Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Foodie Fiction Review: Bittersweet

Goodreads Summary:
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 thoughts:
The beginning...well, it makes you think that this is just a fluff piece of contemporary YA literature.  But it's not - don't be fooled.  Hudson's world is extremely complex - divorce, guilt, familial duties, and money worries.  But most importantly, she's doing a bit of soul-searching...figuring out the all consuming question of "where is my place in the world?"

The middle...well, for awhile there I was really mad at Hudson and my view of her slipped lower and lower.  Why was she being such an ignoramus about her life?  Why was she being such a bad friend...and while I wanted to dislike her - her faults are what make her a real and well-rounded character.

The ending...well, the ending is wonderful.  It's a reflection of teen life with no ridiculous promises of something beyond reality.  Nobody's becoming a superstar or dying a heroic death...it's just authentic.

Throughout the story...well, I loved the arc of Hudson's growth that the reader witnesses.  Another thing that is magnificent?  Each chapter title is named after one of Hudson's cupcake creations followed by a truly delectable description.  Want some examples?  Good, I'll gladly oblige.  How about:

Chapter 3: No One Wants to Kiss a Girl Who Smells Like Bacon, So I Might as Well Get Fat Cupcakes..."Double-chocolate cupcakes served warm in a sugar-butter reduction; piped with icing braids of peanut butter, cream cheese, and fudge; and sprinkled with chocolate chips"

Chapter 7: How to Appear Outwardly Cool While Totally Freaking Out on the Inside Cupcakes..."Chilled vanilla cupcakes cored and filled with whipped vanilla buttercream and dark chocolate shavings, topped with vanilla icing and a sugared cucumber slice"

Chapter 23: Liar, Liar, Cakes on Fire..."Chocolate cayenne cupcakes topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and heart-shaped cinnamon Red Hots"

Also, I just wanted to say...why isn't this a YA favorite?  While my blog is not YA-centric...I do follow several YA blogs and I just wanna say - where were you guys on this one??  I'm just joking...a lot of gems can escape our eyes.  But y'all, you should seriously check this one out if you're in the mood for a wintery, foodie, contemporary YA novel - you won't be disappointed! 

4/5 stars


  1. I loved this one!! I read it in the beginning of January and it was the perfect winter read. The hockey players don't hurt either :)

  2. I just finished this one too, and I really liked it also. And wished she had included some recipes!

  3. I can't wait to read this one... I hear great things and I LOVE Sarah Ockler! So glad you enjoyed it :)

  4. I didn't love this one quite as much - but I did love the cupcake titles! You quoted my favorites :)

  5. I haven't read your whole review, don't want to spoil myself, but I love 'soul-searching' books. :)