Monday, September 19

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy!

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve read a Young Adult romance and The Sweetest Thing had me recalling all those cute, sweet moments with clarity. The story revolves around Sheridan Wells, a teenage girl whose life is NOT going her way. Sheridan has a talent for making cakes, and spends most of her time after school at the bakery. She uses her mom’s ‘spirit’ and memories as a guide to make each cake perfect. Sheridan’s father, Donovan, is a phenomenal chef who is struggling with the burden of single parenting. Sheridan’s mother, Margaret, left them when Sheridan was young to go jet-setting around the world with a lover. Sheridan still loves her mother, however, and can’t see her flaws – and spends all the time she’s not at the bakery searching for her online with the help of her best friend, Jack.

Then her father drops the bombshell – he’s finally got noticed by some big wigs in New York who have offered him a TV show. He’s going to move then to NYC, after filming the pilot episode of Sheridan’s Sweet 16 in St. Mary (the small town in which they live). Sheridan is beyond upset, hates her father, and swears he can’t make her go. Especially once Ethan, the school’s most popular jock with god-like good looks, asks her out. Ethan is great and totally yummy, but why is Jack acting weird all of a sudden? Can Sheridan convince her dad to stay in St. Mary? Can Sheridan find her mom, and convince her to come home? Along with a million other conflicts and dramas, these are some of the critical questions in regards to the plot of The Sweetest Thing.

Sheridan is our typical teenager – a little bit selfish and myopic, but she still means well and tries her hardest to keep her head above water when she feels like life is trying to push her under. Struggling to enjoy the life she’s been given, finish school, figure out this ‘dating thing’ and find her mom, Sheridan certainly has her plate full. Sheridan harbors a lot of resentment towards her father, and it’s easy to see both his selfish side through her eyes and how much he struggles to do what’s right and be a good parent. I loved watching Sheridan and her father bond towards the end of the book – it was adorable, and very, very touching.

The Sweetest Thing is never lacking in plot devices, and the story moves at an incredibly fast pace. With lots of drama it’s easy to see how Sheridan feels that life is out of control. Sheridan’s relationship with Ethan is super-sweet while it lasts – but it’s Sheridan’s relationship with Jack that takes the cake. Anyone looking for a fun, cute YA romance can definitely pick up The Sweetest Thing and find their tastes more than satisfied.

Favorite Quotes:

“You know I’m not jealous,” Jack says to me after she’s gone. “But that guy has gone out with at least one girl in all the major cliques. Next it’s band geeks, chess club, and cake decorators.”

Whoever had the brilliant idea of forcing adolescents to mess with covalent bonds first thing in the morning definitely wasn’t playing with a full deck.

“Sexy”ness rating: Sweet – a few kisses

Overall Rating: B

Bottom Line: Cute, adorable and fun, the book accurately portrays a teenage girl’s struggles to find her mom, love her dad, and sort out all those complex high school relationships. Filled with drama and love in all its forms, The Sweetest Thing lives up to its name and is, truly, an adorable YA romance.

Pages: 336
Published: May 10, 2011
Genre: Young Adult

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