Sunday, April 8, 2012

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue

4.5 Star

Free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clairs' housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia's San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls oblivious to class differences could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.

A decade later, Annie bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother's death, and a painful secret jeopardizes Julia's engagement to the man she loves. A chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, but when a mysterious saboteur opens up old wounds, they must finally face the truth about their past or risk losing everything.
Kaley - 4.5 Star

Debut author Meg Donohue has created a story that almost all women will fall in love with. There are cupcakes, estranged childhood friends, a wedding, and some family drama. What’s not to love? I thoroughly enjoyed reading How to Eat a Cupcake.

I really liked that the perspective switched between Annie and Julia. This allowed me to really know how each woman was feeling about their situation. I never felt like I was reading too much about one or that it changed too often. Donohue had the chapters end at a natural point and I had no problem easing into the mindset of the other character at the beginning of the next chapter. I did find that I felt a little more connected to Annie. I’m not sure if that’s because she’s the first character I met or because I just related more to her. That’s not to say I didn’t like Julia, because I did, but I would be inclined to say that this is Annie’s story more than Julia’s.

The title and cover (so cute!) of this novel hint at something light and sweet (both literally and figuratively) but Donohue does a magnificent job of telling a story that has a hint of danger to it without overpowering the main story – two women becoming friends again after a decade of estrangement. I had a sense of foreboding the entire time I was reading this book and it was done in a fantastic way. I knew Donohue would reveal all when the time was right so I was able to sit back and let the story wash over me and that meant enjoying the lighthearted moments as they emerged.

Even with the feeling that there was a terrible secret hidden in the depths of Annie’s and Julia’s pasts, the book was still funny. In fact, it had me giggling after just the first page. Part of that was because Annie was a naturally funny character and she was described as such by other characters multiple times throughout the novel. Take this exchange with Annie and the St. Clairs’ maid on page two:
“Oh,” she said. “You’re here with the cupcakes.”
“That’s right. I’m here with the cupcakes. They brought me as their plus one. I’m a lucky girl!”
So that may only be funny to me, but it made me smile and it immediately made me look forward to the rest of the book.

I highly recommend How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue. You’ll definitely laugh and you may cry but you’ll be left with a beautifully told story and many characters who will stick with you well after you’ve turned the last page.

Thank you to HarperCollins for our review copy! All opinions are our own.

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  1. I have an ARC of this from a friend...I really need to read it. It sounds so cute.

    1. Move it up your to be read list! Great read :)



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