Despite my excessive clumsiness I’ve always wanted to be a figure skater. Of course because I was clumsy, live in Texas, and don’t like waking up at the crack of dawn these dreams were short lived. However, I still am an ardent fan of figure skating and like to watch or read anything about it. Almost as much as I like cupcakes. Well, Bittersweet is about both so it should be my ideal book, was it?
General Summary: Hudson is stuck working at her mom’s dinner when she’d rather be skating her heart out. Why? Well, Hudson’s mom is a passive aggressive control freak and her father ( a deadbeat dad) walked out on her and her ultra cute little brother. However, when a Hudson learns about an upcoming skating competition she decides that she’s going to once again go for the gold. But is it what she really wants?
Review: My feelings for this book were mixed there were parts of it I loved and parts that were a bit meh. I guess I should start by disclosing that I think this book sort of triggered some issues for me. Hudson’s story was similar to something I, myself, experienced, so I think some of my negative feelings for the book were probably related to those events in my life. I’ll start by talking about the good. There’s actually a lot of good things about this book. I think Ockler’s story was really realistic. It was really bittersweet. While there is a definite ending at the end of the story, it’s not a happily ever after and I appreciated that.
As for Hudson, herself, she’s another character I had mixed feelings for. I really liked her in the beginning how she had this dream and she was working for it. Then she met Josh and Hot Hockey Boys and then well…she became your typical ice princess cheerleader. Once again, very realistic but it made me a little bit aggravated with her.
While my distaste for the characters didn’t affect the actual quality of the book for me, the pacing did. This book is long, almost four hundred pages, and I felt like it could’ve lost a good fifty or so pages. I appreciate how Ockler digs into various moments of Hudson’s life but I’m an impatient law student and sometimes I just don’t want to savor things. Also, I thought that some aspects of the plot were a bit of a let down.
Best Feature: Cupcakes and Figure Skating: This book involves cupcakes and figure skating. Two of my favorite things in the world. The execution of the cupcake element though was done a lot better than the execution of the figure skating element. And okay, I sort of see where Ockler is going with the whole lack of figure skating plot line, but being a competitive person it sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Although, I never competed in figure skating or any competitive sports when I was a kid I was into music and competed in lots of music oriented competitions (i.e. I made the All State band on piccolo when I was in high school, which earned me a scholarship). Music required a great deal of time, disclipline, and practice. Something that has transcended into other aspects of my life as well. I can only imagine that figure skating would be the same-requirng practice. I mean, there’s no way you can do a triple whatever without practicing. That’s just not the way life works. And while Hudson does practice some, she doesn’t practice the amount she should for such a big competition. Grant it, girl has other things on her mind. But I seriously, didn’t get her motivations (cute boys and naggy mom) because I’d still be freaking out over practicing.
Worst Feature: Doormat Main Character. Hudson is a doormat. Pure and simple. Okay, so the whole book is about her being unsatisfied with being a doormat. But guess what guys, she doesn’t really do anything to stop being a doormat. Okay, I guess given your perspective on the book you could argue otherwise. But really, there were some choices that she made that just had me pulling out my hair. I felt like a lot of the time, Hudson put herself in misery. Not to mention the fact that I think deep down inside she felt satisfied with the rather depressing life she lives, but that’s me being all Freudian.
Appropriateness: This book does talk about some heavy real life issues, but it’s pretty clean. I do wish Hudson would’ve been a bit more assertive than she was though. I didn’t like the way she was pretty much satisfied and learned to be satisfied with being a doormat. However, I think you could easily argue that she’s not a doormat. It’s just depends on your perspective.
Blockbuster Worthy: Sure, I love figure skating movie. Blades of Glory is one of my favorite movies. Okay, so this wouldn’t be a Blades of Glory type of movie it would be more like The Cutting Edge with maybe a little Ice Princess (without the ridiculousness) thrown in for a good measure. But still it would be cute. Here’s who I’d cast
Hudson: Sasha Cohen. I actually picture Hudson looking a lot like US figure skater Sasha Cohen. I know she’s a little too old for the role but for all intents and purposes she could easily play Hudson.
Josh: Nathan Parsons. Isn’t it odd how much you’ll hate someone on General Hospital, but love them on a little show called Bunheads. Oh Nathan would have to lose the accent and keep the shorter haired look he has now, but still there’s Josh potential there.
Will: Freddie Stroma. Once again a guy with an accent, but as long as he doesn’t pull a Greg Sulkin I think he’s good to go.
Overall Rating: Six out of ten skates. I really liked this book. But I think my own personal life made the experience a little less than enjoyable. I still recommend it though, it is a cute read.