Monday, June 23, 2014

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

This was a pretty cute read. Like the title indicates, this is about cupcakes and love.

Kat bakes for her aunt's cupcake shop Sweetie Pies. But while she yearns to make gourmet/"weird" cupcakes, she's restricted to chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. One day, her best friend/crush Lucas enters her in a TV show called Cupcake Combat - the grand prize? A year's internship at Bloom, a prestigious bakery. When she gets chosen, Kat drags Lucas along as her assistant. Will Kat win? And what about her relationship with Lucas?

Ok, this was a fairly cute book. Because the book has two narrators (Kat and Lucas), the romance angle was less suspense and more "I want to knock some sense into the two of them". The dual narrators also work well for the cupcake contest angle, which is arguably the main plot of the book (but looking at the characters angst over each other, it's a bit hard to tell).

Personally, I'm conflicted over this book. I liked the cupcake contest storyline, and the love story wasn't too bad (remember, I'm not a big fan of love stories), but I felt like the book handled certain aspects of the story really badly.

One aspect would be Kat's relationship with her family. Throughout the whole book, Kat is stifled and criticised by her family. Yet the problem "magically" goes away at the end of the book. Or does it? Are these relationship problems solved, or are they just postponed till a later date? The fact that there are no confrontations, no acknowledgement of previous hurts, no sense of starting afresh makes me wonder why Kat's relationship with her family was ever mentioned if this angle wasn't going to be developed.

Side note: On a related issue, I'm very unconvinced by Kat's sudden about turn about her feelings towards her hometown. After yearning to leave for so many years, her feelings should be pretty strong, yet they were changed in an instant.

Another aspect would be the presence of God in this story. I realised this was a Christian story from the start because I saw that the publisher was Zondervan, but other than that, there was no indication that this book had Christian themes. Until the end, that is. It felt as though the author crammed in a mention of God so that He would be there. Personally, it feels a bit forced to me,.

In conclusion, this is an okay book. The main plots were fairly well-written, but a few loose ends kept this book from being awesome.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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