Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Now, more than ever, no matter how much it hurts to admit, that promise is the very last hope I’m holding, the only thing in my life that I haven’t yet spilled.”

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.

Personal Thoughts:

This is my first encounter with Sarah Ockler‘s works but I’ve been meaning to read her Twenty Boy Summer since last year. The last time I try to hunt for a copy of that book my mission failed miserably. Then recently this latest novel of her reached my radar and that moment I know I need to finally try her works so I decided to grab a kindle copy instead of waiting for a printed copy to be available in my location.

Bittersweet tells the story of Hudson, a talented figure skater who once had a chance to hit big in her career. On the day of the event she found out that her father is cheating on her mom which leads her to throw her dream and walk away. Now her parents are separated and she and her little brother, Bug leaves with her mom. She works in her mom’s restaurant baking cupcakes but sometimes she still miss ice skating. Until one day she receives a letter that holds her chance to compete once again and chase her dreams.

Hudson is both a strong and complicated character. There are times that I sympathize with her for undergoing so much at such a young age but there were also times that I just want to shake her badly till she came to her senses. Doing what she is doing everyday is not an easy task for sure. Working at her mom’s restaurant, coaching a hockey team, skating practice, taking care of her little brother requires a lot of time and effort. I don’t really expect her to succeed in everything she’s doing because in reality at some point not everything will run smoothly. But there are times that I think that she failed in things that are not supposed to fail. Though I understand her struggles in making some decisions, I still think that some of her choices are not that great.

Josh is such a sweet and charming guy. He has lots of potential as Hudson’s love interest but unfortunately his character felt flat for me. I want to see more development in his character. Though he is swoon worthy enough to get any girls interest, I feel that at the end of the novel I still don’t know much about him. All I get was he is a co-captain hockey player and obviously like Hudson. His family background only tells about his twin sister who loves to talk to him, which somehow cause the misunderstanding between him and Hudson.

Hudson’s little smart brother Bug is such an adorable and lovely kid. He is the one that bring light to the story. His enthusiasm and quirkiness balanced the heavy drama of the other characters. He is the only one who remain constant positive and fun in the story.

The setting is just breath-taking. It makes me want to hit snow and learn how to skate but unfortunately there will never be a snow in my location, the closest I can get is go to the nearest mall with a skating rink. Also, I love the concept of a girl figure skater coaching a team of hockey boys. It tells so much about equality, humility and trust. It is fun reading how an entire team of hockey players learned to obey instructions from a girl.

With a pinchful of bitterness and handful of sweetness, Bittersweet lives up to its title. It shows both the beauty and hardship of Hudson’s life. It will make you appreciate what you have and makes the best out of it. It reminds you that life difficulties exist to make us better and not bitter. Hudson’s journey in finding what she really want is not a straight and smooth one. With a surprising twist in the end, this is definitely a deliciously satisfying read.

5 thoughts on “Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler”

  1. I’m reading this right now and it seems very cute! 🙂 I love that it has so many cupcake descriptions — it makes me want to go to the kitchen and cook!


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