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Bittersweet by [Ockler, Sarah]
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Bittersweet Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Three years have passed since Hudson Avery's parents divorced and her dream of skating professionally disappeared as quickly as her father's exit to the southwest. Now she's living in the snow-ravaged, dead-end town of Watonka, NY, and baking cupcakes at her mom's diner. As she enters her senior year of high school, the teenager's desire to skate again resurfaces with the announcement of a cash prize competition and a strange twist of events that lead her to coach the varsity hockey team in exchange for ice time. As she becomes more involved with the team, the two co-captains vie for Hudson's attention and she has to choose between the charismatic and charming Will and the sweet and sensitive Josh. Hudson has a lot of decisions to make, and making one often leads to a bittersweet ending and another opportunity. Ariadne Meyers does a great job of voicing all the characters in Ockler's novel (Simon Pulse, 2012) and conveying just the right tone for Hudson's innermost thoughts and daydreams. She nails the sarcasm and snark of the teenagers, their preferred method of communication in the novel, and she easily switches her tone to convey Hudson as vulnerable and sensitive. A good pick for libraries looking to add to their realistic teen romantic comedy collections.–Jennifer Mann, Cromaine District Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"An entertaining read with an engaging, relatable protagonist. Hudson's lively first-person narrative is both wry and sympathetic, and it incorporates issues ranging from self-discovery to family and relationship complexities, along with identifying and following your dreams." --Booklist 
"Ockler concocts an appetizing blend of personalities, drama, and passion in a story of bitter disappointments and sweet successes... [Hudson's] love of the sport is deeply felt, and her regrets about the past and her fears about the future are heart-wrenchingly real." --Publishers Weekly
"Bittersweet is a book worth recommending." --School Library Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 3081 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2012
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061PHRQS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,465 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Settings are one of my absolute favorite things about any book, and because they are often underutilized, I always jump at the ones that are well done, including this one. The snowy setting makes Hudson's dilemmas seem even more isolating and serious, especially as she tries to decided just how much to tell everyone around her. The snowy setting also makes for incredibly fun subplots, mainly Hudson's own ice skating and the inclusion of her interaction with the boys' hockey team. The boys are so delightfully crazy and funny, especially around Hudson, that I couldn't help but always be amused when they were around.

However, even with all the fun, there is plenty of serious business too. There's so much going on in Hudson's life-- skating, baking cupcakes at the diner, helping the diner survive, taking care of her family, and trying to balance time with her friends as she does so much-- that there's no chance that Hudson could be perfectly emotionally stable. She has plenty of angst over all the things falling apart to go along with her pent-up emotion over the betrayal mentioned in the summary. It makes for an emotional read and also helps make Hudson perfectly realistic and sympathetic, even though she totally deserved a smack at certain points for making such bad mistakes. The supporting cast is equally wonderful-- Dani, her best friend, is the perfect match for Hudson because of their differing personalities, and although I don't want to give away too much about Hudson's Potential Boys, I will say that even the infuriating one is sweet to read about because of the drama he brings.

Bittersweet is simultaneously fun, complex, and emotional, and it's snowy setting makes it perfect for winter; a proper testament to my love for it is that my biggest complaint is only that it made me want cupcakes rather badly.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was after my heart from the start (I'm a poet!). It won it over very quickly, too. Then it was all giggles and cupcakes for the rest of the book. Really, I just loved this book. Let me count the ways:

Firstly, it's Sarah Ockler. She can write some great contemporary. This book, like Twenty Boy Summer, was the perfect balance of serious and fun. Hudson is definitely facing some obstacles. She's in way over her head, but she is witty and just utterly likeable. I laughed out loud on several occasions!

Secondly, I loved, loved, loved the restaurant aspects of the story. Hudson's Mom owns a dinner and Hudson makes her cupcakes there. She also moonlights as a waitress, much to her dismay. The reason I loved all that is because I was a waitress for 5 years. Starting when I was 17. I had a love hate relationship with it (mostly hate, though). But it was so fun to see all the restaurant terms used, like back of the house, sidework, and the water in the lap trick. It brought back lots of memories and made the book even more fun for me.

Thirdly, there's hockey boys. I'm from the South where hockey is nearly unheard of. It was fantastic to get to have lots of hockey talk and...well boys. I love that Hudson really didn't know what she wanted when it came to these boys. That felt really realistic to me. She'S 17 and never even had a boyfriend so of course she's confused. I loved the entire romantic storyline. I was never once frustrated. It was just fun to sit back and see how it played out.

There are lots of other reasons I loved this book, but I'm going to keep them short: There's ice skating. The cupcake chapter titles were marvelous. There are lots of delicious sounding cupcakes. There's a awesome best friend and a even more awesome little brother. It's a perfect wintery read. There's lots of kissing. There's even a hamster. Really you guys, just read this book. You will not regret it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Sarah Ockler fangirl, and while Bittersweet wasn't as heartwrenching as her previous books, it was adorable and moving and a lot of fun.

As someone who has never seen snow before, reading a book about ice skating and winter and snow and all of that fun wintery stuff was so awesome. I wanted to be in Watonka with Hudson and Bug and drinking hot chocolate and eating the weirdest yet most delicious sounding cupcakes ever.

As for the characters in Bittersweet, I loved Hudson, but she did drive me crazy at some points. She would not make up her mind! Of course, you know, not that I'm able to make up my mind ever, but I did want to shake her and give her a little push in the right directions. But I loved her character growth throughout the book. I thought it was very well done and I was very happy with her decisions at the end.

And the boy thing. There were a lot of awesome boys in this book, from the hockey team to Josh and Will, but my favourite was Bug. He was the cutest, most awesome little brother ever. He had the greatest quirks and I just wanted to make him my little brother. He rocked. The secondary characters in Bittersweet were all pretty amazing and three dimensional, but he was absolutely my favourite.

And I have to make a quick mention of the chapter headings - they are CUPCAKE RECIPES. I seriously need to try to make every single one.

Overall, I loved Bittersweet so much. There's romance and cupcakes and ice skating and it told a really great and moving story about family struggling in their own ways. If you love contemporaries, I definitely recommend Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler.
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