I love cupcakes, so I couldn't resist The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler. I mean, look at that cover. Yummy!
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.
This book was absolutely charming!
Penny is such a lovable character that I couldn't help but cheer for her as she stood up to bullies like Charity, grappled with her parents' separation, and fell for Marcus. Watching her face trials and tribulations--instead of running from them--and find peace with her life was both moving and inspiring. Her narration is filled with so much poise and maturity that it was easy to forget that Penny is only thirteen years old.
Even better, the supporting characters--especially her quirky, cool best friend Tally--are just as endearing. One of the biggest characters is, of course, the many cupcake creations that Penny, her mom, and grandmother whipped up in the cupcake bakery. From the moment I started reading, I had an irresistible urge to bake and eat cupcakes--even if I couldn't make them as beautiful as Penny did!
If you're looking for a sweet, fun read, I think you'll enjoy The Cupcake Queen.
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