Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

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February 21, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse, 4 December 2012 (originally published 3 January 2012)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback
I borrowed it from the library!
Other books from author:
Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal (not yet released)

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Goodreads Synopsis

From the author of Twenty Boy Summer, a teen pushes the limits to follow her dreams and learns there’s a fine line between bitter and sweet….

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….

What I Thought…

I’ve been wanting to read Sarah Ockler’s books for a while, particularly The Book of Broken Hearts, but they’ve been difficult to get a hold of at my local library.  Some might take that as a bad sign; I myself see it as a sign that the author’s probably worth it if so many people are on hold waiting to read her books 🙂 When Bittersweet was the first of Ockler’s books to become available, I just knew I had to snap it up!

I needed something a bit more fluffy to read after finishing The Book Thief, and this book did the job perfectly.  It was so sweet I was sure it was going to give me a toothache at one point.  The whole time I was reading Bittersweet, I just kept thinking how much I love cupcakes 🙂 The chapter titles are different types of cupcakes, with the descriptions underneath (yummo!!), and Hudson bakes cupcakes many times throughout the book – her new pastime after giving up on her old dream of figure skating. Did I mention how much I love cupcakes?

My feelings for the character of Hudson were bittersweet, much like the title of the novel.  At times I empathised with her and at other times she drove me totally crazy.  Hudson’s obsession over what could’ve been is a major focus of the book, along with her attempts to get back what she gave up, almost at the expense of everything and everyone else she holds dear.  She resents the title of ‘Cupcake Queen’ and her mum’s dreams of her taking over the diner, and romantizes what she used to have with figure skating.

Well extra, extra! Read all about it, Watonka!  I used to be good at something else, too.  Something that had nothing to do with taking orders from Trina Dawes or following in my mother’s dream-sucking, Hurley Girl footsteps.  Somthing with a future.  Something I finally have another shot at.
Page 95

On the one hand, I could see why Hudson wanted to pursue the figure skating again when given the opportunity, given the unfinished business she had from when it ended abruptly.  It was also her potential ticket out of Watonka, which was a big deal for her, and I totally get that as a former small-town gal.  On the other hand, the way she treated her friends and family while doing so drove me nuts – she was a bad friend to Dani, she lied to her mother, and she neglected her younger brother!  NOT COOL Hudson.  Thankfully, she didn’t do this for too long, and I wasn’t yelling at the book too much 🙂

This book was cute and a lot of fun to read.  I read it all in one sitting, which I don’t often get the time to do anymore so that was nice.  The supporting characters were a lot of fun, especially Hudson’s friend Dani.  I loved Hudson’s brother, Bug, he was such a cutie!  He kinda reminded me of a young Sheldon Cooper, but without the annoying know-it-all-itis 🙂  Hudson’s dad was a complete and utter douche-canoe, and I never got her ‘relationship’ with Will.  I also thought his ‘big secret’ was a bit of a non-event, and I never really got into that part of the storyline.  Josh, on the other hand… Now him I liked!

Ockler writes well-rounded characters that make you feel, and that’s a big plus in my book!  Bittersweet is a fun read, and I can’t wait to get my hands on her other books.

Rating: 3.5 Stars


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Hi! I'm Bernadette, a 27 year old lawyer who loves to read (duh!), especially to escape my day job. I love to talk about books but I don't always get the opportunity to do so, hence my blog! I adore YA literature, most genres of Adult Fiction, and I've also been known to pick up a non-fiction book from time to time. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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