12 September 2011

REVIEW: THE SWEETEST THING

The Sweetest Thing
Author: Christina Mandelski 
Series: No, standalone
Publisher: EgmontUSA
UK Release date: May 2011
Genre: YA/MG
Read via NetGalley

Sheridan Wells is a small-town girl, making and decorating cakes every minute she can outside of school. When her dad, a well renowned chef, gets the opportunity of a lifetime to have his own TV show, Sheridan starts searching for the mother that abandoned her to bring her family back together and keep them from moving to New York.

Review: Everything in Sheridan's life revolves around cakes, so much so she is known by the town as Cake Girl. Decorating and perfecting cakes brings her closer to her mother, who left her years ago and hasn't returned since. Sheridan has clung so desperately to old birthday cards her mum sent and their common joy of making cakes, that I feel real pity and admiration for her. She believes so much that her mother will come home to her and doesn't give up hope that this will happen.

On the other hand it was frustrating to see Sheridan constantly ignore the people around her to look for her mother. She was naive, didn't appreciate the positives in her life, didn't learn from things that happened or see the world from anyone else's perspective. It wasn't until the very end of the story that she has any major character development, which is better late than never, but it would have been good to have seen this earlier. One thing is certain - as the story continues I found my dislike for her mother growing and growing.

The secondary characters are well written and I particularly liked Mr Roz who helps out at the bakery and is endearingly thoughtful, as well as Sheridan's best friend Jack. It's just a shame Sheridan is blind for so to Jack's feelings towards her! There are also those characters who aren't particularly trustworthy but sadly Sheridan can't always see that either.

I loved the cake, bakery and foodie aspect to the story. There are lots of details about how Sheridan makes and decorates her cakes with beautiful flowers and butterflies and what's being cooked in her dad's restaurant. I also really wish I had a bakery like Sweeties near me.

Reading The Sweetest Thing made my feel like a teenager again...the way everything in your day-to-day life seems like a big deal as well as that tendency to be rather self-centred. Your first boyfriend, first kiss, first uncertainties.... Sheridan handles all of these like a typical teenager would and it reminded me of my firsts! With the exploration of these issues, this book would be really suitable for younger readers as well.

The Sweetest Thing is a bitter-sweet teenage drama that perfectly captures the ups and downs of first relationships and family troubles.

Rating: 4*

3 comments:

Bookworm1858 said...

I loved the food aspect of this too as well as Mr. Roz-such a sweet man. Didn't really like Jack-the fact that he wouldn't have said anything until another guy liked Sheridan pissed me off.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

... and thanks for getting U2 stuck in my head with the mention of the title :P

I kind of like the foodie side of the story, but with a character that insular and self-focussed I think it would annoy me :P

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Sounds good! I love books with a foodie aspect.