Note to Self: Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best

I read Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best on February 1, 2010.

Here’s the thing, I’ll always support an artist I like as a person over one I couldn’t stand to know in real life. I’m that way with writers, musicians, actors and directors. One of the reasons I avoid the gossip rags? If I knew too much about the artist as a person in their everyday lives, and found out they abused animals or beat their girlfriends or hurt the people who love them, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy their work.

It’s happened before but I won’t name names…right now anyway. Muhahahaha.

When it comes to Laura Best, however, I’m pretty sure she’d be a person for whom my respect would increase if I had the opportunity to know her in the real world. She was one of the first visitors to my blog and right away I could tell she was good people. It wasn’t long before she won me over with her positivity and kind nature, but those are only a couple of reasons why I decided to buy her book.

Mainly, I bought Bitter, Sweet because the blurb on the back reminded me of the independent films that touch my heart and I enjoyed how Laura described things in her blog posts, i.e. I could tell she was a good storyteller. Plus, this was her first novel – she’s had numerous short stories published over the years – and I wanted to show my support.

A good story is a good story, no matter the genre, and that’s why I read: to let the writer sweep me off my feet, out of my reality and into theirs, where I connect with the story and can’t put it down. That was certainly the case with Bitter, Sweet.

It’s a tearjerker, and if it doesn’t get you riled up on a character’s behalf or tug at your heartstrings, I don’t know if too much could. What I enjoyed most was the bond between Pru and Mama, and all of Mama’s wise advice and observations. I guess this is classified as Young Adult Literature but I think it’s suitable and relevant for all ages.

Give this book a read if you enjoy character-driven stories centered around children forced to grow up too quickly, who must fight to protect themselves and their families, with a dash of magic and a hint of the supernatural.


Purchase Bitter, Sweet on Amazon Canada or pre-order it on Amazon USA.

Laura Best’s blog

2 Replies to “Note to Self: Bitter, Sweet by Laura Best

  1. Leah, I’m truly speechless. (If that makes sense, as I’m typing this.) Your review brought tears to my eyes..However, I think you make me sound better than I am…lol!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed “Bitter, Sweet.” That is always every author’s dream, that those who read their work will be able to connect with it on some level.I realize it can be awkward, when you *know* someone, to give an opinion. But I knew if you really thought it sucked you’d find something nice to say even if that was simply a “great cover” because I can tell your “good people” too. That’s why I enjoy reading your posts and will continue to read.

  2. Yep, I do tend to look for at least one positive thing if I think something sucks. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pull out the ol’ “great cover” bit, eh?

    Having said that, I do like the cover. And this may sound weird, but the book felt nice to hold, too. I have a thing about the shape, size and texture of books and yours felt just right. Although the smell was really strong. I think it was probably the ink they used. I’m allergic to newspaper ink so certain types of ink make me a little woozy.

    I’m a bit odd in that department though because most people don’t notice how something feels in their hands (or smells) when they’re just going to read it.

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