Reviewed by Kinsey Manchester
Hudson Avery is a seventeen year old junior in high school. Hudson bakes cupcakes for her mom’s struggling diner and is dubbed the “Cupcake Queen”. Her entire existence is based on her amazing cupcake making skills and she is bound to work at her mother’s diner for the rest of her life. Hudson used to have a bright future until her dad cheated on her mom and they got divorced. When her dad left, Hudson quit her promising ice skating career. Now, with Hudson’s life shattered, she spends her time hiding behind the counter and the cupcakes, afraid to do what she loves again. She gets a letter about a competition and cannot help the excitement she gets when she thinks about competing again, so she sneaks away to ice skate. Hudson is scared to tell her mom that she wants to keep skating, worried of the unhappy memories that ice skating (and the ex-husband who went with it) will bring to her single, stressed mom. One day on the ice, Hudson meets a boy, and this boy changes her entire life. Josh Blackthorn is a co-captain of the high school hockey team and he says that he would like some skating pointers. When Hudson says she’s interested, the other team co-captain, dreamy Will Harper, signs her up to become the new skating assistant. Hudson has to balance working at the diner, coaching the hockey boys, watching her younger brother, staying on top of schoolwork, hanging with her best friend Dani, and preparing for the skating competition. Can she handle the heat?
Bittersweet is an enjoyable read. With cupcake recipes at the beginning of each chapter, this book is perfect for a rainy day. The descriptions in the book were amazing. Sarah Ockler does a fantastic job making it seem like you are in the story with the characters. When Hudson was working in the diner, I could practically smell the diner smell that she was describing. When she was skating, I could feel the cold with her. I also really loved Josh and the friendship/relationship that Hudson and Josh share. I thought that part of the book, the relationship between Josh and Hudson, was very realistic because they both had feelings for each other but were too shy to express them. Oftentimes in books the relationships seem too rushed and fake. Usually they move way too fast but I liked how the author made the relationship between Josh and Hudson. I also enjoyed Bug, who is Hudson’s little brother. He was a cute, dorky boy and I liked how Hudson cared for him so much. Bug was just adorable and I was glad that Hudson had the patience to care for him. One of the things that I didn’t like was the responsibilities that Hudson’s mom put on her. I thought this was unfair of her to do. It made sense why she had Hudson do a lot of things, and I could reason with it (as Hudson did), but I didn’t like it and I thought the Mom character should have been a little nicer. I liked Dani’s sassiness and I appreciated her character, but I think she could have been developed more. I wanted to hear more about Dani because she was really funny. The ending was cliché, as most books of this type are, but still pleasing. I recommend it to anyone who likes romance or is looking for a fun read.
Kinsey’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars