Thursday, February 02, 2012

Review: The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

Title: The Sweetest Thing
Author: Christina Mandelski
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release date: May 10th 2011
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: NetGalley - thank you to Egmont USA and NetGalley for providing a free eGalley of this book!
More info: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads description:
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.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Let me start with the positive: I love the cover of The Sweetest Thing! It's so sweet and I always like when covers show something that plays an important part in the actual book. The part about Sheridan decorating cakes I really liked, too - all the references to her decorating, her grandmother's baking and her father's cooking tie in well with the rest of the story. That, and it all just sounds so delicious - I was basically hungry the entire time while reading this.

But... That's where the positive ends. The rest of the book just didn't work for me. Let me start with the main character, Sheridan. She annoyed me to no end. Her mom left her dad and her a long time ago, wrote her birthday cards for a few years, and now even those have stopped. But Sheridan still hopes her mom will come back, thinking she'll come if she asks her, so she does everything possible to find out where she is. I got really frustrated by how she still couldn't accept that her mother doesn't want to come back, and it annoyed me to no end how she got mad at everyone who tried to tell her so. There are other, smaller things that annoyed me about her, too - she's just so immature and bratty. I could not connect to her at all.

The plot didn't work for me, either - every storyline is clichéd and predictable! I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but everyone knows how the classic love triangle between the popular guy and the best friend ends, and it was obvious from the start what would happen to the family-situation. I don't always have a problem with predictable storylines, but since every storyline in The Sweetest Thing is like that, the plot and its lack of twists bored me.

The secondary characters are equally clichéd and underdeveloped - there's not much to any of them, nothing that would make any of them memorable - even though it's normally pretty easy to get me to love the best-friend-turning-into-something-more type.

One thing I did like is the small-town setting. The atmosphere is really well-done, and I could easily see what Sheridan's life in St. Mary is like.

I don't have much more to say about The Sweetest Thing - just a bland, predictable read and a main character I couldn't relate to, with the exception of the baking theme, which I really liked.


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