Friday, June 13, 2014

Bittersweet Review


Author: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Average Rating: 3.68/5.0
Personal Rating: 4.5/5.0
Amount of Pages: 400
Finished Reading: May

According to Goodreads

Suspenseful and cinematic, Bittersweet exposes the gothic underbelly of  an American dynasty, and an outsider's hunger to belong.

On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it's the kind of place where swimming boldly is required and the children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with the midnight skinny-dips, the wet dog smell lingering in the air, the moneyed laughter carrying across the still lake, and before she knows it, she has everything she's ever wanted: wealth, friendship, a boyfriend, and, most of all, the sense, for the first time in her life, that she belongs.

But as Mabel becomes an insider, she makes a terrible discovery, which leads to shocking violence and the revelation of the true source of the Winslows' fortune. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and redefine what is good and what is evil, in the interest of what can be hers.

My opinion:

Before we continue we must all give a round of applause for "Bittersweet" to celebrate how much I loved this book! (claps vigorously while wiping a tear away from face) 

To be quite frank with all of you, there isn't a ton of action throughout the novel. However, I was able to fly through this book. It would feel like I had been reading for maybe 15 minutes, and then I would look at the clock to realize I had been reading for three or four hours. One aspect I absolutely loved about the format of the book is how the chapters are not that long. I think the longest chapter was about three and a half pages. Whenever a book has short chapters like that, I feel like I am able to finish the book faster. Is that just me? 

Throughout the whole novel I was rooting for Galway Winslow. I think I was drawn to him the most, because he seemed to be the most grounded out of his whole family. The Winslows had millions upon millions. They all knew that fact, and used their wealth to their advantage. However, Galway was...different. Mabel was drawn to the fact that Galway didn't seem as interested in those millions. I have to admit I was pretty jealous that Mabel got to hang out with this guy, because let me tell you he is my dream guy.  

My biggest pet peeve out of the whole novel was Mabel's insecurity with her friendship with Ev Winslow and her relationship with Galway. I'm not being condescending towards her having insecurities, because I am certainly not insecurity free. It got to the point that she was practically whining, and insecurities that turn into whining gets under my skin sometimes. We can figure out why she is insecure as we learn more about the characters and her back-story. It's just the fact that there were a lot of times where I wanted to shake her by the shoulders and tell her that everything will work out if it's meant to be! 

I'm glad this novel brought attention to the reality of how many people suffered during the Holocaust, and how many people were able to flourish due to obtaining the property of the suffering. I had a slight notion that it did happen, but it was never taught to me. It was something that I came across at some point in researching or reading another novel. The Winslows represent many families that became wealthy from the victims, and another offense added to the list of actions against the Holocaust victims that people today want to ignore.

Overall, I loved this book! I am giving "Bittersweet" a 4.5 out of 5. If you are looking for a novel that is filled to the brim with action, then this novel is not for you. However, if you are a love of suspense then DING DING DING you have found a winner! I was guessing the outcome of the story only to be completely stunned when the truth came out. 

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DISCLAIMERI received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.


  1. "It would feel like I had been reading for maybe 15 minutes, and then I would look at the clock to realize I had been reading for three or four hours." These are the BEST kind of books. I haven't heard of this one before but I have to admit I am very interested now. I don't mind the lack of action as long as there is other stuff going on, plus the pacing doesn't seem like an issue at all. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Great review :)

    1. I have to say though, when the action does happen it sends your heart beating so fast! I highly encourage you to pick up this read when you have time. I don't think you will regret it! Thank you!

  2. Wow this sounds wonderful! And a book doesn't need to be fast paced for me to love it either. It depends how compelling the writing and characters are. And I just LOVE those books where you really just fly through it. Though I guess it's bittersweet since it means the book ends sooner >.< I also get you about the whining I lose patience quickly with whiny characters, too. Anyways, books about the Holocaust always get me so emotional and I'm really drawn to then so I def have to add this one to my TBR. I don't think I,d ever heard of it either so thanks for bringing it to my attention! :)

    1. I laughed probably way too hard when I read the line about the book ending sooner and it being bittersweet because the title is Bittersweet. The Holocaust is one of my obsessions in life. There's so many things that about it that we aren't taught in school that I want to learn about. I'm glad I could recommend an interesting novel that caught your attention. Thank you!