Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Cupcake Queen - Review

The Cupcake Queen – Review
Heather Helper

Description: When her parents separate and her mom decides to ditch Manhattan to open a cupcake bakery in Hog’s Hollow, Penny has to leave her lifelong friends and big-city comforts – not to mention her father – behind. And as if that weren’t enough, the popular crowd decides that they do not like the new girl (which might have a little something to do with an unfortunate cupcake mishap at the Queen Bee’s birthday party).
But small-town life isn’t all bad. Penny finds bright spots in Hog’s Hollow, like the art studio, new friends, and Marcus, the cute and mysterious boy who is always running on the beach – and into Penny. While she once dreamed of making her way back to The City, as she settles into her new life, Penny begins to wonder: could she be falling in love . . . with Hog’s Hollow?
I recently re-read this book, and it re-sparked my interest in light stories like this. When I first read The Cupcake Queen, I worried that it would only be about the girl in her mother’s bakery, but as I got through it, I got more and more interested. I actually did not read the synopsis of the book before going into it, and that made it unfamiliar to me.
The book follows main character, Penny, as she learns to adapt to her parents’ divorce and a new environment. Though Penny enjoys working in her mother’s cupcake bakery, as the head-decorator, she misses her old home and her friends. She feels that it would be better if she moved back with her father, and she has that opportunity because he gave her the offer.
During the first days, that Penny and her mother have just moved to Hog’s Hollow, they cater a birthday party. The girl giving the party, named Charity, happens to be one of the most popular girls in town, not to mention her family is one of the richest. Due to an accidental mishap at the party, Charity automatically puts Penny on her mental “do not friend” list, and makes Penny the targeted victim in all of her pranks.  However, Penny is not left without a friend in the small town.
While on the beach, Penny is knocked over by a boy jogging with his dog. The encounter is very brief, but it leaves Penny wondering who this boy could be. She later learns that his name is Marcus, and that his dad works for the dairy that delivers to her mom’s bakery. And he is also on her school’s soccer team. Cute jock alert!
There is a little romance that starts to build between the two, but the story never really elaborates on the subject. I suppose that is because the book is more of a teen fiction than a young adult novel.
Penny also meets a girl named Tally, who becomes her best friend. Tally is a very peppy, go-green, animal shelter volunteer, who helps Penny slowly adapt to the new town. Tally is the kind of girl to “play” with the thoughts of the people around her, but she is full on honest with Penny, most of the time. Towards the middle of the book, Tally and Penny do have a small disagreement, but it all turns around.
I enjoyed this book thoroughly, a second time around. It is a bit older than most of the books that people are reading nowadays, but I would recommend for anyone who likes a light and fluffy read. In terms of rating, I would give it a 4.5/5 stars, only because it seemed to jump around a little bit. Some scenes were, sort of, left me hanging and wanting questions answered concerning those parts. But this is a great summer’s read.

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