The Sweetest Thing - Christina Mandelski
GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction, Romance
FORM: eBook, NetGalley, ARC
While I was granted permission to read this book by a NetGalley affiliate publisher, Egmont USA, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!
SYNOPSIS: Sheridan has a simple, mostly happy life, made up of her Father, chef of the local restaurant Sheridan & Irving’s; her Grandmother who is also the owner of the bakery where Sheridan spends most of her time making cakes for all of the city’s events. Making cakes is a talent that Sheridan excels at, and one that has been handed down from her runaway mother. Designing cakes makes Sheridan relax, think more clearly, and it makes her feel closer to the mother she knows still loves her very much. She also spends as much time as she can squeeze in between school and working at the bakery, she hangs out with her best friends, Jack and Lori.
This easy life could only be made perfect if only Sheridan could locate her Mom and convince her to come home, at task that her and Jack have been working on for a long time, but perfection finds its self jumping clear out of her reach when her father lands a TV show that would have the two of them packing their bags and moving to New York. Now Sheridan is dead set and getting her mother back, and making right all the crazy things going on in her life.
REVIEW: I found The Sweetest Thing to be very entertaining and fun. I enjoyed learning about Sheridan and her home-life dynamic. She was a girl with a constant plan to get what she wanted. It was pretty difficult to put this book down. I really enjoyed reading about the details of Sheridan’s cake making, and I absolutely loved the dynamic between her and Jack; best friends becoming something more is always a favorite story-line of mine. It was made even better by the brief relationship with the super-hot jock Eric, the guy she has been pinning over for quite a while. There’s nothing like getting what you think you want only to realize you already had what you needed! The entire book was cute…or if the description suits you better, sweet.
There were times that I felt like Sheridan was being very closed minded about the things around her. She had a single focus, and that was on her mother. She had a difficult time coming down from what she felt like she knew and opening her eyes and look around at what she had. However, I do not think her Dad was very helpful in preventing her from having that perspective. While at one point he tells her that everything he has done has been for her, he really just isn’t “there” at all for Sheridan. But this is what makes this book so real to life, in my opinion. Here we have a couple of people who went through a major, very hard change in their life. They dealt with it the way they could on their own, but then it seems they forgot to come back together as the healing process was taking place. Everything in this book we see from Sheridan’s perspective, and what I saw was a father who left her to her own devices as long as she wasn’t getting into trouble. He wasn’t really at home when she was at home, and rarely did they seem to spend quality time together. He didn’t really bother her, and she didn’t really bother him until some decisions were being made that would affect her life. But drawling from conversations and little comments and thoughts thrown out by Sheridan, her dad did try at first, but she shut him out with her cakes – the point of connection that Sheridan has made with her mother, and the one that she refuses to release. Both really are at fault.
I felt that Christina Mandelski took all of this into consideration, and in the end, with my favorite big happy red bow, begins the mending process between Sheridan and her father. Sheridan also begins the process of finding out who she will become and wants to be, moving out of comfort and waiting into the forward motion of life.