Book Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

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Goodreads Blurb:

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…

My Review

From reading the blurb, I assumed that this book was cliche but considering how much I enjoyed #scandal, I decided to give it a go. I am pretty glad I did because this book took me on a great journey. Apart from the mouth-watering descriptions of cupcakes, I really love the writing style because it is descriptive but to the point.

This is a really cute, sweet, contemporary book filled with a bunch of in-between moments where you just experience the joy the main character is feeling. By experiencing the main character’s struggles through her narration, I grew to appreciate my own life and family. Unlike many YA novels, Hudson’s parents are also not completely glossed over and her mother’s hopelessness/despair/sorrow as she struggles to support her family, adds a lot of depth to this story.

Hudson is a sweet, resilient and brave character. Despite the odds stacked against her, Hudson persists in following her dreams. She’s very determined and even pages into the novel, I was already rooting for her. Her passion for ice-skating is amazing but at the same time, her desperation to get out of Watonka makes her alienate the people she loves. I can understand the reasons why she does what she does but at times I got really frustrated with her!

Her best friend Dani is sassy and encouraging – and plays the role of best friend pretty well. She has personality but she pales in comparison to Hudson. I think she’s a good minor character but she didn’t draw any of my interest and I think she should have. I personally like strong minor characters who even go so far as to “steal the spotlight” from the main character…because even though I love the protagonist, I wouldn’t mind learning a bit more about her best friend (gossip please!).

Then there is of-course Josh…Gorgeous, sexy Josh who is totally a lifesaver. And some of his snarky dialogue with Hudson is pretty hilarious. I like a guy who can hold his own. Not only that, but he’s always there for her just when she needs him. And the romance and chemistry between them is far stronger than what Hudson has with Will (even though Will isn’t shy about kissing her).

The love triangle would not be complete without Will who is “naughtier” than Josh. He’s also more or less a player and considering he dated Hudson’s ex-best friend, I felt like she was making a bad decision – even considering him as boyfriend material. Overall, I feel like Will is more of a devil’s advocate and I hate how he messed with Hudson (although to be fair, she should have known way better!).

Would I Recommend It? Yes, especially if you’re looking for a cozy winter-read. 

Rating: 5 stars

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