Sweet, touching, funny, and sad, The Sweetest Thing is truly the sweetest book to come out in a long time. Sheridan Wells is a cake decorator extraordinaire and budding artist, but she is also busy helping in the grandmother's bakery, pulling shifts in her foodie father's restaurant, keeping up with high school classes, falling in love with the most popular guy in school, juggling old friendships, and searching for her mother who left the family home when Sheridan was young.
The longing Sheridan feels for her absent mother is palpable. In the years of missing her mother, Sheridan has made up this "perfect" mother in her mind--she mistakenly believes her mother thinks of her every day and misses her; she just knows that her mother will come back some day. Sheridan doubts so much about herself and her gifts due to her mother's abandonment. When she does make contact with her mother, the outcome is heart-wrenching.
On the other hand, Sheridan's father Donovan has always had her back, but now that he is going to be "the next big thing" in food television, Sheridan feels invisible to him. If her father gets his show "The Single Dad Cooks," they will be forced to leave St. Mary and move to New York City. Sheridan dreads leaving all her friends, her small hometown, and the bakery, but mostly she fears that if she leaves, her mother may never be able to find her--not that Maggie Taylor (her mother) is looking for her, quite the opposite--Maggie has spent years trying to forget being Sheridan's mother in the first place.
Well-written and heartfelt, The Sweetest Thing is one sweet read. Girls who loved Coffeehouse Angel and The Cupcake Queen are sure to love this sweet confection. Sheridan is a complex character with super-hero strength and the heart of a winner! 336 pages
Highly recommended grades 7-up. No language; no sex.
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist, Texas, USA
visit her YA novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/
*now a featured blog on the Texas Library Association's homepage at http://www.txla.org/TLA-blog
High schooler Sheridan Wells has a reputation as an amazingly talented cake decorator. In her life her mother has abandoned Sheridan and her dad. She enjoys a typical high schooler life with two especially close friends. Into her life walks Ethan, the school's super boy. He makes a play for Sheridan throwing her ordered life into chaos. Add in her dad’s being offered a cooking TV show and Sheridan's attempts to have her mother return and the plot literally boils.
Not recommend as book is way too wordy. 30-40 pages could be cut to tighten up the plot. I do not feel that even the cake decorating aspect of the story is sufficient make this story memorable.
Recommended by Frank Hodge, Emeritus Booktalker of HODGE-PODGE Books, New York, USA