Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bookanistas: BITTERSWEET

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...

This is another one of those books that I read awhile ago, loved, and then never got around to raving about. Well, better late than never, that's what I always say. Just because it's been a few months since I read BITTERSWEET doesn't mean I love it any less!

I really think Sarah Ockler is writing some of the most perfect contemp YA out there, and I don't feel like she gets the recognition she should be getting. This book was just the perfect blend of self-discovery and sweet romance with a dynamic main character and a well-rounded cast of side characters. It truly has everything you could want in a book.

And the cupcakes! Oh, the cupcakes! I've seen some books try to make a "thing" for the main character, but Sarah Ockler NAILS it in this book. Each chapter starts with a description of one of Hudson's delicious creations, and her cupcake making is truly part of her and not just a hobby stuck on to a character to make her unique. In fact, every part of Hudson feels so real, it's like she could walk off the page and glide out on to the ice and you wouldn't even question it.

My only issue with this book? I'm a born and raised Southern California girl, and the descriptions of upstate New York in the winter made me so cold! Oh man, the setting was so perfectly described, and such a part of the story, but so much so that I actually felt like I needed to put on a puffy coat to read this one. Brr.  

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to today...

Christine Fonseca  marvels at MIND GAMES by Kiersten White
Shelli Johannes-Wells  explores ESSENCE by Kimberly Derting
Elana Johson  is gaga for GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFever
Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist
Katy Upperman  wonders at IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson
Nikki Katz  celebrates THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay


  1. I just read BITTERSWEET at the start of the month and I really enjoyed it. It's funny, because I live in the "great white North" but I still loved reading a book that was set in a chilly location. I loved the hockey side of things too. ;) You're so right about Hudson's cupcake love too. It felt like such a part of her and not just an afterthought intended to make her come across as more interesting. Also, how great were the chapter headings with the cupcake descriptions? Honestly, it was making me REALLY crave cupcakes. :)

  2. I read Twenty Boy Summer over winter break and loved it, and I've currently got Bittersweet on hold at the library. Glad to hear I have something to look forward to :)

  3. Sounds like everything I love in a book. Thanks for sharing - I overlooked this one before.

  4. I totally agree with you on the setting descriptions. I read this one during out Indian Summer, yet I ended up freezing every time I picked it up! And you're so right about Sarah Ockler. She's one of my favorite contemporary authors, and TWENTY BOY SUMMER is among my favorite comtemps. :-)

  5. Another add to the TBR! I loved TWENTY BOY SUMMER and thought about picking this one up for a beach read, but uh...maybe this is more of a winter read. :) Or a spring break read. The weather here won't get out of the sixties -grr.

    Thanks for the rec! Have a great week!