Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: How to Eat a Cupcake

How to Eat a Cupcake
By Meg Donohue
Publication date: March 13, 2012

My review:

How to Eat a Cupcake focuses on the damaged friendship of Annie and Julia, two very different young women who were once close friends until one betrayed the other. Years later, they have the chance to work together when the wealthy Julia offers to help Annie set up her own cupcake business. It is a struggle for Annie to trust Julia's motives but even as the two try to reforge a semblance of friendship, someone is determined to destroy the new business and their lives.

Annie Quintana is a pastry chef who draws comfort from trying to recreate her late mother's recipes. Annie is still grieving from the death of her mom who had been a housekeeper to the St. Clair family. Julia St. Clair was Annie's childhood best friend until she betrayed that friendship on her rise to popularity in high school. Now Julia is a successful businesswoman on the verge of getting married. On the surface Julia is a bit of a snob though she doesn't seem to realize the way she comes across, particularly to Annie. She has a life of privilege though there is a painful secret she carries around with her and that secret helps to make her a little more sympathetic to the reader than she would be otherwise. I definitely preferred Annie's character over Julia but Julia did grow on me and it helped to be able to read chapters told through her eyes as well.

There is an element of mystery concerning the vandalism at the cupcakery and the strange man who keeps appearing on the scene. There is also the question of what happened to the cookbook/journal that belonged to Annie's mother. Unfortunately, I think this was a weak spot in the novel and wish the story had focused more on the mending of Annie and Julia's friendship. The ending wrapped up a little too quickly as well. Still, this is an enjoyable exploration of how complicated friendships and family can be. I also loved all the descriptions of cupcakes! I would have loved it if the author included some recipes in the back. Overall, I was pleased with this debut novel and I will definitely be looking forward to the author's next book. 

Readalikes: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen, Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook, The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen, The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry, Stay by Allie Larkin, Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison

Note: I received an ARC of this book for review through the Amazon Vine program


  1. I just finished this, I thought it okay, it made me crave cupcakes though!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. I'm in the middle of this one now and am enjoying it, though Julia and Annie are both annoying me in their own ways... Julia seems so self-obsessed and vacant, and Annie has such a chip on her shoulder that she can't see straight. Interested to see how this will all play out!


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