Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Title: Bittersweet
Author: Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary romance
Release date: January 3rd, 2012
Pages: 378 (ebook)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

If I'm completely honest here, the entire reason I started reading this book was because of the cupcakes.  I don't even like cupcakes that much, really, but I always thought it would be fun to be a pastry chef, and now here's a girl that bakes cupcakes as a hobby and sells them at her mom's diner to rake in a few extra bucks.  Of course, that's not all Hudson is.  When she receives a letter in the mail about a skating competition after she quit over 3 years ago, she starts to train herself behind her mother's back.  After all, the winner will get a $50,000 scholarship, and Hudson would do anything to get out of this small town.  Unlike her mom, owning the diner isn't her dream and she doesn't want to feel trapped there like her dad felt before the divorce.

I loved that Sarah Ockler included a small description of each cupcake under the titles of the chapters.  Each one sounded delicious and made me want to bake, although I know mine would never come out tasting the way they sound.  The characters were so realistic and relatable to me, especially Hudson.  She's just trying to make everything in her life work, although sometimes she tends to pile a little too much on.  Even after being abandoned by her father and best friend, she still holds her head up and she has a great sense of humor that makes you laugh out loud.

While training for her own competition, she runs into (literally) one hunky hockey co-captain who begs her to help his technique in order to save the worst hockey team ever.  Of course, she agrees to because she feels some sort of connection with Josh, but ends up getting pulled into training the entire team who, as you may have guessed, don't take her seriously.  Ockler's descriptions of the boys' personalities were hilarious, but there were certain times where I felt it was a little much.  Granted, I've never hung out with jocks- I befriended the artists and musicians- but do they really all act that way?

Like many others, I do have this author's previous book, but unfortunately I put it down because it wasn't doing much for me.  After reading Bittersweet, I've decided to give Twenty Boy Summer another chance.  I definitely enjoy her writing style, which feels smooth and laid-back to me.  Anyone who enjoys a nice story about finding yourself would benefit from reading this book.

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