Tess’s arrival in New York is somewhat of a rebirth. As she crosses the bridge into Brooklyn in her beat up car she can feel her life beginning. Renting a room in Williamsburg is less glamorous than it sounds. She accidentally (as only the young and innocent can do) finds the coolest job in the best restaurant in New York. It is filled with characters that are at once completely imaginable and out of this world. Each one teaches her a lesson and fills another void in her cache of loneliness. Her heart is bursting with excitement as she strives to be in the moment at all times, treasuring the experience for exactly what it is. Tess’s pulse (and the readers as well) goes into overdrive when the unattainable Jake; gorgeous, sexy, bad boy bartender decides to actually give her the time of day and there’s more where that came from. The story of Tess, call it one year of growing up from child to adult is the perfect post college tale. Nothing really bad happens and the excitement and learning from newfound freedom is intoxicating. In addition, the restaurant and food commentary is delicious. Think Kitchen Confidential meets Tender at the Bone. Tess’s discovery of her palette and the workings of a big time restaurant leave the reader hungry for more (and thirsty too!) I cannot stop thinking about this incredible novel by author Stephanie Danler. Well written, entertaining and heartfelt. It is shocking that this is her first novel. Highly recommend reader friends!