24 March 2011

Review: The cupcake queen - Heather Hepler

The cupcake queen by Heather Hepler
published 2009
young adult
bought my own copy

When Penny's parents decide to take a break from each other and she has to move with her mother from New York to a small town, she feels as if her life is over. Fortunately she finds a new friend on the first day of school and together with Tally's help she tries to handle being harrassed at school and starting a new chapter of her life.
Will Penny be able to be happy in her new home and will she learn to handle the new developments in her life?

I bought "The cupcake queen" several months ago after reading a great review about it on Rowena's blog The Book Scoop. And now I finally grabbed it from my TBR pile to read it.
I was expecting a cute and entertaining story and that's what I got. However I was suprised by the serious undertones and not all parts of this book are cute and light-hearted. What happens to Penny at school is IMO not harmless and I think without the help of her new friends it would have been very hard to overcome.
The combination of the cute parts of the story and the ones that deal with Penny's family issues & her school trouble feels balanced and I enjoyed reading every page of this book. Heather Hepler's writing style is engaging, the book was easy to read and I finished it within a few hours.
Penny is a strong, very likable character that felt real to me. Her pain and doubts were believable and I felt for her. I enjoyed reading about the new friendship between Tally and Penny and was happy that they could help each other.

There's one storyline in the book in which Tally and Penny take revenge against the girl who made Penny's life hell and I loved what they did to show that they are not victims and able to stand up for themselves. I'm not a big fan of turning the other cheek and think that sometimes a little revenge is a must. The operation revenge made me laugh a lot and was one of the most entertaining parts of the book.
There's also a romance between Penny and a boy named Marcus and I enjoyed that this relationship was given time to develop and that nothing happened that shouldn't happen between 13 year old children.
The only thing that bothered me a bit is that Penny had to help a lot in her mum's backery and even stayed there alone to take orders and sell cupcakes. She's only 13 and I think in her age she should have more time to do other things. But that's just a small thing that didn't overcast my reading experience.
All in all I was suprised that I could enjoy a book in which the main characters are only 13 years old so much. I think it's because the main themes of the book like friendship, starting anew and dealing with bullies are something adults also have to deal with regularly.
Besides Penny and her new friends I especially enjoyed reading about her grandmother (she's cool) and besides the bullies from school all characters were likable and I liked learning more about them. 

Love it! It's beautiful and fit's perfectly to the story. 

final appraisal
"The cupcake queen" made me smile, laugh and feel with the main character Penny. I loved that there were both cute and serious moments. The writing style was engaging and I spent a very delightful afternoon with reading the book.
I would recommend this book to all readers who look for a mostly cute story with serious undertones about starting anew.


  1. This seems like such a cute read - although I'd have to cover up that scrumptious cover or it'll put a SERIOUS dent in my diet! Thanks for the awesome review! :D

  2. That's so true, everytime I look at the cover I get hungry :)

  3. Thanks for the review. I think my daughter would like this one.

  4. Nice review. I am not much into young adult, but this one sounds good. And not a paranormal one either for a change.

  5. What an adorable cover! This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the awesome review :)

  6. This one sounds like a nice and well-rounded read. I think I want to get this for the school library.

  7. such a great cover :D love it !! this book sounds great !!

    greets july




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