Nomes's Reviews > Bittersweet

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
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Sarah Ockler has secured herself a place on my must-buy author list. I really enjoyed her previous two novels Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah but I think her third release, Bittersweet, is my favourite.

On the surface, there is not big drama or conflict in the book: it is a coming of age book involving ice skating, friendship, cupcakes, hockey boys and family. Yet, Ockler masterfully builds tension, in a quiet and compelling way the whole way through (with an achey mess of a climax, poor Hudson). It's not just the tension that kept me reading all night long (I finished at 4am), it is the way Ockler writes: her prose is gorgeous, rich but never overbearing, her sentiments so beautifully expressed it is easy for me as a reader to get swept up in the characters lives.

But for me, my favourite part of this book is, by far, the characters. Each character, whether major or minor, was so nuanced, so lovingly crafted, that the whole book springs to life. The relationship between Hudson and her mum and her brother so perfectly depicted. The friendships, their good times and bads, so real and achey and fun and true.

The whole book feels incredibly vivid ~ from the people to the winter-y setting, to Hudson's emotions ~ all of it, just truly wonderful.

For those who know my reading taste ~ this book completely delivered for me. Compelling characters, vivid setting, engaging drama (without being melodramatic) and gorgeous, envy-inducing prose.

And I saved the best until last (because loving a book is not just about falling for the boy...): Ockler knows how to create her love interests. There's plenty of swooning and aching between Hudson and Josh, co-captain of the ice hockey team. Josh has made it securely onto my swoon-y hall of fame - loved all of Josh's scenes ;)
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Jade (new) - added it

Jade I just bought this so I'm glad to hear it's good!

Nomes Oh ~ I seriously loved it :) I think after this one, I will have to make Sarah Ockler an auto-buy for me, she just writes my kind of contemporary flavour :)

Hope you love it too

Giselle Oh yay! This was really sweet!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, thanks for the lovely review, Nomes. I saw this the other day but I wasn't sure if I wanted it or not. When you say the prose is gorgeous, I know I'll love it.

Nomes Have you read Sarah Ockler before Maja? She writes beautifully, not too flowery, but some lovely lines and just a gorgeous flow to her words. Nice cadence, etc.


message 6: by Paula (new) - added it

Paula Weston I love the sound of this. Am now adding to my to-read list. :) Lovely review.

message 7: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Enjoyed Twenty Boy Summer, but wasn't sold until I saw the trailer for Biteersweet! Have you seen it! It's delicous! ;)

message 8: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Okay I get it now.... in your comment to me on my review of Statistical Probability you called Hadley by name Hudson. LOL I was thinking when I read the post that the book was both extremely forgettable as well as disappointing. Now I know where you got the name Hudson. :)

Anywho, love this review and it sounds like it had everything you crave for in a YA contemporary. I liked Twenty Boy Summer and I have Fixing Delilah at the ready, so I'll be sure to keep my eye out for this one too.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) No, unfortunately, but if I'm not mistaken, I can read this online (S&S PulseIt) and I'll definitely do that soon.

Nomes @ Paula: I loved it :)

@ Rebecca ~ that trailer is really sweet! Thanks for the link (I might chuck it up on my blog later)

@ Arlene: oh no! I just wrote this review back to back. Hudson/Hadley. So confusing. (except I loved Hudson, Hadley... not so much, haha)

@ Maja: I have heard about that. You have to read at your computer, right? You should definitely give it a go (I know you are not always into contemporary...)

Jasprit Great review Nomes, I'm reading this so far and loving it. Twenty boy summer was okay for me, but this is tons better :)

Isamlq oooh. want :)

Emily Hey Nomes, is this one out in Aus yet? Have been keeping an eye out but I haven't seen it yet. Lovely review! x

Nomes I've never seen any Sarah Ockler in my book shops ~ I preordered this one (book depo) and got it last week. It's my fave Ockler so far


Emily Okay, thanks. I bought Fixing Delilah here in Sydney, so I was hoping to find Bittersweet without ordering it. Oh well, I will keep looking anyway! :)

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