Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Sweetes Thing by Christina Mandelski
In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.
Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.
The Sweetest Thing... what I enjoyed most about it is how EVERYONE called her out on her being immature and bratty because she was both of those things and more. About to turn to sixteen, she could not seem to let go of her past, of her mother who'd left, and neither could she imagine being anywhere but where she was. Almost sixteen, she was very used to the way things were so when the possibility of change came in... she behaved like a brat.
Then there's her indecision to contend with... indecision with regard to the love interest because there's not one but two here, one of whom just happens to be her BFF. As usual, she's unaware of his feelings until the popular guys starts paying attention. It's this aspect of the story that I could have done without. It's been done so much already! Love triangle? Check. BFF in love with MC? Check? MC unaware of last fact?Check. Add the act that the two love interests are so typical. I could ask you to pick any other YA and subsitutute them in Ethan and Jack's place~ where one is sweet and considerate, the other is the popular jocky type. What made Ethan a teensy bit different is why he was in her life to begin with.
She's talented of course with everyone knowing her as Cake Girl, but she couldn't see anything beyond that. So I ENJOYED it when people around tried to get her to see what else she could be. She's just so stubborn though!
She wasn't the only one who could be disagreeable though. Her father, while well meaning did some things that shouldn't have been done, but this same fact had him coming across as flawed and thus realistic... if a little bit mean. Her mother, now she was written to be disliked, though she plays no active role in the book, she's always a factor in how Sheridan acts. But it's in relation to her that Sheridan learns what she's got to learn.. to let go.
While I did enjoy parts of this book a good deal of it had me scratching my head. I felt some of the characters were mere caricatures of what they could be, saying things that fit the moment than them as people. Then there were the moments that felt fake to me (like those between her and her grandmother.) But there were also other moments that felt authentic like with Lori's humor, observations.
As to me liking this book, well, I'm split as you can see...