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Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
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's review
Mar 16, 2012

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bookshelves: library

I don’t know why there’s a cookie on the cover when the book is an ode to cupcakes, but I do love an aesthetically pleasing dessert.

Hudson used to be a golden god of figure skating. She and her best friend Kara cheered each other on as they both advanced through various competitions. But when Hudson’s family fell apart, she gave up on figure skating. Like, on the rink mid-competition. She dropped everything to do with the sport, including Kara. Her mom needed her at the family diner and her brother needed her while both of his parents were occupied elsewhere. It was a combination of the two that led Hudson to cupcakes. Now, three years later, she’s the Cupcake Queen of Watonka.

Except Hudson doesn’t want to be small town royalty in a going-nowhere life. She’s been secretly skating at the lake and plans to enter an upcoming event. Pretty soon Hudson is helping the He-Man Woman Haters hockey team try to break their epic losing streak in return for some rink time. Meanwhile, her mom needs waitressing help and her new best friend needs ladies’ night and her little brother needs someone—anyone—to spend time with him. Hudson loves them all, but she just wants out.

First of all, I really liked hanging out in Hudson’s head. Her take on people and imagined scenarios and parallel version of her life were entertaining. She and her friend Dani were sassy small town waitresses and her kid brother an adorable little genius. The two co-captains of the hockey team could have been really simple, cookie-cutter characters and I’m glad they weren’t. But that all disappeared a little in the second half of the book. Hudson wasn’t so whimsical and Dani had some anger that I still don’t quite understand. I don’t feel like I got the whole story out of the hockey or the skating competition or Hudson’s family. I liked this one, it just lost me a little in the end.

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