Kala's Reviews > Bittersweet

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
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Aug 22, 2012

it was ok
Read in August, 2012

The ending of this book felt bittersweet to me, so I suppose the title is appropriate. I mostly enjoyed it up until that point.

The main character, Hudson, is likeable and interesting. I really felt bad for her as she's been dealt a rough hand in life, however I had a hard time relating to her decisions because they were so opposite to anything I would ever do.

When she's younger she finds out her dad is cheating on her mom about 15 minutes before a huge ice skating competition. She decides to throw the competition because they are getting divorced. I don't understand the mentality behind this. I just don't see a 14 year old girl with Olympic dreams whose whole life has revolved around skating for years throwing a huge competition because she doesn't think her family can afford the skating after her parents divorce. I know I never thought about my parents financial situation when I was that age, and I highly doubt she would be THAT concerned about it to the point where she purposely throws the most important skating competition of her life.

But Hudson does throw the competition, stops skating, and starts becoming a slave for her mother at the diner. This is the second major issue I had with the book. I get that her mom is struggling, but maybe she should ask for more child support from the jet setting father instead of forcing her teenage daughter to work FULL TIME waitressing. The same daughter who is also running a cupcake making/catering business as well. This poor kid has to get up at the crack of dawn to make cupcakes, then work the dinner shift 4-5 days a week waiting tables. When is she supposed to do homework?

Somehow Hudson manages to find time for all that, plus she starts skating again. And while skating she runs into a cute boy from her school (Josh) who thinks she is awesome and begs her to teach the hockey team how to skate. Apparently the hockey team sucks until the figure skater shows up, and within a few pages they are amazing and winning games. Oooookay.

Hudson gets led to believe that Josh has a girlfriend named Abby, so she starts dating Will (another hockey guy) even though she's not really attracted to him. She does all this on the sly, causing a huge rift between herself and her friends. One of her old skating friends, Kara, tries to talk to her about Will and Hudson acts like a big jerk. The romance part of the book is okay, but considering she spends the majority of the book dating Will instead of Josh... it just wasn't amazing.

Hudson also hates the small town she lives in. She gets a letter about a skating competition for a huge scholarship and she believes that will be a great way for her to get out of town and make something of her life. In the end, (view spoiler)

I guess that the point is supposed to be she never wanted the skating dream in the first place, but that doesn't seem to be the case until the very end.

I just found it disappointing. :(
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