Book Review: The Sweetest Thing
Published By: EgmontUSA
Publication Date: May 2011
Page Count: 352
Source: Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult
I was attracted to this book because of its connection to baking. As a cupcake connoisseur, I thought reading about a teen who spends the majority of her time in a bakery decorating cakes could be a lovely way to spend a weekend. I was not only pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, but also by the writing of Christina Mandelski. I had never heard of this author before I stumbled upon this title on NetGalley so I was interested to check her out. If you haven't read this one yet - it is a must!
The Sweetest Thing is one of those realistic fiction novels that has the right amount of drama, romance, and friendship. Sheridan Wells wants a perfect family, but she just can't seem to make it happen. Her mother left her father for another man when Sheridan was young and hasn't been back to visit since. Sheridan feels the loss of her mother deeply and makes it her mission to find her in the hopes that if she succeeds, she can bring her mother home. But what happens when the person you want most in the world may not want you in return? This novel is full of the struggles and triumphs of Sheridan as she juggles her abandonment, her lengthy cake designing list, and high school.
Sheridan was on the whiny side and she did frustrate me at times, but its obvious that Mandelski made her this way on purpose. Sheridan's attitude serves a purpose and while I was annoyed at times I could still understand where she was coming from - this helped me still enjoy her character. It was also interesting that the other characters in the novel call Sheridan out for her attitude several times along the way. In spite of her flaws, "Cake Girl" will steal your heart. I loved watching Sheridan grow and mature through the span of this novel. It was also interesting to see her tackle her first boyfriend and learn that sometimes our eyes and heart want different things.
One of my favorite elements of the book was Sheridan's grandmother. I loved the southern jargon she threw about and her addiction to sweet tea. She was a character that made me feel at home. I miss having those elements around me on a daily basis so it was nice to have some of that homesickness abated by her presence. She is also quite the humorous old lady.
The story and characters were so addicting that I was able to finish this over a weekend. I didn't want to do anything other than read. I love books that suck you in and erase all the worries and stress of real life. Mandelski style is reminiscent of Sarah Dessen - the teen girl with a major issue, the sweet romance with a quirky boy, drama, and ultimately a lesson learned. Just be prepared to crave something sweet while reading this one - the yummy treats all sound divine!
One Last Gripe: Sheridan's mother appalled me. I can't imagine being so selfish.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The bakery scenes and the cakes
First Sentence: I make cakes.
Favorite Character: Nanny
Least Favorite Character: Ethan - he was just too arrogant for my tastes