Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Add it: Goodreads
Source: Pulse It
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 378 pages

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...

I read Sarah Ockler's debut novel a while ago and really, really liked it. While this is definitely a different book than Twenty Boy Summer, I found myself loving it all the same!

The main character, Hudson, has such realistic flaws. I love it when my main characters are like actual people and Hudson totally fits the bill. You could almost see her being shaped into who she is from just a few well-placed scenes and memories of her life pre-baking. It's clear that skating was a huge part of Hudson's life and her feelings post-skating career definitely reflect that.

While Hudson is a figure skater through-and-through, circumstances also introduce her to the hockey team. Hudson's first meeting with the Wolves (like, seriously, they're the Watonka Wolves varsity team) is a little intimidating, to say the least. The boys could do with some proper manners and respect for the new girl isn't at the top of their priority list. As I got to know the team though, I started to really, really like them! They were hilarious and all of them had such distinctive personalities. They definitely made for a fun read.

Then there are the characters that Hudson knows on a more personal level: Bug, Dani, Josh, and the other workers at Hurley's. I am so appreciative of the way Sarah Ockler incorporated her friends and family into the framework of Hudson's life. Oh, and Josh is cute. That helps.

The resolution that happens at the end isn't necessarily easy, but it's rewarding. I don't want to spoil anything but Hudson's relationship with some of the characters is damaged (as they are) and there's quite a bit of talking that has to happen. Yay, healthy problem solving! A lot of the times in books, I'm left irritated at the final apology scene when one character takes -- or is given -- more than their fair share of blame. In Bittersweet, I thought it was all handled perfectly.

I really have to issue a warning though, before I can finish off. You guys MUST HAVE CUPCAKES READY for when you're reading. There is so much talk of delicious-sounding baked goods and I just... yeah. Cravings.

Cover Comments: I really want to see this one in person because I think it'll look a lot better than it does on my computer screen. Anyways, the cover is nice enough. I like that they kept it simple and the sugar dusting was a cool idea. It doesn't jump out at me or anything but I like it!

4.5 stars


  1. Ugh. DAMN YOU *is already craving cupcakes and I haven't even read the book yet* Mmmmm.

    I have yet to read Twenty Boy Summer, but clearly Sarah Ockler is an author I NEED to become a fan of! This sounds SO good and seriously, when was the last time I curled up with an amazing contemporary? It's been too long. Like you, I love when the characters feek REAL and layered and flawed. They're the ones that stick in my mind for ages after reading. And I'm super eager to meet the guys on the team!

    Thanks for making me hungry for this book AND some nommy cupcakes!

  2. DID YOU SAY CUPCAKES?!?!? Oh gosh, I haven't had cupcakes in AGES!
    Eeeeee! This sounds like such an AMAZING book! <3 when I first saw the cover, I thought this would be another one of those fluffy tween reads, but YOU'VE CONVINCED ME TO READ THIS! :DD I LOVE it when characters are so realistic and flawed!! I have a feeling me and our main character here will get along VERY WELL! <3 Omg I cant wait to read this! It sounds like such an awesome contemporary read :DD Fantastic review, Sonia<3

  3. I love realistic mcs. This sounds so good and the cover is lovely! Great review. :)

    MMM...cupcakes! *drools*

  4. Cupcakes + realistic characters + contemporary book = I'm SOLD. I was planning to borrow this book from my library but after reading your review, I decided this is a book that I NEED to buy. I can't wait to read it. And I will make sure I have my cupcakes ready by my side when I start this book. WONDERFUL review, Sonia.

  5. OMG! OMG! OMG!
    I am SO. SO. Excited for this! I actually have it sitting at home, and I've not had a chance to get to it yet and it makes me saaaad. Err, and hungry. EVERYONE KEEPS MENTIONING CUPCAKES?

    I was wondering if this was going to be kind of light and fluffy, but it doesn't sound it at all... err, maybe the title should have given it away? And I LOVE complicated, realistic relationships, and you've made this sound AMAZING!

    Seriously. I ADORED your review! Thank you! ♥

  6. Mmmm cupcakes. I want cupcakes. I need cupcakes! Make me some cupcakes? :P I also can't wait to read this one! I love characters that are believable, they make the story for me. And the cover...makes me hungry. But I love it! Great review :).

  7. Oh I really loved this book... just the feel of it was so good, it was like the perfect contemp with so many different aspects. Totally agree with you re: the cupcakes. Oh man, they sounded so good!