Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.
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...
Before reading Bittersweet, I'd already read Ockler's first novel, Twenty Boy Summer.
And I gotta say, I liked Bittersweet so much more!
I didn't dislike Twenty Boy Summer, but I think the characters were a little young for me. So onward to Bittersweet!
1. Bittersweet has a lot of awesome themes in it. Hudson, the main character, is secretly practicing ice skating, her former dream, and is also trying to juggle working in her mom's restaurant, a newfound social life, preparing for a huge competition, and (also secretly) coaching the boys' hockey team at her high school. Not to mention trying to stay afloat in classes.
So I think Hudson's story was really easy to relate to -- who hasn't tried to do everything all at once?
2. The characters are awesome. Like I said, Hudson is easy to relate to. Her friend Dani is awesome and the kind of girl you want to be friends with. Her little brother is the most adorable little brother I can think of in any book. And there are some cute boys, too.
3. It wasn't all sunshine and roses for me, though. There were a lot of moments when I was mentally berating Hudson for what she was doing. Some of that is good -- as in, it was a device used by Ockler -- but some of it I think I just wanted to understand more why the character was doing what she was doing. Like when she messes around with one boy when she doesn't even like him. Annoying, but could be a plot device if I'd understood better what she was thinking and feeling.
4. The romantic plotline ends in the very last pages. Which I didn't like for some reason. I didn't hate it either, but having it as the very last thing almost made it feel rushed to me. But maybe that's just me as a writer, not as the average reader? I don't know. I was pretty satisfied with what happened, but I might have liked some more detail and time in the resolution.
Overall, though, I really liked Bittersweet and I gave it four stars on Goodreads! It was one of the books I took to read on the beach and was definitely one of those ideal beach reads you always hope for.
Have any of you read Bittersweet? I'd love to hear what you think!