Book Review: Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is one of the 14 books listed in the Blair Waldorf Reading Challenge. Pop over to the Gossip Girl book page for more books like this one.

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is both deeply fascinating and deeply disturbing. It’s a story of power, prestige, affluence and influence. The story takes a member of the working middle class and plops her into the world of the super-elite. There she learns that even those with oodles of money live in a world that isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems.

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore: Something For Everyone

Bittersweet: A NovelBittersweet: A NovelWho Will Like Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore?

Bittersweet will appeal to anyone who has ever been interested in peeking behind the curtain of the elite and wealthy who are living a luxurious lifestyle. Though fictional, the story provides a window into the summer-home lifestyle of the ultra-rich. The story is especially engaging because it’s told from the point of view of an outsider. As someone from a middle-class background, Mabel finds many of the traditions associated with the affluent family to be ludicrous. It’s a great read for anyone who is interested in a fictional story about America’s elite.

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What is Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore About?

Mabel meets Ev when they live together during her freshman year of college, and despite the fact that they have nothing in common, the pair eventually become friends. At the end of the year, Ev invites Mabel to come live with her at her family’s summer compound. There, Ev has recently inherited a small cottage of her own, and she wants Mabel to come help her make it home for the summer.

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-WhittemoreIt doesn’t take long for Mabel to recognize that things are a bit off at Bittersweet. Mabel and Ev’s relationship is tenuous at best, and when Ev takes up with more than one man at the same time, things start to get complicated. Soon Mabel finds herself mixed up in more than one complicated relationship as well, though only one of those relationships is of the romantic variety.

First, Mabel meets Ev’s cooky old aunt, who sends Mabel on a wild chase after a family secret. Ev’s aunt tells Mable that if she can unravel the secret in time, Mabel will inherit a small cottage on the sprawling property. Except, there’s a problem: Ev’s aunt is believed to be a bit senile, and it’s not clear whether the earth-shattering family secret even exists. Despite wondering if she’s on a fool’s errand, Mabel continues on with the hunt, unsure of whether her work will ever pay off.

Additionally, Mabel is in a complicated relationship with Ev’s brother, who meets Mabel for the first time when she’s in a compromising position. As a result, the relationship is awkward from the get-go. The situation is made worse by the fact that Mabel is cognizant that she wasn’t born into the class of the one-percent.

Why You Should Read Bittersweet

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is dark and twisted from the beginning. As the book continues it only gets more shocking and more unsettling, but with every dark twist the story draws the reader in more. It’s a good story and an excellent read. Therefore, there are opportunities for discussion and deep, introspective thought. It’s also full of squeamish situations and and uncomfortable scenes, so be prepared for that.

All-in-all, I think Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is worth the read. I can see why it was included on the book list for Gossip Girl fans.

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