September 7, 2011

Book Review: The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

Sweetest Thing
At First Sight: Sheridan's life turned upside down the day her mother didn't show up to pick her up from elementary school. Now, at 16, she spends her days working at her family's bakery, making beautiful cakes and trying to hang on until her mother returns; even if it has been two years since she last heard of her.

Meanwhile, Sheridan's father Donovan is busy building himself as a brand and it seems like he has been successful, as he has been offered a TV cooking show. The only catch? it means he and Sheridan have to move to New York.

Sheridan isn't okay with this plan, she is happy enough in her small town, even if she's mostly known as Cake Girl and doesn't have many friends other than Jack. She doesn't want to move, afraid her mother won't be able to find her when she finally comes home.

Things start to get complicated when a production crew comes into town to shoot the pilot episode of Donovan's series - The Single Dad Cooks - and Sheridan gets dragged into it, cakes and all.

Second Glance: The Sweetest Thing wasn't exactly what I expected, and though in general I liked it, I didn't like Sheridan or her mom. The story, the setting and the cakes were really nice - there is a definite element of food porn here - and I really liked characters like Donovan and Jack, and Mr. Roz... but all that was crushed by Sheridan.

She started to annoy me pretty early on, mostly because she keeps blaming her father for everything that ever goes wrong in her life, even though he's the parent that didn't abandon her. She easily forgets that Donovan stuck around and did all he could to make her happy. Not that Donovan couldn't be a little absentminded or even intransigent at times, but his love for his daughter was evident always, and Sheridan never sees it.

That's basically my hang up with the book, but it's pretty big.

Otherwise, I thought it was a good read.

Bottom Line: This was one of those cases when I liked everything but the narrator so I think the level of enjoyment for this one is directly proportional to whether or not you like Sheridan because she is the narrator and everything is 'tainted' by her view.

Favorite Quote: "God, I wish you'd stop acting like a four-year-old and accept the fact you got stuck with a shitty mom" - Donovan  (and those are my thoughts exactly).

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