Mundie Moms

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Published by: Simon Pulse
Released on: January 3rd, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
4 stars: I Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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…
-quoted from Goodreads

If this doesn't make you want to eat a cupcake, cuddled up under a warm blanket on a cold winters night with a mug of hot chocolate than I don't know what will. This book is so well crafted from the sweet winter romance, to the icy back drop from the winter season in the small town of Watonka, NY to the ice skating and ice hockey subplots and the deliciously described cupcakes. There's this perfect blend of romance, heart ached, friendship, sports, baking and realistic life lesson woven into this story. I adored everything about this well written, real life story line.

It's not hard to sympathize with Hudson. She's a character who's on the brink of trying to find her place in the world. She has dreams she wants to accomplish and yet she feels trapped in her mom's diner and the small town they're living in. She juggles working long hours in her mother's diner, school work, being with her friends, ice skating and doing everything she can for her mom, while putting her own social life on hold and own dreams and aspirations on hold. I honestly admired her for all the extra responsibility she takes on, even though at times I grew really frustrated with the way her mother handled things, even though I also understand the predicament her mom was in. The title is a perfect fit for this story, because Sarah does such a great job at writing about those bitter and sweet moments we all experience in life.

The relationships that are written in this story are so realistic and believable. I really enjoyed getting to know the different characters. Like Hudson, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. They'll flawed in some way, but do the best they can given the situations that come their way. There's times they make good choices and times not the best ones, but through it all they continue to cling to the hopes and dreams they each have. I respect any character who does that, especially Hudson who through a course of choices learns to let go of her past and cling on to her future.

One of my favorite aspects of this story is the role ice skating and the Wolves high school ice hockey team play in it. They provide moments of humor, romance and important lessons in friendship and self discovery for Hudson. I really enjoyed the authentic teenage romance in this story. Who wouldn't enjoy having two hot ice hockey players fighting for your attention? While I adore both Josh and Will, Josh won me over the moment he set his skates on the frozen pond. You don't need to know a lot about ice hockey or ice skating to understand the lingo that's discussed with these sports. Sarah does such a suburb job at getting to the heart and art of each of these sports, and the big role they play in both Hudson's and her small town's life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked the feel of the story, the setting and the characters I felt like I got to know. It's a story who's small town feel really came to life for me, as Sarah drove home the importance of sacrifices family and friends make for each other. Not to mention it also left me craving one of Hudson's cupcakes. I love that under each chapter heading is a brief description of one of Hudson's well known cupcakes. I'm a sucker for those little creative attentions to details in books like that. I highly recommend picking this book up. Now that I've read one of Sarah's book, I'm looking forward to reading many more. There is very mild language, a scene with underage drinking and a few well written kissy scenes.

* On a side note, I LOVE the cover and title change that Simon & Schuster did. The ARC has a completely different title and cover from the published book. The new cover and title matches the story perfectly, and it adds that wintery feel the book has.


  1. I really loved Twenty Boy Summer, but kind of lost track of Sarah. Thanks for the review because I'll definitely be picking this book up now!

  2. Awesome review! For some reason I thought this was out later on in the year. So happy it's already out! I loved Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah :)

  3. Katie- You're so welcome! I've not read any of her other books until now, and after reading this I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

    The Library Owl- Thank you so much! The ARC has a different title, cover and a release date of August. I didn't realize it was coming out so soon either until I looked it up when I was putting the list of Jan. releases together. :D