Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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 recently had the wonderful opportunity to not only participate in a playful interview with Sarah Ockler (which is posted below), but was also given the chance to read the ARC of her latest release, BITTERSWEET.
Granted, I'm not sure how much (if anything) changed from the ARC to the actual published book, but I'll base my review off what I read with the ARC.
I've been a huge fan of Sarah's - and absolutely loved TWENTY BOY SUMMER. I also thoroughly enjoyed FIXING DELILAH...
But Sarah's third book BITTERSWEET, overall, was just okay for me.
In typical Sarah fashion, she has yet again managed to build a very realistic world around strong characters, dealing with tough subject matters. In BITTERSWEET, our main character Hudson, has her fair share of trials to overcome - this time, dealing with the infidelity of her father and how that, along with his departure for the "other" woman, affects she and her family. Not an easy subject to write about - and I do think Sarah did a great job tackling it.
Throw in cute hockey boys and drool-worthy cupcakes that adorn the beginning of each chapter, the story flowed easily. I loved the relationship between Hudson and her little brother, affectionately named "Bug" - hated how realistic her sometimes overbearing mom could be (which only means she was written well!), and also enjoyed her interaction between the two main boys, Josh and Will. Not to mention, Hudson's friendship with her best friend Dani, had all the layers a teenage friendship should have and was spot on.
All of that said, I'm not exactly sure where BITTERSWEET fell short for me, other than it just didn't have the same impact that TWENTY BOY SUMMER did (see my review here). I still adore Sarah's writing and amazing world building - and I'll always read what she writes. It's just this one, wasn't my favorite.
Net/net, I thought BITTERSWEET was good and worth the read - but if you haven't read TWENTY BOY SUMMER, I'd highly suggest you start there.