Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bittersweet Review

Author: Sarah Ockler
Pages: 384 (ARC)
Publisher: SimonPulse
Most appropriate for ages: 13+
Where I got it: From publisher for review
Hudson can't wait to get out of Watonka, her working-class town outside of Buffalo. Once upon a time, her talent as a skater was going to be her ticket out... but when her parents' marriage unraveled three years ago, so did her dreams. Now, she buries herself in making cupcakes for her mom's diner and imagining her parallel life where she went on to skate to glory. But when she gets a letter inviting her to audition for a skating scholarship *and* the hockey team asks for her help with their technique (read: free ice time for Hudson), it's impossible to ignore the signs. Is she ready to get back on the ice? Could this be her ticket out?
Hudson's determined not to let anything stand in her way. But between baking and waitressing at the diner, the love triangle that's developing with two outrageously cute hockey boys, and the simmering drama with her best friend, her future is anything but certain...
Warning: do not read Bittersweet if you're on a vegan diet like I am. ...Well, okay, read it, but just be prepared to get some serious cupcake cravings to hit you with each chapter. Anyways, the review, right.

Bittersweet is a cute story that's got a little more to it than just a cute story. It is half cute story and half Hudson realizing a lot of really important stuff about her family, her future, and herself.

So guys this was my first book by Sarah Ockler and I must say that I really enjoyed her writing. There were some sentences or paragraphs that were so heartbreaking and real, and some that made me laugh, and there were some that gave me such rich descriptions of Hudson's town that I felt I was standing right next to her, and some that were just awesome for no reason other than their awesomeness. Although, I do have to say that I found myself thinking that sometimes when Hudson was being sarcastic or snarky or whatever, it just came out kind of awkward and fake. It's a little detail, but as an authentic sarcastic and snarky teenager, it did annoy me.

Hudson also annoyed me. I get that this was the story of her developing and realizing stuff, and I get that, and sometimes I really liked her, but she just did some stupid crap sometimes and it was beginning to really rub me the wrong way. Luckily, the other characters more than made up for Hudson. No one was as they seemed, and everyone had their own problems like Hudson, and that elevated the book in a lot of different ways.

Bittersweet is sure to be adored by most contemporary fans. While I didn't love it (one of those cases where I can't even put my finger on why, but I just didn't), I did enjoy it, and think it's a fantastic book to read in winter with some hot chocolate, under a warm blanket...with a plate of cupcakes next to you.

Plot: Predictable, but fun.
Characters: Hudson and Will could get on my nerves, but I love how every side character is important and flawed.
Writing: Very good, for the most part.
Ending: Fitting and sweet.
Kid Friendly? There was some swearing, and some make out scenes and hockey-boy-innuendos.


  1. Great review, I'm not the biggest fan of contemp, so if it's a little predictable and the main characters a bit annoying I might give it a miss, enjoyed your review though.

    The Cait Files

  2. HM. It has to have a smashingly great review for me to give contemporary a go. Liked the review, though.

  3. Sounds fun. I'm wondering what she did to bug you and if she would bug me too :) great review!


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