The Sweetest Thing
by Christina Mandelski
Expected Publish Date: May 2011
YA reading level
This ARC received as part of Star Book Tours.Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Christina Mandelski's debut novel, about a young teen juggling first love, a cake-decorating business, her dad's reality TV show, and a search for her missing mother.
My thoughts: I absolutely loved this book! I picked it up this morning with the hopes of finishing it by Monday at the latest and here it is, Sunday morning at 12:40 AM and I am still awake because I couldn't put the book down!
Sheridan is your typical 15 year old girl. Well, except for the fact that she is known as "cake girl" in her small town. She works at the bakery that her Grandma (aka Nanny) owns decorating cakes. Her dad is a chef who is trying to get his own t.v. show on a big food network. Her mom is AWOL, having left her at the age of 7.
I completely identified with Sheridan. I have to admit, it was over 15 years ago that I was 15 but this book brought back all the feelings of insecurity, confusion and teen love instantly for me! I felt Sheridan's pain when she thought of her mother. She spent so much time looking for her mom and trying to understand why her mom left in the first place. Her dad was pretty much self-centered at the beginning of the book, only thinking of his t.v. show and restaurant and you could feel the hurt that Sheridan felt whenever she was around her father.
Then you have the romance part of the story. Poor Sheridan is trying to deal with the fact that her father has landed this tv show and they have to move to New York when Ethan, the most popular boy in school, decides it is time to hit on her. Now, as a 32 year old adult, I had my suspicions as to what Ethan's intentions were but I could totally understand how a 15 year old girl could totally deny the reasons he has suddenly decided to hook up with her and in Ethan's defense, I am not sure he was 100% certain of the reasons either (until the end). I also understand her confusion when she finds out her best friend, Jack, has a crush on her. I had a best boy friend in high school who had a crush on me and it totally screws everything up! However, I loved the way it ended for Sheridan!
There are other characters in this book that you love to hate and characters that you hate to love! They were very well developed, in my opinion and I had no problems identifying with any of them.
The decisions that Sheridan has to make and the issues that she faces are relevant in many teenage girls' lives and I think most of them will be able to identify with the main character. It was a fun, clean read that made you happy at the end. It is a book that I would let my teenage daughter (if I had one) read in a heartbeat!