Title: The Sweetest Thing
Author: Christina Mandelski
Published: May 2011 by Egmont USA
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Romance | Family
First Lines: I make cakes. It's what I do. It's what I love. But today, I'm standing over a mermaid, wondering what's wrong. She's as long as my arm, and beautiful - no doubt about that.
Sheridan Wells is "Cake Girl". She spends her free time decorating cakes at her grandmother's bakery, while her dad manages his restaurant across the street. Considering that her mother left them years ago, Sheridan's life is actually running pretty smoothly. Until one day when her dad breaks big news to her: he's been given a chance to run his very own cooking show on ExtremeCuisine (his dream!), and they might have to move to New York in order to film it. Sheridan is immediately upset because her dream is to track down her mother and bring her back home, and live the happy, perfect life she's always wanted. But how will she do that living in New York?
Sheridan portrayed your average teenage girl - stubborn, selfish at times, independent but also seeking love, and a little bit in her own world. I felt kind of bad for her because she was so insistent about bringing the mother that abandoned her back home. She was innocently naive thinking this, and thrived off of the yearly birthday cards full of promises that her mother sent her. Many times in the book, I just could not stand Sheridan. She would have a tantrum and blow up on a family member or friend, saying things that she'd later regret. Or she'd only have the mindset of thinking about what was best for her, not her family. Just little things like this made me not like her at times. Of course, she had to be a realistic character and I think that she was very believable. Jack, her best friend, was my favorite character in the book because of his sweetness and patience. I'm glad that the minor characters were developed as well, and didn't just serve as fillers in the book. They were really interesting to read about and get to know.
Truthfully, I actually didn't really get into this book until about halfway when things started to pick up. I think that the story was stretched as far as it could, like a rubber band right before it snaps. It could have been shortened, with certain uneventful scenes cut out. But hey, for a debut novel it was pretty good. The second half of the novel is what I really enjoyed reading, and even noticed my reading pace majorly pick up, too. The ending suited the novel well and wasn't cheesy. I especially liked reading about the many different kinds of cakes that Sheridan decorated and the book was just full of food! I'd recommend it to girls looking for a cute/light romantic read and have a sugar tooth.
Cover Thoughts: Absolutely adore it! It's unique, pretty, colorful, and fits the story...plus it makes me want to eat some candy.