Friday, February 10, 2012

A Warwick's Teen Blogger Reviews "The Sweetest Thing"

Jeremiah, a teen blogger for Warwick's, takes a look at debut author Christina Mandelski's novel
The Sweetest Thing, a story about Sheridan, a cake decorating teen learning to deal with family drama and boy-trouble.

The Sweetest Thing wasn’t at all what I expected it to be. My first thoughts on this book were cheesy and unrealistic; as I continued to read the book, however, I started liking it. The Sweetest Thing was much deeper: divorce, change, counting on people, moving forward with life, and knowing you hurt someone precious to you. Those are the things that made this book feel real. I loved the way Mandelski wrote the novel. It was sarcastic, showed what was going on in the chapters, and it helped me understand the protagonist’s feelings and thoughts.

I do have to admit to having a few issues with the main character, Sheridan. I felt she was too easy to predict and a little annoying. IShe acted like a little brat because she couldn’t accept that her mom left. Her dad says,”….There isn’t a minute that goes by that I don’t think about what she put you through and what I can do to make up for it.” His voice shakes and his eyes are glassy. The anger in me is now oozing out of every pore. My chin is up. My eyes are set, my voice even. “….You are wrong about her.” She doesn’t even have the conscience to pity her own dad and admit he is right. I also felt her to be stubborn; when people tried helping her understand she had much more talent than she knew, she would not believe in it or more specifically in herself. “….Thankfully, we don’t become exactly what our parents are; we have gifts of our own to develop and explore.” Father Crowley kindly told her this; however, she took this as an insult to her mom, which I found to be immature, but realize it was used to show her later growth as a character.

Despite my eventual enjoyment of the book it was not without flaw.  I thought there were too many problems for the Sheridan to deal with, from finding her mom, to having a boyfriend, or her dad not giving her the time of day. It was a lttile too much drama for one book. I also found the general concept to be typical, considering Sheridan was the “not very social, stay at home” kind of girl, her guy best friend liked her, and the popular guy suddenly becomes interested in her, but those flaws could be overlooked when seeing the creativity of the author.

Not to spoil the plot, but I liked the ending of the book because it teaches readers to forgive and move forward towards the future. At the end, she wrote: “I give the cake another look, not sure I should trust what I’ve just heard. But I look around the room, at my friends and family, and I know the cake is perfect just the way it is. So I let go. Finally.” The ending had me at no surprise (which is why I will quote from it here), yet I felt like a happy ending and a new adventure sufficed for the closure of this particular book. It was a “sweet” ending.

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