Nov 13

The Bitter by Delilah Frost Review


3.5 Smooches

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My parents didn’t want me.

They had their golden child and I was the interloper who ruined their lives. When I was sixteen, they finally abandoned me. Sure they called it rehab for a drinking problem I didn’t have, and yeah they visited every now and then, but the moment I was eighteen, I was nothing more than a bitter memory to them.

That’s fine. They don’t mean anything to me either.

Rehab is where I met her. She understands abandonment too. A junkie mother and an inconvenienced father who couldn’t be bothered with the daughter they had because one was easy and the other was dollar signs.

We understand each other. We care for each other. Even long after rehab is over and the real world is back in our faces wishing for us to fail.

She’s my everything: My best friend. My sidekick. The only girl I’ve ever been with and ever want to be with.

Until one day.

Until rumors start to spread.

Until the talk is so loud I can’t hear the truth anymore. And she does nothing to really stop them.

I thought she was my girl. I thought she was mine alone. But I hear I may be wrong.

And being wrong…well, that might just be too dangerous to face.


This is my first book by Delilah Frost, and The Bitter is the first book in a two-book duet. This book ends on a pretty significant cliffhanger, but the duet’s conclusion, The Sweet, is available now. It isn’t quite as simple as saying that this book is a fighter story. Truthfully, it’s a lot more than that. Frost takes a swing at some significant issues, and she doesn’t pull any punches while doing it. This book is as raw and gritty as it gets. Addiction is never pretty, and she makes no attempt in this book to dress it up as something it’s not.

Anyone who has struggled with any type of addiction or for someone who’s watched a love one struggle with one, you know the kind of mania, the desperation, the obsession that an addict feels while trying to chase down their high, their next fix. I kind of felt some of that in this book. But the thing is, it had little to do with the hero’s or heroine’s addictions and more to do with all the drama. Oh god. So.much.drama. I’m kind of exhausted from it, honestly, and not in a good way. The plot was interesting, don’t get me wrong, but there was just so drama. The kicker here is that I walked away not sympathizing with the hero, but instead thinking about how he handled everything and how it really just emphasized how immature this guy really was. For me personally, immaturity, at least at this level, is the death knell for a hero. I did not like it, it didn’t work for me, and his constant, never-ending questioning of things, self-doubt and uncertainty was a huge turn off for me. Now, that being said, the conundrum for me lies in the fact that even though I didn’t like the hero (or the heroine for that matter) all that much, the story still held some interest for me.

The heroine was problematic for me for a number of reasons. First, she was just so secretive. I didn’t really feel like this book was Cecelia and Chace’s story as much as I felt it was Chace’s story. The focus was definitely on him, Cece played a big role and we got a good look at her, just not a thorough one. She had no problems being strong and sassy sometimes, but when it really mattered, she didn’t stand and fight, she didn’t defend herself and to me that made her come off as weak. Not to mention, I had serious issues with some of the crap that she pulled – it was, well, disgusting.

There were other problems I had with this book. Such as the crazy, rapid aging of the couple. One minute they’re eighteen and just getting used to Chicago, and on the next page, with no warning or lead-in, it’s suddenly the eve of Chace’s twenty-first birthday. Same thing happened with the jump from twenty-one to twenty-four. Lots can happen between couples in eight years, and yet nothing much changed for these two. No real explanation as to why they weren’t living together either in the beginning or eight years into their relationship. I’m sorry but as two “totally broke” kids alone in Chicago, with no money, wondering where their next meal is coming from, instead of pooling their resources, they are living separately, paying two rents, with strange roommates that they didn’t know from Adam. It just made no sense.

There were other small details like this that just made things so unbelievable for me. And since I’m being honest here, I’ll admit to the fact that I just do not like – DO.NOT.LIKE. – YA books. They’re not my thing at all, I never read them, and on the rare occasions when I do, this is generally how I feel when I finish: annoyed, frustrated, unsatisfied. But I can recognize that is a personal preference – MY PERSONAL PREFERENCE. I don’t think a lot of people have these issues, and for those who don’t, I do whole-heartedly believe that they would enjoy this story. Without question, it is well-written, and as I’ve said, the plot is interesting and exciting. There is a lot of good going on here, and even though it wasn’t necessarily something I enjoyed, I have no problem pointing out the positives of this book.

I don’t know, I’m really on the fence here. I didn’t finish this book with a sense of fulfillment or even of anticipation for next. I’m annoyed right now, frustrated – but yet still curious. Since I definitely didn’t get any sort of satisfaction, I now need to decide if I want to one-click book two, The Sweet, to see how this all ends up, so I guess we’ll just have to see. Let me sum it up by saying that if you’re a fan of YA, if crazy high drama is your thing, trust me when I say you’ll LOVE The Bitter, I promise. I’m not and I don’t and therein lies MY problem with Delilah Frost’s The Bitter and the reason it’s getting 3.5 smooches from me.

~ Danielle Palumbo