Release Date: January 3, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
Hudson can’t wait to get out of Watonka, her working-class town outside of Buffalo. Once upon a time, her talent as a skater was going to be her ticket out… but when her parents’ marriage unraveled three years ago, so did her dreams. Now, she buries herself in making cupcakes for her mom’s diner and imagining her parallel life where she went on to skate to glory. But when she gets a letter inviting her to audition for a skating scholarship *and* the hockey team asks for her help with their technique (read: free ice time for Hudson), it’s impossible to ignore the signs. Is she ready to get back on the ice? Could this be her ticket out? Hudson’s determined not to let anything stand in her way. But between baking and waitressing at the diner, the love triangle that’s developing with two outrageously cute hockey boys, and the simmering drama with her best friend, her future is anything but certain…
Bittersweet was after my heart from the start (I’m a poet!). It won it over very quickly, too. Then it was all giggles and cupcakes for the rest of the book. Really, I just loved this book. Let me count the ways:
Firstly, it’s Sarah Ockler. She can write some great contemporary. This book, like Twenty Boy Summer, was the perfect balance of serious and fun. Hudson is definitely facing some obstacles. She’s in way over her head, but she is witty and just utterly likeable. I laughed out loud on several occasions!
Secondly, I loved, loved, loved the restaurant aspects of the story. Hudson’s Mom owns a dinner and Hudson makes her cupcakes there. She also moonlights as a waitress, much to her dismay. The reason I loved all that is because I was a waitress for 5 years. Starting when I was 17. I had a love hate relationship with it (mostly hate, though). But it was so fun to see all the restaurant terms used, like back of the house, sidework, and the water in the lap trick. It brought back lots of memories and made the book even more fun for me.
Thirdly, there’s hockey boys. I’m from the South where hockey is nearly unheard of. It was fantastic to get to have lots of hockey talk and…well boys. I love that Hudson really didn’t know what she wanted when it came to these boys. That felt really realistic to me. She’s 17 and never even had a boyfriend so of course she’s confused. I loved the entire romantic storyline. I was never once frustrated. It was just fun to sit back and see how it played out.
There are lots of other reasons I loved this Bittersweet, but I’m going to keep them short: There’s ice skating. The cupcake chapter titles were marvelous. There are lots of delicious sounding cupcakes. There’s a awesome best friend and a even more awesome little brother. It’s a perfect wintery read. There’s lots of kissing. There’s even a hamster. Really you guys, just read this book. You will not regret it!