Jun 14, 2012

The Cupcake Queen

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler
Published: July 10, 2009 by Dutton

A confection of a novel, combining big city sophistication with small town charm. When her mother moves them from the city to a small town to open up a cupcake bakery, Penny's life isn't what she expected. Her father has stayed behind, and Mom isn't talking about what the future holds for their family. And then there's Charity, the girl who plays mean pranks almost daily. There are also bright spots in Hog's Hollow, like Tally, an expert in Rock Paper Scissors, and Marcus, the boy who is always running on the beach. But just when it looks as though Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again. A sweet novel about love, creativity, and accepting life's unexpected turns.

I'm a fan of all of the books that Heather Hepler wrote along with Brad Barkley (Dream Factory, Scrambled Eggs at Midnight, Jars of Glass), so I was interested in reading Hepler's solo work, and this book sounded too sweet to pass up. It's definitely aimed at tweens and younger teens, which isn't what I'm used to.

  • Marcus + his dad - Between Marcus' theories about Jolly Ranchers and his dad's endeavor to recreate the planets on earth, I adored them.
  • Tally + Poppy - Tally's quirks and Poppy's art were really fun and definitely livened up the story.
  • Miss Beans - Penny's art teacher is pretty cool, and perhaps the only adult who takes any notice of the things going on in Penny's life.

  • Penny's mom - Penny's mom is very wrapped up in her own (very important) issues, and is too busy to notice that her daughter has problems too. She only seems to see what Penny does wrong. It's very realistic - I felt exactly the same way when I was starting high school - but it's horribly frustrating to read about. When you're outside the situation looking in, it makes you want to scream at them to just talk to each other already!
  • Charity - Ugh. The whole mean girl thing. I kind of hate reading about the fictional mean girl situation, where she single out the MC to pick on. In my own experience, this happens pretty often in middle school, but by high school most people are too busy focusing on themselves to bother anyone.

  • "The flavor you pick says a lot about a person."   "You've given this a lot of thought," I say.   "That's pretty much my life during third period. running errands. Developing candy-based theories about people's personalities."    - pg. 53   Penny + Marcus
  • "Girls are so dumb." Tally squints at him threateningly, but he continues. "With guys it's simple. When I hang out with my friends, we just chill. You two are all with the 'Oh, I wonder if so-and-so likes me.'"    Blake makes his voice high when he says it. "Is that supposed to be me?" Tally asks.   "Yes, you." Then he points at me. "And Penny. All of your kind."    - pg. 119-120  Blake + Tally
3 robots
A cute story, recommended for younger teens

Acquired: swapped for on swap.com

1 comment:

  1. This is another one that's been on my list for a long time and if I'm being honest, I just want to read it because of the cupcakes =) I've really been enjoying some great Middle Grade books lately, but I don't like them as much if their aimed too young. I hear ya about stereotypical characters, I'm so sick of the mean girl in every book.


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