28/11/2013

Review: Bittersweet {Sarah Ockler}



 
Hudson used to know exactly what her future looked like, until a betrayal blew her dreams into oblivion. Now, she's the girl who doesn't believe in second chances.  
The one who bakes cupcakes at her mother's diner and obsesses over what could have been.


So when Hudson finally gets another shot at her dream, she dives in head first. But soon Hudson has to ask herself just what she's willing to sacrifice to go and whether the dream she's so desperate to realise was ever actually hers.


http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21 


I have to begin this review by complimenting Sarah for those awesome cupcake recipes at the beginning of every chapter. I actually tried some out because, really, who says no to Bailey's cream cheese frosting? The word I'm looking for is delicious.

Onto the book ... This is one of those novels easily summed up in one word: charming. It's filled with tantalising romance, in-jokes, ice-skating, baking and, surprisingly, a lot of substance.

I loved Hudson as a character and how she was kind of dreamy, kind of quirky, but at the same time so relatable and average (in the best way). Her relationship with her little brother Bug, is easily one of the best things in the book (second to the cupcakes, of course) and I also loved the dynamic between her and her mother.

Hudson's family life is pretty complex thanks to her father's 'indiscretion' years before (resulting in her barely seeing him) and it's interesting to see how the issues with her dad affect the rest of her life. And how, in a lot of ways, she blames her mother for the direction her life has gone in too. 

Hudson also struggles a lot with her loyalties. On the one hand she has responsibilities to her mother's diner and her friends, but on the other hand there's Josh and a chance for her to relive the days when everything was simple and easy. A chance for her to skate and be a kid again.

Hudson tended to put skating before a lot in this novel. But she was the character you rooted for, even when she neglected things because when her best friend said Hudson was neglecting her, she seemed genuinely surprised and when her mother asked her to take more responsibility, she felt guilty. But, at the same time, Hudson was also determined to do something for herself for a change. 

Sure, I got frustrated at her sometimes, but I liked the fact that she wasn't completely selfish or a complete pushover. And her inner conflict was really well-written, so I found myself torn right there with her.

The romance was slow-burn and ventured into love triangle grounds. We all know I hate love triangles, but this wasn't technically one and there wasn't a huge fist fight when Hudson finally chose the 'right' guy. Which was good because, really, nobody needs that drama.

It was obvious who the end guy would be anyway, and that worked for the story. You were rooting for them the whole way through and it just made their scenes together that much sweeter and more exciting.


It's nice to find a YA book that can be light and fluffy (cupcake pun intended) but also engaging and well-developed. Sarah's writing is the kind of prose you want to snuggle up to. It's warm, inviting and prone to moments of magic that take your breath away. This book really is charming, so if you're in the mood for something that'll make you smile, then this is one you shouldn't pass up. Just make sure you have some cupcakes handy, or the cravings might be too much to handle!

"It takes forty muscles to frown and only twelve to jam a cupcake into your mouth and get over it."

 




 
 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
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13 comments:

  1. A book about cupcakes with actual recipes? Sounds so cute! I definitely think fluffy romances have their place, sometimes we need a break from the heavier dystopians and stuff. Lovely review Allie!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Completely agree! I like to read a bit of fluff every now and again as long as it's GOOD fluff. This is light, but also has substance. So it's perfect to give you a break from the heavy stuff, but it's still a good book in its own right :D

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  2. I've only read one Ockler book and enjoyed it :) This sounds like a pretty good read as well! Great review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  3. It seems like everyone has something good to say about this one, and I love cute, romantic reads. The almost love triangle wouldn't bother me if she chooses the guy. Awesome review, I think I will check this one out soon.

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    1. I despise love triangles, but this was more of a 'she gets with this guy before she gets with the other guy' thing, so not really a love triangle, which meant I could deal with it. Love triangles make my eyes roll out of my head lol

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  4. Almost love triangles I can deal with. Baking I can deal with. Cupcakes- I'm sold.

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    1. Cupcakes are what drew me to the book in the beginning. I'll admit, I'm kind of greedy when it comes to cupcakes. They're allll mine! Mwhahaha

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  5. I really love cute, romantic reads, which means I'm very sold on this book. There are also cupcake recipes. How nice of the author! I'm definitely going to check this one out.

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    1. I was so hungry while reading this book lol, just to warn you!

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  6. This is the last Sarah Ockler book I have to read (after loving The Book of Broken Hearts and liking Twenty Boy Summer) and I don't know why I haven't read it yet! I love your review, it seriously makes me want to go pick up the book IMMEDIATELY. And of course I now want a cupcake :)

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    1. Ooooh I really enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer - it was so much better than I expected! Yet to read Broken Hearts though; that'll be next on my Ockler list

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  7. I'd say charming is exactly the perfect word for Bittersweet. I just reread it myself, and it was great being with Hudson and Josh and Bug again. YES to those cupcake recipes. I want them all! Lovely review, Allie!

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    1. Definitely! Especially Bug - he was adorable :D

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