Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review: How To Eat A Cupcake

Author: Meg Donohue
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins

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.

The moment I first saw this book I picked it up and I could not put it down. I was analyzing every single cupcake on the page and I was completely drawn in by the vintage look of the storefront window that they were placed in. I could not help but notice that each cupcake was sitting in lace wrappings and most of them had some sort of fruit, caramel, or chocolate topping on them. I wanted to be there! The red paint that covers what I suppose is front of the store was also the first thing to catch my eye, being a loud. And, of course, the title itself being “How to Eat a Cupcake!” I thought well I probably eat them all wrong because I completely devour them within like four bites! This was just one of those books for me that I did not even have to read the synopsis on the back cover because I knew right away that I was going to love it.

This book is about two women who grew up with one another as best friends but who come from different cultural and social backgrounds. Their relationship was sabotaged by a few nasty rumors many years back, but now, as if by fate, they have been placed back together. The friendships and other relationships that Meg writes about in this book were just like the cupcakes, so many different flavors! I loved the relationship between Annie Quintana and Julia St. Clair because it proved that old friends can bridge gaps and remember the real reasons why they became friends in the first place.

My favorite character in this book was Annie Quintana who is of Ecuadorian descent and whom has lost her mother some years ago. This story is Annie’s struggle to swallow her pride and fulfill her destiny even if it means working alongside the dreaded Julia St. Clair. Annie was a well written character. She had flaws and she knew that she was not perfect but she accepted who she was and the little flair of attitude that she carried suited her well. She was more relatable to me than Julia St. Clair. For some reason I could just never get on board with Julia. She was whiny and a snobby little rich girl who had everything she ever wanted handed to her on a golden platter. Annie was more the down to earth type and she just kept it real! I loved her because she never pretended to be something she was not.

Together both of these women open a cupcakery called “Treat!” My favorite part of this book was reading about the cupcakery unfolding and how they decided to design everything within the shop. I could Julia and Annie bonding over this cupcakery and I must admit I was flooded with such a feeling of warmth. This is one of those times when you can imagine everything that is going on in your head. I could picture Annie with dough all down her front preparing new cupcake recipes and I could picture Julia with a pen in her hand walking around the store deciding what pieces of furniture were going to be placed where. It was a very magical aspect of the book because it is the first time that you can see the old friendship being pieced back together.

The Cupcakes!! Ok, so I am sure you were wondering when I was going to get to this! Of course I loved reading about the cupcakes. Annie was always coming up with new creations like: Pink Lemonade, Mint Chocolate, and Chocolate Persimmon. I loved that almost every character in the book had a favorite flavor and they were all described so beautifully. Meg never left out one single detail! Thank you, Meg!! I wanted to include a description of one of the cupcakes from the book. This comes from Chapter 11, “For Ogden, I selected a Moroccan vanilla bean and pumpkin spice cupcake that I’d been developing with Halloween in mind. It was not for the faint of heart, and I saw the exact moment in Ogden’s eyes that the dashes of heat-courtesy of a healthy pinch of cayenne-hit his tongue, and the moment a split-second later that the sugary vanilla swept away the heat, like salve on a wound.” Isn’t that gorgeous? I am telling you, my mouth was watering while reading this whole entire book!

Later on in the book the girls discover that there is someone who does not approve of their rejoining and tries very hard to sabotage their new business project. They bond even more over this. They come up with a way to fight it all on their own and I loved the way that bad times seem to bond the strongest of characters. It is all so picturesque! Meg Donohue does a fantastic job and I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves, to read about food, friendship, and a few crazy and neurotic characters!

***Thank you to the publishers at HarperCollins and Meg Donohue for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***


  1. I have been meaning to read this one, it sounds like I would enjoy it. How could you not want to read about cupcakes?

  2. Cute book. I'm interesting in reading it now.

    Also, i've awarded you with The Booker Award. check it out:

  3. "How is my heart rate?" Haha, that is SO CUTE (and way clever too).

    Ooh, I hadn't heard of this book before but... IT SOUNDS AWESOME. And also like it would take me hungry every half a page but it would be worth it, right? :) I love the idea of old friends re-connecting and what better setting than a cupcakery?!

    Fantastic review! :)


  4. I should write my own book...I know how to eat cupcakes! This sounds very cute and something that would make me whip up something good to eat while I read it! Great review :)