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...
Hockey boys and cupcakes? Yes, please! I found myself fixing a couple of cups of hot chocolate while I read this book (and I haven't done that in a while). I also found myself watching a lot of Cupcake Wars on Food Network. I won't be surprised if my husband walks in with a confused look on his face because I'm suddenly watching hockey games. But Bittersweet isn't all hockey boys and cupcakes (don't get me wrong, there's plenty of both)--it's so much more.
The emotions in this book are so real. The reader feels Hudson's frustration, confusion, and longing to figure out her own path in life. She's forced to grow up rather quickly with a lot of responsibility. She's had to make sacrifices most teens don't have to worry about. She's the "Cupcake Queen," waitress, and babysitter.
Speaking of babysitter, the secondary characters in Bittersweet are rich and real. I found immediate love for Hudson's little brother, Bug. If anything were to happen to him, I would be devastated. The way Sarah describes him caused me to tear up. I could just picture him pushing his little glasses up on his nose, and taking his pet hamster, Mr. Napkins, everywhere he goes. He has a little piece of my heart.
Not only is this a great story, but Sarah has pretty much mastered the dreaded "show vs. tell." If you're a writer, I encourage you to study her books. She grounds you in the story using all five senses. I could hear Hudson nervously zipping her jacket up and down. I could hear the pop of Hudson and Josh's homemade fire in the abandoned Fillmore Steel Mill. The sounds really immerse the reader in the story.
If you're looking for a fabulous book to cuddle up to while drinking a big steaming mug of hot chocolate (and perhaps a cupcake from the local bakery), then you must read Bittersweet. If you're looking for a book with real, raw emotions, you must read Bittersweet. And if that doesn't convince you, don't forget about the whole team of sexy hockey boys that will surely win you over! ;)