Considering I’ve only recently had time to read for fun again, the best book I’ve read in the past month is Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler, and the worst was Little House in the Big Woods (for my Children’s Lit class).
This week at The Grammarian’s Reviews
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
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….
Remember those Cutting Edge movies? Bittersweet is a little like them – hockey player meets figure skater. But while Bittersweet is a good concept, its execution is a bit rocky.
I’m all for the dynamic of a talented figure skater helping a less-than-stellar hockey team – it’s a perfect tension scenario. But Bittersweet focuses less on the games and more on the rest of Hudson’s world, from new friends to her pushy mom to her adorable brother to cupcakes. This would’ve been okay had it not stretched on and on, with no end in sight.
The thing is, all of the characters are really interesting and fleshed out. Hudson’s friend, Dani, is funny and charming and everything a best friend should be. Bug, Hudson’s brother, is not your average eight-year-old, but he’s spectacularly funny and cute. I wish Hudson’s mom had been included a little more, if only because so many issues revolve around either her or their family (which includes her). Her mom has a much bigger role in the first half of the story, then tapers off.
This is my biggest issue with Bittersweet: it tapers off. I love the first half of the story. What’s not to like about a figure-skater-turned-cupcake-maker? But there’s not even much focus on the cupcakes. Or rather, the passion behind the cupcakes. And then the hockey team comes into play and everything else takes a back seat. The romance that stems from the coaching gig is boring and obvious; while I was neither surprised by Hudson’s errors and choices nor opposed to her relations with two of the team’s members, I just never got the sense that it was necessary. Had the romance been condensed, I think I would’ve enjoyed the story much more.
If you don’t dive in expecting detailed focus on the sports or baking, you’ll be happy enough reading about Bug’s antics.
In my mailbox
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler.
I am so happy with this haul. I’ve already finished The Fault in Our Stars (LOVED IT!! Check out my review.) and am just about finished with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Can’t wait to get to Bittersweet; I’ve been anticipating it for a while!
Hope you all are just as happy with the book(s) you got!
2012 Must Reads: Which books are at the top of your list to be read this year (new or old releases)?
Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer Hubbard
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
MUST. HAVE. ALL OF THESE! I already own TFiOS, and I plan on going for Bittersweet and Try Not to Breathe next. Huuuuuge Green, Ockler and Hubbard fan.
How about you? What’s on your 2012 reading list?
Ockler dazzled me with Twenty Boy Summer, and I’m sure she can dazzle me again with Bittersweet. Any time I come across a YA book that involves cooking, I’m sold.
Twenty Boy Summer
FROM THE COVER:
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie – she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.
As a reader and writer and blogger, I’m surrounded by words all the time. Some are old, some are new, some are funny, difficult to pronounce, fun to say, interesting, or just pure awesome.
I love words. Words are important. They’re the basis of books. They’re what makes everything come together. One word can change the feel, emotion and effect of a sentence. You can never know too many.
So every week I’m going to be sharing words of interest. They’ll come from my readings. And who knows? Maybe you’ll come across that one word that can change the feel, emotion and effect of the sentence you’re working on in your novel, essay, short story, etc.
This week’s word is…
All definitions from Dictionary.com.
This meme originates over at The Story Siren.
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
I’ve heard nothing but things about this book, and have read countless positive reviews. Already forty pages in and loving it!