Friday, March 29, 2013

Bittersweet


Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
4/5 stars
Simon Pulse, 2013
378 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Library

This book had a lot going for it: Sarah Ockler has a fine YA contemporary pedigree; I adore books with cooking/baking; and there are cute hockey boys (including one named Will!) After reading this though, my feelings about it, alas, are bittersweet.

Let's start with the good, which would definitely include all the food related moments. Main character Hudson makes cupcakes for her mom's diner and each chapter title is a description of a kind of cupcake. And these are no ordinary cupcakes; these are gourmet absolutely delectable mouthwatering cupcakes. I got a little bit hungry just reading some of the samples.

Another highlight is the yummy hockey boys. Although Will has his moments, the real star is Josh (who shares a name with hot Paul Rudd in Clueless so that's fine with me). I am way too old for high school boys but for a time, I was able to pretend that everything was age appropriate. There are also some really excellent friends in here, way better than Hudson deserves as she treats many people poorly.

A third highlight I should mention is the ice skating. Hudson was on track for figure skating glory before throwing it all away over the dissolution of her parents' marriage. A chance for a scholarship (and thus the ability to leave her tiny town for greener pastures) prompts her to get back on the ice and also entangles her with the hockey boys. This book was really fun for me to read as Ockler ably gets us to feel the ice and cold while I got to actually chill in the So Cal sun (seriously the best weather!)

The more bitter part would be just that everything felt a little too predictable like how Hudson was slowly losing sight of what means the most on her quest for the scholarship and just how overstuffed this book is. There are family, friend, romantic, and money troubles included as well as general teen anxiety over the future-I'm not sure that everything was as smoothly handled as it could have been had a few elements been taken out. I ended up really frustrated with Hudson especially in regards to the way she handled her sole friendship.

Overall: A tasty jam-packed treat for YA contemporary fans!

15 comments:

  1. I started this a long time ago when it was on Pulse it, but I never finished it. I think I'll give it a shot, though. LOL. I love contemporary, and cupcakes.... I don't know anything about ice-skating, though! Hudson does sound a little frustrating, though. Sometimes feeling Bittersweet is good, though. Right? Lovely review, girly! (:

    Loves,
    Megan@The Book Babe

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    1. I love contemporary and cupcakes too-I feel like that's just a good tagline for my life in general :)

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  2. Awe, this sounds so good. And what a cute cover. I might have to find this one at my library. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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    1. Isn't the cover adorable? I think this will be a good read for people who like contemps.

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  3. Oh yes I do remember being frustrating with Hudson. However I generally REALLY liked this one... it just had a really good feel to it (not to mention all the delicious sounding cupcakes).

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    1. Just having the benefit of some added years on her (and much experience reading YA novels) led to my frustrations. Still there were lots of other good stuff.

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  4. I just bought this one, and I'm really looking forward to it! Yummy hockey boys definitely sound like a wonderful read :) Great review!

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    1. Hope you enjoy it-looking forward to your review!

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  5. Those cupcake recipes will make me hungry whenever I get a chance to read this. I've heard great things about this author. I love stories where someone has a passion that they let go and then helping someone else brings it back. That kind of thing so this sounds good!

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    1. Ockler is a really great author-I read this to get psyched for her latest release The Book of Broken Hearts.

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  6. I enjoyed this one but, yes, it does fall into the chick flick book category and you can pretty much predict the ending. But there are times when that's exactly what I want to read (or watch!)

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    1. That is sometimes what I want but it wasn't quite what I wanted from this book. Still it mostly worked for me.

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  7. Hm. Sounds like it's maybe not as deep (or, ironically, bittersweet) as TWENTY BOY SUMMER. Still, we liked Ockler's writing, so we'll probably give this a try. And as you said: cupcakes! ;)

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    1. I haven't read Twenty Boy Summer but from what I've seen about it, I think this was lighter. I'm looking forward to checking that one out too.

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  8. This is indeed one of the most sensational book I have ever read.. I found its great review on my favorite online bookstore..

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