Saturday, January 16, 2010


The Cupcake Queen

by Heather Hepler


242 pages

First I must admit that I bought this book because of the cover and title. It just looked like a fun read. And looks were not deceiving. It was a quick, fun, easy read.

Poor Penny has just been moved from New York City to a little hole in the wall town called Hog's Hollow. Her parents have just separated and her mom's new business venture is a cupcake bakery. Blurb is from author's website:

Six months ago, if someone had said the word cupcake, it probably wouldn't have even registered. I mean, sure, who doesn’t like them? But a whole bakery devoted just to cupcakes? I asked my mother that when she told me. “Nothing else?” She just laughed like it was the funniest thing I’d said all day. I didn’t quite believe it until I saw the man putting the final touches on the lettering on the window: “The Cupcake Queen”.
When she said, “I’m going to open a bakery”, dumb me, I thought she meant in New York. And while it was surprising, I wasn’t really surprised. My mom has always been what she calls “vaguely artistic”. I started to get excited as she talked about the bakery idea. I pictured a tiny shop in Soho that made specialty cakes and got featured in the Food Section of The New York Times. Then she told me the bakery wasn’t going to be in the City at all, but out here. Here, in Hog’s Hollow, where they actually crown a Hog Queen every fall.

The Cupcake Queen is a great little book. I loved Penny's sense of humor and her ability to just keep slogging through life even when everything seems out of control. I also loved the way the author handled Penny's parents separation, it felt very honest. She showed that parents sometimes do not have the right words or even handle things right all the time. I also liked that the author didn't try to wrap things up in a neat little tidy package at the end, because as we all know life isn't all neat and tidy-the story continues to go.

I recommend this book for readers ten and up. I'm donating it to the Salmon Public Library so it will be available for check out real soon.

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