Wednesday, August 7, 2013


By Sarah Ockler

I am not sure how to describe Bittersweet than it is is a young adult/teen novel. There is some romance but it is mostly about how to figure out what your dreams really are, how important family and friends should be in your life and where you really should be going in your life.

Hudson works hard to help out her single mom but still feels betrayed by her father. She blames him for her failure to become a champion figure skater as well as his abandonment of his two children. When Hudson gets the opportunity to try again in skating, she begins working more hours at her mother's diner while sneaking off to work with the local high school hockey team and her own routine on the ice. Her main goal is to get away from Watonka, New York, even if it means hurting her mother and her best friend, Dani.

What is bittersweet in this book? Hudson's life experiences teach her that not everything is sweet but that she can endure the bitter parts with the love and support of family and friends. However, she must do the work to communicate, trust and be willing to speak the truth. She also comes to realize that she does have some wonderful talents that many in her town appreciate. Maybe having friends is worth more than she thinks!

I liked Hudson's struggle with keeping her friends because it echoes my own. I can honestly say that I don't have any close friends right now in my life. I have some good acquaintances, some great peers and some terrific parishioners but having and keeping friends has been hard. I am trying to learn something from Hudson's own mistakes.

And that is a lot of what this book had to do with my faith. As Christians, our relationships should be more important than anything. Yet, we Christian Americans often get caught up in our dreams for success - whether it has to do with our salary or our love life. We want to go places and be people. Many of us will sacrifice relationships with our families, our friends and possible brothers and sisters in Christ in order to "fulfill" our dreams. But what about God's dreams for our life? Do we simply ignore what God wants for us? Why do we think our dreams are superior to God's dreams? Where have you sacrificed people for other stuff in your life?

I recommend Bittersweet.

Happy reading!


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