Londoner Kate Pickles has hit rock bottom. She's funny, kind, and talented but totally unaware about all the great things she has going for her. Day in and day out, she sits back and whines to her sister Laurie in Sydney, Australia, as her boss walks all over her and her best friend Eva bags the hot guys while Kate ends up dating whack jobs and comfort eating cake. Pouring out her heart to Laurie in a series of letters and emails, Kate longs for her sister to confirm she really is the loser in love she fears she is.Abruptly, Kate's life is turned upside down when, on a trip to Vienna with her glamorous pal, Eva, Kate falls for a sexy Austrian and gets sucked into making a Bollywood film.
Lydia - 3.5 Star
Confessions of a Cake Addict got off to a slow start for me and it was only as it neared the end that I started really enjoying it. This was too little too late which was really unfortunate because there were many aspects I liked, but overall it didn't mesh as well together as I thought it would.
The entire novel is written as series of long winded letters, mostly between Kate and her sister. I loved this! It reminded me of the 'novels' I used to write to my girlfriends exactly like this back in the day before email and social media. And yes, they were mostly about boys, much like Kate's stories.
The concept of this novel intrigued me and I loved the letters Kate starts writing to her bestie's love interest and I was actually really stumped at what transpired which I could never have predicted, and I love it when novels surprise me! There was something left up in the air surrounding this in the end though which is never actually divulged which annoyed me somewhat. I wanted to know how it all transpired - sorry, I know that's cryptic, but no spoilers!!!
There are funny bits that I laughed and giggled at and I really liked Kate's voice. She was spunky, funny and has amusing observations and an interesting way with how she retells her story to her sister, all of which kept me reading and entertained.
Unfortunately though there were a few things that could have been strengthened. At times I became so immersed in the story that I forgot I was reading a letter and then out of nowhere, Kate would point something out to her sister or ask her opinion which stopped me cold. I think if there were more of these to remind me that they were letters, or less....something needed alteration here. There were also several unnecessary instances of pointing out the obvious to her sister: remember my school friend so and so with details that weren't necessary or my favourite: remember, I think I told you our cousin died - WHAT! If I wrote that to one of my siblings either they would assume I was an idiot, or I thought they were morons because they might have forgotten that our cousin died. This last one in particular tossed me right out of the story and I was actually really annoyed. I know not all families are as close as mine, but still you'd think the sister wouldn't need a reminder. These did decrease throughout the novel when less explanation was required, but I still found it distracting.
These days I'm more apt to enjoy novels about the main character's self discovery rather than finding a man or a pair of new shoes. And although there was some unusual aspects to this story, like the castle setting in Austria (which made me really want to read this as part of my heritage originates on a mountainside in Austria) and the Indian film, but overall, there wasn't much new in this novel. Much of it was actually a little cliche. The main character loved cake and was overweight because of it. She was searching for a man and hopelessly attracted to the wrong kind. Her best friend is tall, slim and perfect and at times a bit bitchy. Her boss is a nightmare and her love interests all disreputable, they both shop too much and have no money. Maybe I'm just getting older now though and these aspects don't appeal to me as much as they used to. Possibly a younger audience might appreciate this more.
Overall, I think Confessions of a Cake Addict could have used some more time in the editing room, not only with fleshing out characters to make them more rounded and taking away a bit of the erroneous action - I went here, I did this, and then this happened which occurred frequently but also with proofreading and formatting errors. Kaufman definitely has talent and I think with a few tweaks her novels will shine.
Thank you to Emma Kaufmann for our review copy!
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