain event taking place in the book, like a date or her dad visiting, and then you would finally get to said event and she would say a few words about it and then just sort of skip the rest of the details with some yada, yadas. I would be settling in for a series of pages devoted to the party she was anticipating, but would be sorely disappointed when the party arrived and lasted only a paragraph or two. It just felt a little half baked to me. This book wasn’t a total drag to get through, it just wasn’t my favorite.

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