Monday, April 30, 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Source: Publisher
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...

I would like to disclose that the first time that I read this book was before there were ARCs. Even with my early read of Bittersweet, I hope that you will value my review. 
Hudson is a very amazing characters. She thought she knew what her dreams are and now she is trying to redeem a mistake that she made. I could connect to Hudson so well, because she was very similar to most teenagers. I liked that she was ambitious and strong.There are two boys in the book, one is sweet and charming and the other isn't as sweet. For example, Hudson's best friend Dani was a perfect balance to her and added humor and reason to the book. Bug is Hudson's brother and is so adorable.  The other boys on the hockey team that Hudson trained with were random and hilarious. It was one of my favorite parts of the book.  Either way, Ockler creates  realistic relationships, through out the book. Ockler knows how to craft brilliant characters with multiple dimensions, while still keeping them relatable to her audience.
The plot of Bittersweet was amazing. It dealt with cupcakes, ice skating, and teenage angst. The amount of love that Hudson had for baking was awesome. I adored reading the cupcake mixtures and really wanted a cupcake after reading this book. The ice skating was really awesome and I enjoyed watching Hudson attempt to accomplish her dream. The teenage angst in this book is definitely warranted, Hudson is trying to decide what she wants without disappointing anyone in her family and is still processing everything that happened.  The complex plot was original and funny and Ockler crafted a story that was easy to get immersed in.
It is no secret that I love Sarah Ockler. Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah were both amazing and I honestly didn't know if Bittersweet would measure up. I was very reluctant, when I picked it up. Luckily it was amazing. Ockler's writing was original and fantastic. I can't wait for more from Ockler in the future.  She created complex characters that are realistic and interesting, while having an amusing, but serious plot that is skillfully written. I would definitely recommend this to fans of her previous books, Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, and Stephanie Perkins.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Source: Publisher
When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent.
Sara was a very hardworking character, that even with all of her dedication to dancing, she was full of self-doubt. She doesn't feel that she is worth it. She also couldn't tell anyone about her choices and actions. I found her relationship with Remington to be complex and hard. At times, the relationship was creepy and I didn't enjoy it.  While this book is centered around dancing, it is mostly about Sara trying to discover who she is. The plot was relatable and interesting. I think that it is something that anyone can relate to. There was a lot of originality in the story. I liked the hope that was infused in the novel. Kehoe is an amazing writer, but I feel like the word choice could have been better in a few place. At the same time, it was gorgeous and thoughtful in other places. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys verse, especially, if you are a fan of Ellen Hopkins or Amanda Grace. I am excited to see what Kehoe will write next. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Love and Haight by Susan Carlton

Source: Publisher
 It’s 1971, and seventeen-year-old Chloe and her best friend MJ head to San Francisco to ring in the New Year. But Chloe has an ulterior motive—and a secret. She’s pregnant and has devised a plan not to be. In San Francisco’s flower-power heyday, it was (just about) legal to end her pregnancy. 
But as soon as the girls cross the Golden Gate, the scheme starts to unravel amid the bellbottoms, love-beads, and bongs. Chloe’s secrets escalate until she betrays everyone she cares about. MJ, who has grave doubts about Chloe’s plan. Her groovy aunt Kiki, who’s offered the girls a place to crash. Her self-absorbed mother meditating back in Phoenix. And maybe, especially, the boy she wishes she’d waited for.
 I really liked Chloe, because she accepted her action and was trying to make it right. MJ was funny and snarky. I really liked her. Kiki was very erratic and strange, but I liked that. MJ's brother was also sweet. The context of this book was really interesting. Like I have never read a book like this. The plot was about a very serious  topic, but had fun moments at the same time. I liked that the era of this book. It was embodied really well and I loved it. Carlton was amazing writer that knew how to make humor in serious topic. I recommend that you read this book, if you want something funny and based in the 1970's.


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