Wednesday, August 28, 2013

YA Family Drama Sweet and Satisfying

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Sheridan Wells decorates a cake, she loses herself in the process.  Completely.  All of her problems recede as she focuses on creating the perfect confectionary centerpiece, whether it be for a wedding, a birthday party or an anniversary.  Around St. Mary, her tiny hometown on the shore of Lake Michigan, 15-year-old Sheridan is known as "Cake Girl."  And with good reason—when it comes to cakes, she's sort of a genius.  If only her other troubles were so easily solved ...

And Sheridan does have troubles.  Her dad, for starters.  He's a busy chef who runs the most popular restaurant in town.  She barely sees him as it is and now he's being offered his own t.v. show, which will require not just more working hours but also a move to New York City.  Sheridan's dad is ecstatic; Sheridan's devastated.  She can't imagine leaving the place where she's lived her entire life, can't fathom jetting away from her friends (especially Ethan, who's finally paying some attention to her), her grandma and her booming cake decorating business.  

When Sheridan gets a viable lead on the whereabouts of her too-busy-to-write-or-call-for-two-years mother, she knows she's found a way to keep them all in St. Mary.  Pulling this off will require more work and determination than any cake project she's ever tackled, but she has to make it happen.  It's either that or lose everything that's important to her.  Sheridan knows how to save a cake from sure disaster—can she do the same for her crumbling-to-pieces life?

The Sweetest Thing, a debut novel by Christina Mandelski, takes all the right ingredients—family drama, boy problems, friend trouble—in all the right amounts and mixes them up into a sweet, satisfying story that's just as scrumptious as its cover would suggest.  Is it wholly original?  No.  Predictable?  Totally.  Pitch perfect?  Not really.  But, who cares?  It's a light, fun, engaging read and I, for one, found it pretty darn delectable.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  You?)

Grade:

If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs) and mild sexual innuendo/content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Sweetest Thing from the generous folks at Egmont, via those at NetGalley.  Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Good review! I'll keep an eye out for this one; it sounds like fun.

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