Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Where did you get the book: Purchased
Release date: Out now

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….

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

This review contains spoilers.

I love my YA contemporaries, and when I saw this over at Goodreads I decided to take a chance on it after seeing all the four and five star reviews. Whilst I liked the writing style of the author, the heroine Hudson got on my nerves, and the book featured a typical YA love triangle, and a bad parent which is becoming a very overused trope in YA.

Hudson is a fantastic skater, and when she was fourteen she was about to skate in the most important night of her night. But on that same night she finds out her Father is cheating on her Mother, and it messes her up big time. So she purposely messes her up her chance of the big time, and right after that her Father leaves them. Years later, Hudson is working at her Mother’s diner and she’s known as the Cupcake Queen. Hudson makes delicious cupcakes, but secretly, she’s always wanted to skate again. But with the diner in trouble, Hudson looking after her baby brother Bug, and with their financial situation not great, Hudson does a lot of her family and gives up a lot. But she hasn’t been able to give up her dream of skating, and she secretly skates without telling her Mother. So when Hudson receives a letter about a skating scholarship from her now deceased ex-coach, Hudson realises that her dream isn’t over. And when the co-captains of the local hockey team, Josh and Will, ask Hudson to help train the team, she agrees and realises that she can train through them for her skating also.

I loved the sound of this and it’s why I forked out on this book which was quite expensive. How I wished I hadn’t. There were so many things that really got on my nerves. One thing was Hudson’s shitty behaviour towards her best friend, Dani. Hudson constantly complains that life is tough and not fair. I couldn’t help but think you had a chance of a lifetime to be a champion skater, and you purposely blew it. Stop whining. She basically drop kicks Dani out of her life when she becomes involved with the hockey team, and Will and Josh.

Then there was the love triangle which you could predict a mile off. Hudson likes Josh, but because she ‘thinks’ he has a girlfriend without even asking him (yes, the misunderstanding) she ends up casually dating Will, who years back, made out with Hudson behind her then best friend Kara’s back, knowing that Kara really liked him. See a pattern here? So she casually dates Will, knowing that she really likes Josh, and you can tell by a mile off that Will is using her so all in all I ended up so frustrated reading this book.

But my biggest frustration wasn’t the love triangle. My biggest frustration was how in the book, I sort of got the message that fuck the career of a lifetime that Hudson could have as a skater. Hudson’s mother basically wants Hudson to have a career in a diner. Never mind that her daughter basically doesn’t have a life. And in the end, Hudson decides that she never really wanted to be a champion skater. She’s happy with her family at the diner, and she could teach kids how to skate.

*head meets wall repeatedly*

So despite her Mother’s diner being full every single time, somehow they are still short of money and have trouble paying rent and the bills. And despite their Father paying child alimony, they were always still short of money. So that didn’t make sense. Then we have the obligated shitty parent in YA who up till the divorce was a loving Father, but soon as he divorces the Mother, moves away to another state and never sees his kids.

*head meets wall repeatedly*

All in all, this book for me was a mountain hole of frustrations, and one that I won’t be picking up again

I give Bittersweet a D+

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