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The Corner of Bitter and Sweet

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  495 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Gilmore Girls meets Postcards from the Edge crossed with L.A. Candy!

Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Jacobs never asked to be famous, but as the daughter of Janie Jacobs, one of the biggest TV stars in the world, she is. Growing up is hard enough. Having to do it in public because your mother is a famous actress? Even harder. When your mom crashes and burns after her DUI mug s
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 27th 2013 by Speak
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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3.5 stars
Annabelle's mom is Janie Jacobs, the star of a hit sitcom. Until she leaves the sitcom, to look for roles that never materialize and until she gets arrested for a DUI while driving the wrong way on the Pacific Coast Highway. This was a surprisingly thoughtful, feel-good read. Palmer expertly captures the complicated relationship between Annabelle and her mother, and each of its ups and downs, and presents a variety of complicated characters. My personal favorite was Billy, the younger a
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an attempt at a darker and more adult turn by Robin Palmer, author of the "Lucy B. Parker" and "Castle Heights" (which includes Cindy Ella and Geek Charming) series of young adult novels. Although certainly darker, the book still maintains the charms and characterizations that have made Palmer a popular author and still makes for an appropriate and enjoyable young adult read.

Plot: Annabelle Jacobs is the daughter of Janie Jacobs, a formerly famous and hugely suc
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I was attracted to this book because of the cover, it looked mysterious and had a camera so I had to know what it's about. As I read the summary on the back, it turns out to be a book about a Hollywood actress and her daughter which scored more points with me because I just love reading about Hollywood royalty or such.

The book was kind of slow in the beginning, it explains the main character, Annabelle, situation. Her mom is out of it after her show got cancelled and has been drinking and takin
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ive read " the corner of bitter and sweet " ,, i ddnt enjoy it it was so boring for me ,, i gave it 2 out of 5 stars ...more
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Story of Addiction, Recovery, and Relationships

When I saw Robin Palmer’s The Corner of Bitter and Sweet offered for review on NetGalley, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to request it. I was familiar with some of Palmer’s other books but hadn’t read them because they seemed too “cute” for my tastes. However, I’m glad I went ahead and requested the novel, because it was a really good read.

The Corner of Bitter and Sweet explores the relationship between sixteen-year-old Annabelle and her mother Ja
Aug 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was absolutely pathetic.
All the characters were shallow. (I mean that in both ways it can be taken: They are shallow people, and, as characters go, Palmer didn't flesh them out very well. I read their story like a story of paper-cut-out dolls.)

This book equals...

Cotton candy!
Because it's got too much sugar sweetness (don't you know that People's Sexiest Man Alive also has a heart of gold and wants to help people out, I mean it! And long-distance relationships... they last! For reals!)
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Robin Palmer always writes such sweet, relatable, and funny novels, and her latest, about a girl trying to take care of her famous, alcoholic mother, is no exception! I loved reading about Annabelle, I loved her intelligence and maturity, despite the difficulties she faced, and I loved her charming, but flawed mother. Teens, no matter their situation, will find some aspect of the book to relate to - adults will too!
Jennifer Castle
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ah, this is a great read! Here's my official take:

Keenly observed, brutally funny, and bubbling over with heart, THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET is Robin Palmer at her best...I loved taking this ride with her through the intricacies of mothers and daughters, addiction and recovery, celebrity and reality, and love in all its many fabulous forms.
Kim Baccellia
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Totally loved the voice!

Think Gilmore Girls meets Postcards on the Edge with a sprinkling of Gossip Girl laced with humor and a fab voice. At the end, I had a huge smile and wanted to hug not only the book but all the characters. A true sign of a winning book!

YABC review coming soon!
John Clark
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What happens when the draining and unnatural role you’ve had for years is pulled from under you. Meet sixteen year old Annabelle Jackson. She had to assume the role of parent when her actress mother grabbed numerous psychoactive prescription drugs and crawled inside the bottle. Since then, Annabelle has had to run interference, check to see whether bills are paid and cringe every time her mother appears in public under the influence. This doesn’t leave any leeway for boyfriends or hobbies, leavi ...more
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet, really was bitter and sweet. It had its moments of cuteness and then it had ehhh moments.

The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is about a daughter who took care of her famous, alcoholic mom. And then tried to help put her back on her feet with her starring in a movie. Annabelle was always locked up with her feelings about her mother drinking but throughout this book she lets her mom know what she felt. I think it is a nice, sweet story, just needed a little more juice.

Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I thought I wouldn’t finish this book after the first 5 chapters, but seeing as how I liked the authors previous books I told myself to keep reading. Glad I did because I ended up almost giving it 4.5 stars.
Amber (Books of Amber)
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-read
This review was originally posted on Books of Amber

The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is one of the books that I picked up at the airport in Washington after leaving Dee and her family. It was a completely random buy, I only bought it because I liked the cover and I wanted to spend some money on books. What I didn’t know was that The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a story about a teenager called Annabelle, who lives with her alcoholic mother in Hollywood. It’s the story of their journey together as J
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Posted here

Why did I pick up this book?
The cover! It caught my eye while I was browsing through the shelves at the bookstore. The typography and font used is appealing and attractive to look at. The shade and vibe it gives off is a little mysterious, given the dark background. What really brought me in was the girl with the camera on the cover! Being a photo enthusiast, I'm instantly interested by anything photography related.

What is it about?
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is about Annabelle, wh
Laura P
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is utter perfection. There were no events, words, or sentences that didn’t have a purpose. At first I was slightly put off by the more serious tone and the slower pace, but I quickly realized that that was because of my own idea of what I should expect from Palmer’s novels – an interesting realization given that so much of this novel is about abandoning your perceptions of how things or people should be, and accepting them for what they are. It took me a few chapte ...more
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, ya, ebook
Review spoiler alert: I loved this book. A lot. I am not someone who’s at all obsessed with celebrity culture. I don’t want E! or any of those other shows, I don’t read tabloids or Perez Hilton, if I like a celebrity it’s because I like their work. So I guess I can’t necessarily vouch for how realistic this book is, but judging from what I hear without trying, it seems pretty true to life.

Annabelle’s mom was a successful actress on a TV sitcom, but she decides to leave the sitcom while she’s on
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a book about addiction and the impact that this has not just on the addict but the people around them. Because the book's set around Hollywood and acting sets, there's a bit of exploration about how a kid growing up around that kind of culture would be affected too. Our protagonist is sixteen year old Annabelle, daughter of famous sitcom actress Janie Jackson who ditched the show in order to become a famous movie actress. Only the movie gig didn't work out as Ja ...more
Thia Lee
Jan 27, 2021 rated it liked it
2.7 Stars...

I don't really have much to say about this one. It was just alright, nothing memorable.

Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I got this book at Dollar Tree, so I wasn't expecting much. I'm glad I picked it up.


The plot overall was great. It had a very interesting setup and was something that I could on some level connect to. It was also refreshing to see a book that had the main focus of a non-romantic relationship--one about a mother and a daughter. In a way it sort of reminded me of a book I read earlier this year, White Oleander, though the relationship and plot were both very different.

The only downfall of thi
Alice in Readerland
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on "Things to keep in mind when waiting to bail out your mother from jail. Number one: small talk in police precincts is not necessary.”
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet has the open, hilarious narration like Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries and covers some deeper family issues and the topic of coming into your own, like Sarah Dessen’s books. There are so many fantastic, funny quotes from this book. But what else did I love about it?

The Main Character
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
That this book is very good and a lot of detail.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
One look at the cover of this book and I knew I had to read it. So when a copy arrived in the mail for me, I did a little happy dance, then immediately dove into the story. And wow, the story I got was definitely not what I was expecting at all.

Annabelle has been taking care of her mom for so long, she can barely remember a time where her mom was the one taking care of her. As the daughter of a famous actress, Annabelle has grown up in the spotlight, trying to live life while hiding the fact th
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Netgalley and Speak for giving me an ARC of this book


The Corner of Bitter and Sweet is such a frustrating novel. It's a story about a yuppie girl and her famous mom and their trials and tribulations. Well, part of that is true, but it's more about Annabelle's relationship with her dysfunctional mother... to a degree.

I think my issue with this book is that it doesn't push the issue of addiction hard enough. It's easy to have sympathy for someone as neglected as Annabelle, she's ea
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The fantastic "The Corner of Bitter and Sweet" by Robin Palmer is so clued in to the behind the scenes life of a former top TV star, Janie Jackson and her teen age daughter, Annabelle, it reads like a memoir. Janie walked away from a hit TV show to pursue her art and a movie career which tanked with 3rd rate comedies. She drinks, a LOT, and takes pills and lives by a whole library's worth of self-help and New Age feel good books which she can quote whenever the need arises.
Annabelle narrates h
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Annabelle is the daughter of Janie Jackson, a movie star famous for her comic role on a hit sitcom. However, Annabelle's life isn't the perfect lifestyle of a Hollywood princess. Since her mother's exit from the show, Annabelle has been forced to deal with her mother's depression and addiction. As her mother learns to recover from her addiction and miserable lifestyle, Annabelle learns how to live for herself.

I thought Annabelle's relationship with her mom, Janie, was so great in this book. At t
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was already inclined to like this book, since I'm a big fan of Robin Palmer's YA fairy tale retellings and Lucy B. Parker series. But this novel is more nuanced, yet just as funny, as those. Annabelle Meryl Jackson (yes, the Meryl is for Meryl Streep) has spent most of her life taking care of her mother, actress and alcoholic Janie Jackson. She's so used to playing parent that she has no idea what to do with herself when her mother, after an incident that forces her into rehab, seems to be a n ...more
I was excited to win a copy of The Corner of Bitter and Sweet through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program. Annabelle is struggling to become her own person after being the parent in her household for so long. Her mother Janie Jackson who was previously the star of a top rated sitcom but who is now struggling to get acting jobs after quitting the show to pursue a film career. Unfortunately, the movie roles didn't materialize as planned and now Janie is struggling with substance abuse and dep ...more
Rebecca Morales
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Annabelle tried to fade into the background but when your mother is a beloved tv star that’s hard. After her mother was arrested and she had to go to rehab it became impossible.

I thought this would be a story about troubled mother/daughter dynamic. Annabelle’s mom, Janie, is an alcoholic down on her luck actress. Now Janie wasn’t the typical mom, in fact it was usually Annabelle taking care of her.

So I really hoping for heart-wrenching, thought provoking mother/daughter relationship but it felt
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this novel!

This book shares the point of view of Annabelle, an L.A. teenager with a television star for a mother. Annabelle often has to take on the role of parent--her mother is drug and alcohol addicted.

Annabelle is a relatable character, even for someone who doesn't have much experience with addiction. She has the same struggles as any teen, and has her own quirky ways of coping with them (the smell of play-doh soothes her anxieties!). The s
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When it comes to parent-child relationships, many books will try to grasp the intricacies and subtlety of changing one's character to mend family problems, as well accurately reflect the emotions involved in dealing with home issues. However, not many books succeed half as well as this one.

This book felt so incredibly REAL and just plain genuine. Annabelle's character was remarkably three-dimensional, as was her mother's, and...well, everyone's. I've never read a book with so many well-developed
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Robin Palmer grew up in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and after graduating from Boston University, moved to Hollywood. Starting as an assistant in the television literary department of the William Morris Agency, she quickly moved up the ranks and spent the next decade as a literary agent, producer, and television network executive at Lifetime Television, where she developed over one hundred script ...more

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