Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

A bit disappointing…

The novel centers around the character Hudson Avery. She used to be a competitive figure skater, but she dropped her dream when she realized her parents’ marriage was falling apart and her father was having an affair. Her father abandoned her and her eight(ish) year old brother. Now, she is working at the struggling cafe her mother owns, making cupcakes. Hudson receives a letter in the mail about a skating competition where she can earn a college scholarship. She secretly practices for the competition and ends up helping coach the local ice hockey team.

Okay, I didn’t really like the book because I didn’t like the main character, Hudson. I thought she was annoying. She would have all these dreamy episodes where she would obsess over certain boys (not that I’m saying it’s unrealistic, I just thought it was annoying). I will give the novel props for trying to make the girls’ life about more than just a boy. It had her juggling many priorities, but something about the character just rubbed me the wrong way. I kept reading because maybe it would get better, but it ended up just as predictable as any other romance novel.

I will say, Sarah Dessen, one of my favorite authors, writes pretty undeniably predictable novels. The difference, in my eyes, between the two authors? Sarah Dessen writes her characters more realistically. They’re more complex, and every character is well-rounded. I felt like some of the characters, especially the boys were very undeveloped (JOSH!).

Now, I don’t think you should write this book off!! I really enjoyed her novel Twenty Boy Summer (sounds so shallow, I know, but it’s really good) and Fixing Delilah.

I guess she just missed the mark with this one–in my opinion.


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