August 24, 2013 by Alice in Readerland
Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Jacobs never asked to be famous, but as the daughter of Janie Jacobs, one of the biggest TV stars in the world, she is. Growing up is hard enough. Having to do it in public because your mother is a famous actress? Even harder. When your mom crashes and burns after her DUI mug shot is splashed across the internet? Definitely not fun. Then your mom falls for a guy so much younger than she that it would be more appropriate for you to be dating him? That’s just a train wreck waiting to happen.
From Robin Palmer, author of Geek Charming and Wicked Jealous, this is a novel about the most complicated relationship a girl ever has: that with her mother.
“Things to keep in mind when waiting to bail out your mother from jail. Number one: small talk in police precincts is not necessary.”
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet has the open, hilarious narration like Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries and covers some deeper family issues and the topic of coming into your own, like Sarah Dessen’s books. There are so many fantastic, funny quotes from this book. But what else did I love about it?
The Main Character, Annabelle
Annabelle had this humorous, wonderful narration that really gave a sense of who she was right off the bat. But I also loved that her character felt so fleshed out; she had quirks like making lists, she was really interested in photography, she was used to having to be responsible, she talked about having her first panic attack, she had conflicting emotions, and in short, she was real to me. She is definitely on my list of favorite YA leads.
Annabelle’s Relationship with Her Mother
I also really enjoyed exploring Annabelle’s relationship with her mother, Janie. In so many YA books I’ve read lately, the parents have either been absent, or if they are in the story, they’ve been portrayed as unloving. But The Corner of Bitter and Sweet brings out a much different aspect. Janie messes a lot up and would definitely not win the Mother of the Year award in the beginning of the book, but what I liked was how she started to turn her life around and how much she loved her daughter. She made mistakes, but she tried to fix them, and I enjoyed watching how Annabelle and Janie both had such character development throughout the course of the book, both as individuals, and as to where their relationship stood.
Here, have some gifs of some mother-daughter duos:
Cynical Cindy Says
My one complaint about the book is that, near the beginning, we’re introduced to Annabelle’s friends and learn all of their names and quirks, but (minor spoiler) we don’t really see them again as they ditch Annabelle, so I felt that learning about them could’ve been cut out of the book.
Both hilarious and heartwarming, The Corner of Bitter and Sweet will definitely be making an appearance on my end of the year Best Books of 2013 list!
What are some of your favorite fictional mother/daughter relationships?
4 out of 5 teacups