Today is my final post of the Spring Carnival Food Booth! The Food Cover Challenge ends tomorrow so get your entries in. Also be sure to head to the Spring Carnival and get in all your last minute visits. You don't want to miss out!
Today, I saved the best for last as today's post is all about cupcakes!
Seriously, who doesn't love a good cupcake? They have exploded in popularity as of late and you can get them in practically any flavor. I couldn't decide what recipe to share with you today when I started searching and I could have easily gotten lost in all the cakey goodness.... So I decided to give you a choice of cupcakes. Here is a cupcake recipe pin with ten different delicious cupcakes, something for everyone. There are margarita cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, banana, vanilla and of course chocolate! Pick your pleasure! What one do you most want to try?
Finally, I am reviewing a fun little book all about cupcakes!
How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donahue
Funny, free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated, ambitious Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls who know nothing of class differences and scholarships could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.
A decade later, Annie is now a talented, if underpaid, pastry chef who bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death. Julia, a successful businesswoman, is tormented by a painful secret that could jeopardize her engagement to the man she loves. When a chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, they must overcome past hurts and a mysterious saboteur or risk losing their fledgling business and any chance of healing their fractured friendship.
Paperback, 309 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Four stars: A riveting cupcakey read.
Annie closes her eyes, draws a deep breath and tries to vanquish the old ghosts. After ten years, she has returned to the house where her mother worked as a servant for the wealthy St. Clair family during her youth. Ten years ago, her mother collapsed on their kitchen floor and died a few short days later of a brain aneurism. Since then, Annie has avoided the family, until now. Today, she is back to serve her delectable cupcakes for a St. Clair social function. When Annie comes face to face with Julia St. Clair, it is all she can do to maintain her composure. Julia was once her best playmate and friend, but their last year of high school was strained since Annie was the daughter of the hired help and Julia was the popular wealthy girl. Once Julia tastes Annie's cupcakes, she knows that she must open a cupcakery with Annie as it is the only way to take her mind of her own personal demons. However, there are many bumps in the road and it opening the cupcakery will be a strain on the already fragile friendship. Can Annie and Julia finally bury the past?
What I Liked:
- I was expecting a light, fluffy read and was surprised to find a riveting read with plenty of depth and even some mystery. This is more than an easy chick lit read. It is a book about personal growth, forgiveness and learning from one's mistakes. This is a book with plenty of character growth and dramatic change. I was pleased to find that was more than a simple read.
- This is told from the dual view points of Annie and Julia. I am a big fan of first person dual narratives, and I thought that in this book it was executed very well. I loved getting into both Annie and Julia's heads and seeing what drove them and how they viewed one another. They both have plenty of baggage and old demons, Julia especially has a great deal to overcome. It is a rocky journey as these two childhood friends learn to forgive and move forward.
- Julia was a character that totally caught me off guard. When the book opens, she is selfish, fake, cold and unlikable. I honestly for the majority of the book did not enjoy her character. However, by the end, I had a complete change of heart once I learned why she was acting the way she was. Once she conquers her personal demons, she is enjoyable. I love when characters catch me off guard and completely transform.
- I was especially surprised to find that this book had a great deal of mystery and suspense. Again, I was expecting a more cozy type of read and was excited to find that this book had a believable mystery, and I was totally drawn into the story. There are certainly a few surprises and a couple of twists that I didn't see coming as well. This is beyond your average chick lit or cozy mystery as it has depth. Not once did I encounter a situation that wasn't believable, unlike a cozy mystery where I struggle with believability. I enjoyed that this book was about real people in real life situations.
- Finally, I was pleased as punch to find that this book refrained from cliffhangers and love triangles. Everything wraps up nicely!
And The Not So Much:
- I was not a fan of the romance regarding Annie. For the majority of the book it appears she is going to have a romantic relationship with one man, and then that doesn't pan out so she supposedly by the end is involved with a man whom she found to be pompous and a bit obnoxious. I struggled with this because she for the most part didn't like the man and then suddenly it jumps from point A to C and skips over everything in between. I wanted to see it unfold and that doesn't happen.
- Once the two ladies endeavor to open the shop, they start having problems with vandalism. This happens on numerous occasions and it isn't until a brick is hurled through the window that they decide to install a security camera. I thought this was a bit ridiculous as you would think after the first time they would have been all about getting additional security, but there are several incidents before they decide to take action.
- I was a bit disappointed with Julia's admission of guilt toward Annie. I thought that Annie deserved a far better apology than what Julie gave after everything she put Annie through. I was expecting a bit more emotion with this scene, especially since there is so much build up to that point. When it finally arrives, it kind of fizzles.
- This is me being persnickety, but I desperately wanted a few of those delicious cupcake recipes, since I spent the whole book drooling over all the decadent cupcake descriptions, and alas, there are none to be found. I always love to get those bonus recipes at the end of a food type book. So if you are expecting cupcake recipes, you will be disappointed.
How to Eat a Cupcake ended up being an entertaining read far beyond your average fluffy book. This has great characters, plenty of tension and drama and even suspense and mystery with a few twists. If you are looking for a delicious book with a bit of depth then grab this one. I was glued to the pages and stayed up well past my bedtime as I couldn't stop until I reached the end.
“But wasn’t it only human to want other people’s good fortune for yourself? Or did that make you a bad person?”
“Louise, on the other hand, was half giggling, half moaning her way through a second cupcake, this time a lemonade pound cake with a layer of hot pink Swiss meringue buttercream icing curling into countless tiny waves as festive and feminine as a little girl’s birthday tiara.”
“I seem to leave every encounter I have with you with my own words ringing unattractively in my ears and the distinct taste of my own foot in my mouth.”
“Sometimes,” he said slowly, “the things that happen when we’re young are the hardest to let go of.”
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Thanks so much for stopping by for all the sugary goodness this week. I had bringing the Food Booth to you all!