Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
EgmontUSA, May 10, 2011
Read for 2011 Debut Author Challenge

Summary from Goodreads:
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.
So I finally got around to reading The Sweetest Thing (I have mentioned that if I know I'm going to love a book I'll often put it to the side for the longest time, kind of like a reward). I only got the book way back at BEA in May--here's a picture of me (ugh) with Christina Mandelski and Illegal author Bettina Restrepo (I'm still totally bugged out that Bettina recognized me!):

Bettina, me (ugh), and Christina

Now on to the review! I felt The Sweetest Thing was quite deceptive--you think it's going to be a light, fluffy morsel, but once you get into it you realize it's got a molten hot center and is so much more decadent than you thought it would be. In short, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Especially because I found Sheriden painfully annoying most of the time. I get it, her mom totally abandoned her, and yes, her father and Nanny should have been way more forthcoming about those circumstances, but seriously, some of Sheriden's behaviors were just downright childish. I'm not kidding, I would be pissed if my 9-year-old pulled some of the stunts that Sheriden did.

Even though I know it's so unrealistic for Sheriden to think that her mom's going to come back and the family will be perfect and happy again, I started to really feel for her during those hopeful and hopeless moments. She's just so oblivious to everything going on around her, and would be perfectly content to spend the rest of her life in her tiny little town, never traveling anywhere or seeing the world. It's just so painfully sad, and as you read you'll understand why she feels that way, but you'll also want to just grab her and scream in her face that she needs to see the world. I hope it's not too huge of a spoiler to reveal that my heart broke a little at the end of this book. It was *almost* a tear-jerker.

And can I just say that this book made me so hungry? I knew it was going to be about cakes (duh!), but I didn't realize that Sheriden's dad's career was going to figure so prominently. Christina's descriptions of food and cakes made my real-life dinners pale by comparison. Loved Christina's debut and am looking forward to more from her!

Received book at BEA.
Enjoy your reading!

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