by Sarah Ockler


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

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There is something so sweet about falling in love for the first time (*).
About all those insecurities you might have, about not knowing what to choose, what is best for you.
About wanting to risk it all but fearing that you will lose everything, about dreaming with your eyes wide open, about waiting for a kiss that might never come..

There is something so sad about broken families (**), about the loneliness the kids might feel when the parents decide not to be part of their lives anymore.
It’s in the need to follow their dreams, in the need to make them proud, in the broken little hearts that find for the first time that they are quite alone in a big-big world, it’s in the pain of understanding that their father is not coming home, in the fear that he might not care anymore.

There is something heartbreaking about losing your dreams (***).
About waiting for your moment to shine but never get to make it true, about hiding in a dark place afraid to face the world.
About trying too hard, or giving up too soon, about regrets and never-ending, haunting memories, about disappointment and hopes never met, about missing chances.

But there is also something bright about trying, about coming back and struggling to find another dream, about having close your friends and family, about smiling with your heart, about enjoying every moment of your life, no matter how many storms come your way, no matter how hard it is or how many times you’ve failed before.

Even if I carry the scars of regret for the rest of my life, I know that this winter, for a little while, I was part of something bigger. Something special.

It’s all about hope, and dreams, and trying, and wanting…
This is what this story is really about…
And cupcakes. Do not forget the cupcakes and start reading this story with your belly full, or you will end up eating this book page by page.

When life hands you lemons, stuff’em in your Bra Cakes

What I liked about this story is the fact that it made me smile a lot.

I cared for Hudson, I cheered for Josh (hockey boy #1), I smiled with Dani (best friend) and laughed with Bug (little brother), I understood Will (captain of the hockey team).. and I loved it all.

Hudson is one of those awesome characters with her sassy voice, her cute cupcakes names, with her sweet day-dreams, and her troubled hockey-boys-crushing.
Her story is complex, coming from way back when she was a kid following his father’s dreams, and it’s more about trying to find what she really wants, who she really is.
I liked how she tried to help the guys improve their skating skills, I liked her private lessons with Josh and how shy she became when she was with him (or boys in general). There was something cute and honest in all that she did, as she was always following her heart even when she was wrong or when she made a mistake. Hudson felt like a real person and this made me like her even more.

“But I don’t know how to speak the language of impossible dreams en français”

Also, what makes this story really enjoyable is the pack of cute character we have in there.
All those friends Hudson has (Dani and the boys, and even Kara) they were all so nice and had so much to tell. I enjoyed every moment with them and I wanted some more time to know them even better.

“Let’s get something strait, wolf pack. I have my own reasons for being here, and they have nothing to do with your sparkling personalities.”

My favorite character is Bud, the little brother, because there was something about his innocence that made my heart ache in a way I didn’t think it was possible – bittersweet might be a good description. He was so damn cute, and smart, and so fragile but in the same time so mature for his age. He was a sweetheart and I got to love him so much.

Dani was a great source of humor through the story. I wish i had a friend like her. She tried too much, she pushed too much, but she was a really good friend, as much as Hud allowed her to be. It was sad to see them grow apart and I was glad that they got past their differences by the ending.

“The basic rule is to smile a lot,” she says, lending me into the kitchen. “Even when you feel like choking someone, keep smilin’. The minute you show them you’re pissed, you lose.”

And now about the love interest (won’t say his name to keep you guessing):

I wanted more time with him, as Hud has been in love with him probably since before the story even begun, I wanted more moments to see those sparks shine, still, those few moments with them together were precious.
I liked his conversations with Hud, and how he saved her in so many ways, I liked his shyness, even though at times he was such a kid (and I was mostly like: “oh, just kiss the girl already, damn it!”), but they were great together and I waited patiently for them to figure out their feelings and be together after all.

When [he] inches his chair closer to mine and smiles, my stomach fizzes again. Brain to stomach: we talked about this! Knock it off!

As a bottom line, this is a very cute love story, that will make your heart skip a beat or two, also there is more to the story – some drama, some humor as well – there’s a bit of everything for everyone, and I really hope that you will love it just as much as I did.

Happy Reading!

(*) “No permanent damage, right?”
“Nah.” Just the temporary mental kind, causing my mind to wander dangerously into forbidden crush territory.

(**)  Everyone says that the internet is so awesome because you can connect with people from all over the world, but I think it’s the opposite. The internet doesn’t make it easier to connect with anyone – it just makes it so you don’t really have to.

(***) “When you’re out here alone, contemplating all the things you didn’t do and the person you didn’t become … if you think about it too long a hush seeps into the gray space, and the wind will hollow out your bones, and the purest kind of loneliness comes up from the inside to swallow you like an avalanche”

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22 responses to “Bittersweet”

  1. Heidi @Rainy Day Ramblings says:

    You did a wonderful job on this review Ari. I am really wanting to read this. It sounds like a nice comfort book for a stormy day! I am afraid it will leave me with a terrible craving for cupcakes though!

  2. your header is so cute!!!!

    ok, now for the review-i really like books that are about hopes and dreams 🙂

    • Ari says:

      Thanks a lot, I am glad that you like it 🙂 and I hope that you will like this book as well when you get to read it 😉

  3. almasghafoor_92 says:

    i could do with a smile. This review is so lovely Ari. it sounds cute, funny and so sweet 🙂

  4. Bittersweet sounds just like it’s title. I really like all the hardships and pain in a book, but then again, I don’t. I like how they make me appreciate the good things, but in the end, they still hurt. Even if I’m only the reader. This book sounds lovely and like it hits on some really good points. I’ve heard of it before, but it wasn’t really on my radar. I’m definitely going to have to read this one!

    • Ari says:

      You are right, there is this perfect amount of sweetness and bitterness in the story. There are happy moments and sad moments, but the main character is optimistic and fun to be around so it doesn’t feel like a heavy read, not at all. I really hope that you will like this book too 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great review! I am tempted to check this out based on the excerpts too 🙂

  6. The Nocturnal Library says:

    Starting this tonight! Hope I love it too…

    Lisa O. @ The Nocturnal Library

  7. misfit salon says:

    Nothing wrong with books that make you smile a lot. I need one of those, actually, to soothe my soul!

  8. Nea Barabea says:

    I so cannot wait to read this book!! 🙂

  9. I just finished Fixing Delilah but Sarah Ockler and I’m IMPRESSED! I loved it so I can’t wait to read this one. (I checked GR, you haven’t read it. I say get to it ASAP! haha) I loooooove cupcakes (who doesn’t?!) so I hope this one will be even better;D It seems like a fun, sweet read. Great review Ari, I can really tell how much you enjoyed this one:D I love innocent romances or when characters get shy because of it. There is just something so heart warming and ‘awwwww’ about it. Hmm, Idk if I should wait to read this until I’m in a reading funk or something or drop everything and read it now.

    • Ari says:

      I usually try to put some space between books from the same author or similar genre. But you can of course read it now. It is a fun book and it will make you smile a lot.
      I will get to Fixing Delilah soon as well. Sarah Ockler is becoming one of my favorite writers and I can’t miss the chance to read one more book from her. I hope that I will like it as much as I liked “Bittersweet” and “20 Boy Summer” (I didn’t write a review for it but now I regret it, as I remember liking it a lot)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your reviews are always so much fun to read with the images! I love it! I really liked this book too! I loved the love interest and I agree I wish there would have been more time with them. But at the same time it made the short moments all the more better! 😀 Wonderful review!

    • Ari says:

      My big, big thanks go all those wonderful artists, around the world, for providing me (without even knowing it) with all these pictures, so perfect for the books I read. There are always some scenes that stand out for me and I like sharing with my readers the visual representations of those scenes.
      These pictures are telling Hud’s story: meet Princess Pink, shy and clumsy around boys, but really talented when it comes to cupcakes and ice skating ;))

      And I am really glad that you liked it, thank you!

  11. Your review (and the graphic) make me super happy. 😀 Yay for cute contemporary romances!

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