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Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet (edition 2012)

by Sarah Ockler

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148None82,911 (3.65)None
Authors:Sarah Ockler
Info:Simon Pulse (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
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Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Recently added byprivate library, secretteen, bookish92, JennReads, bladechik99, kayceel, CyndiTefft, vonze



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An okay read about a teen who is very unsure about what she wants/feels...which many can relate to! (certainly I can...)

Hudson has spent the last couple of years hiding out in her mother's diner, baking amazing cupcakes and trying not to think about the ice-skating career she walked away from and the dad that walked away from her, her younger brother, and their mom. But when she meets a new hockey boy, Josh, who asks if she'd be willing to help him improve her skating, she begins to think more about what *she* wants, instead of what her parents want for her. ( )
  kayceel | Feb 25, 2014 |
I'm not surprised that I loved this book. Sarach Ockler is an exceptional writer. Who else could take cupcake making, parental abandonment, figure skating and hockey and turn in it into a riveting read?

The way this story embraces so many different types of relationships without loosing the strand is amazing.

I think what I enjoy the most about Ockler's writing is that her characters and settings are so realistic. The stories are engaging, yet the reader can stay connected to the characters because they are real people.

Addendum: Here are some examples of the fine writing that I especially loved:

"We're all gonna leave, right? Today, tomorrow, the next day, one day. Sometimes I imagine the great and final exodus, all of us wrapped in scarves and mittens and puffy coats, piling on the Erie Atlantic with two suitcases apiece, dousing the place in gasoline and tossing a match, hitting the tracks and never looking back."

"Dani passes me a cinnamon-smelling Mocha Morris from Sharon's Cafe, the cat-themed coffeehouse near school, and leans against the bench at Bluebird Park. On this cheery, once-a-decade winter anomaly, the sky is the color of sapphires and the entire world is covered in diamond dust, snow sparkling under the rare, white sun. A yellow lab bounds toward us and I lean forward to scratch behind his ears: I have to hold my drink above his head to keep him from slobbering it all up. "Feel better?" Dani asks. "A little."'

"Bug wraps his hands around the defenseless angel and twists her in half, ravaging her from halo to toe. He yanks off the wings. Pulls out clumps of spiderwebby hair. Rips at her cardboard dress. Crushes the paper towel roll body. In a final act of vengeance, he grabs her Styrofoam ball head, breaks it off at the neck and tosses it into my lap, scattering her other remains on the floor between us. The whole raging episode is over in fifteen seconds, and I wonder if this is one of those things that parents of serial killers look back on as a sign. Maybe it is. But when he turns to me and that ear-to-ear gap-toothed grin rises on his face like a sun on some distant planet, my heart melts. My little brother is just fine. Perfect, even." ( )
  Angelina-Justice | Feb 3, 2014 |
As the French Canadians say, when you're tired of figure skater girl/hockey player boy romances, you're tired of life, so this was very pleasant and cute. And it takes place in Buffalo (a fictionalized Lackawanna, I believe) and I found all the local touches very true to life. Hudson is a (former-ish?) figure skater who works in the local diner owned by her mom, who then gets involved with ice training her high school's hockey team. Naturally, there are TWO hockey boys to choose from. The other big plot element is that the responsibility of helping with her single mom's struggling financial situation, along with care of a younger brother, weighs heavily upon her.

My biggest issue was that the two hockey boys' voices don't really become distinct until well into the book. I mean really, no wonder she has conflicting feelings about which boy to pursue, they are IDENTICAL. It also would have benefited from even more hockey ... she's either spending a relatively short time with the team, which makes it seem odd that she's so attached to the activity, or too much is happening off-page, in which case the book isn't succeeding in showing WHY it is important even as other events are moving along. I liked the various minor hockey player characters, and think the book would be even better with more of them. I especially liked the nod to the stereotype of the crazy goalie.

It does go a bit into that YA territory of a lot of the book's conflicts being things that could easily be resolved if the protagonist was even slightly more forthcoming, but that's a bit of hazard for adults reading YA in general, I think.

One note, it drove me up a wall that the book is about a girl who has a fancy cupcake business, and the picture on the cover is of a COOKIE. I know this has nothing to do with the author or the story, but STILL. Maddening. ( )
  delphica | Sep 5, 2013 |
Hudson wants to escape her small town, and dreams of a life as a professional figure skater. But after her father left three years before, there was no money for coaching and lessons. Her mother works long hours to keep the family's diner going, and Hudson works there, as well as running a cupcake business and watching her younger brother all while trying to keep up with her school work. Then she learns about a skating competition with a scholarship as a prize, and adds secret training and a bargain with the school's hockey team to her schedule. ( )
  pmlyayakkers | Jul 19, 2013 |
An old follower of my blog would have read my dazzling review of Twenty Boy Summer already, so when I found this book that got a Sarah Ockler on its cover, it was a definite read.

Bittersweet is indeed a bittersweet read, talking about family and teenage life, dream, hope, love, and friendship. Our main character, Hudson Avery was once a brilliant figure skaters, but on the night of the competition, she found a cheetah bra that belonged not to her nor her mother. And when her family was falling apart, Hudson took a surprising turn : Abandoning her shining future, and start to work as Cupcake Princess.
But when fate took Hudson to try figure skating once again, she was tore between her fragile new life and her haunting old one.

I love how I can relate completely with Hudson. I could feel truly sorry for her, and I could felt her sadness when life hit her hard. When she was happy, I was happy too, and when her heart was breaking, I felt sad as well. It was all so strange, but I love the thrill I had while reading this book.

I also love how Sarah Ockler portrayed Hudson's relationship with Josh and Will quite realistically, not all that lovey-dovey-out-of-their-mind love. It was such a believable love triangle, and I could totally understand why Hudson decided to give another chance for Will. Once again, Sarah Ockler was able to capture teenage's fragile emotion perfectly.

The main character itself-i think-was lacking some surprise. It was all so predictable, and Hudson and Josh and Will was quite a bit uninteresting. One character I found quite unique was Dani, Hudson's only friend when she left her skating world. Dani was truly a great friend, but she still stood for her own belief. I also love Hudson's mom, the way she talk and tell others to do their job, etc. was really a perfect picture of a "Mom".

Overall, Bittersweet is not as brilliant as Twenty Boy Summer, but I think it's still so worth the read. If you love contemporary, and you love Sarah Ockler as I do, definitely try this one. ( )
  NeysaKristanti | May 5, 2013 |
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Hudson Avery gave up a promising competetive ice skating career after her parents divorced when she was fourteen years old and now spends her time baking cupcakes and helping out in her mother's upstate New York diner, but when she gets a chance at a scholarship and starts coaching the boys' hockey team, she realizes that she is not through with ice skating after all.… (more)

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