Wednesday, May 18, 2011

REVIEW : THE SWEETEST THING by Christina Mandelski

In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she’s decorating a cake. Unfortunately, everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems—only her dad’s about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

About the Author

Christina Mandelski was born a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean, which explains her dream of spending every day on the beach with a laptop and a bottomless glass of cherry limeade. For now she gets by at a desk, giving life to the characters that knock around in her head and reminding herself that sand in a keyboard is no fun. When not writing, she’s sublimely happy hanging out with her husband and two young daughters in Houston, Texas. You can visit her online at 

When I first opened the package from the mailbox and opened it to find this book, a sweet scent immediately filled the air.  That's when I knew I'd love this book. 

First off: Cake decorating? Yes, this book was for me! =). It already hit a 'sweet' spot for me.

Now, I have to get the slight negatives out of the way first (because I know there are some of you like me reading this that may have the same concerns), really I don't like reviewing a book when there are negatives involved, and call me all the names you like, prudish, whatever. I won't hear you! Ha! Jk. The ONLY thing I could find wrong with this book was the overuse of the Lords name in vain. Yes, that bothers me, and it especially bothers me when the MC is supposedly religious. That's a sore issue with me. For obvious reasons. But I won't talk about it any more. There are a lot of pluses in this book.

Okay, that out of the way (please bare with me here). I loved right away that this book was about a girl who decorates cakes, because it is something I have always wanted to do well. (Yes, I've tried and failed.) Like photography, the talent there is still lacking. 

Now, this isn't a fast moving book by any means. Sometimes I wished it would just get on with it. It is very realistic to a real-life pace. But the story was compelling and heart-wrenching from the beginning. A girl, whose mom abandoned her and her dad when she was young. Her dad a work-a-holic that barely pays any attention to her. My heart strings were in knots! And I think I sobbed intermittently throughout the entire book! The story was compelling and there are life lessons for Christina's young readership. The ending, which I won't give away, was just how it should be in my opinion and yet still not what I expected at all. She really did a great job of mixing things up. Just when you think the story is going to take one turn, she takes a U-Turn and you go down a very different path. Lots of emotional twists. And in the end I love how the MC becomes a stronger person for it. (Is that giving away too much). 

And the 'taking-the-Lord's-name-in-vain thing aside, there IS a religious bent in the book that I find refreshing. Most people are afraid of sounding preachy. But I'm ALL for religion in books! I think it's great for young people to know that they can pray AND receive answers. No matter what religion you are from, or lack of it =). (And I think people who AREN'T religious won't find this book offensive at all...just sayin' )This was very realistic for someone like me who has had some of the same situations presented to her in life. I thought every emotion was natural, not preachy, and extremely heartfelt.

So, thanks Christina, for being brave in that arena. This is a job well done and I look forward to more books from you!


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