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The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

Front cover of The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler.
Front cover of The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler.
photo (c)


Six months ago, if someone had said the word cupcake, it probably wouldn’t have even registered. I mean, sure, who doesn’t like them? But a whole bakery devoted just to cupcakes? I asked my mother that when she told me. “Nothing else?” She just laughed like it was the funniest thing I’d said all day. I didn’t quite believe it until I saw the man putting the final touches on the lettering on the window: The Cupcake Queen.

When she said, “I’m going to open a bakery,” dumb me, I thought she meant in New York. And while it was surprising, I wasn’t really surprised. My mom has always been what she calls “vaguely artistic”. I started to get excited as she talked about the bakery idea. I pictured a tiny shop in Soho that made specialty cakes and got featured in the Food Section of The New York Times. Then she told me the bakery wasn’t going to be in the City at all, but out here. Here, in Hog’s Hollow, where they actually crown a Hog Queen every fall.

(c) Back cover, The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler,

"Readers will root for Penny, a talented artist, as she develops her gifts and adapts to small-town life." —Kirkus Reviews

Scholastic Book Club and Fair Selection 2009
Fall 2009 Indie Pick

Young adult fiction, ages 10-15; hardcover, 240 pages.

(c), and,


Fourteen-year-old high school freshman, Penny Lane, cleverly named after the Beatles' hit song, has been forced to leave her life in New York City for a boring little beach town called Hog's Hollow. Her artistic mother has abandoned her art gallery in the city for a cupcake bakery in a small town--and she's left Penny's father behind. Her parents tend to leave Penny out of everything that's going on in their lives, and all the poor girl wants to do is go home, back to her old life in the city. Slowly, Penny finds herself coming out of her shell as she starts working at the cupcakery, designing cupcakes, and making herself part of her mother's life once again, even gaining enough courage to ask what's really happening between her parents.

After a tumbling display of cupcakes land's on her high school's most popular queen bee, Charity, Penny knew she would be in for it. Luckily for her, early on in her stay, she meets her best-friend-to-be, Tally, her friend Blake, and the RPS. (You'll have to read to figure out that one!) They, together, plot revenge for Charity and her gang of followers, who make Penny's life miserable, from putting seventy-five dollars of pennies in her locker, to making it incredibly hard for her to get close to the cute, mysterious boy, Marcus, who likes to walk his dog down the beach.

This story is expertly told, through the eyes of Penny Lane, a coming-of-age story to fit today's generation. Typical teenage issues, like divorce, bullying, and a first love fill the novel, leaving the reader guessing with every chapter's end, wanting to continue. As this book is read, you won't want to put it down--it only took a couple of days to finish, among the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Penny's journey through hating her life in Hog's Hollow, to deciding that when she was invited, she wouldn't go back to New York to stay with her father, keeps readers hooked the entire time. Throughout the entire novel, one will feel themself right next to Penny, in the scenes that are so expertly described.

Heather Hepler's first solo novel is a hit with many different crowds, and is highly recommended.

Overall Rating; A.

This book is available at your local bookseller, or


  • R. Cooper 5 years ago

    How does $75 make your life bad?! THEY GAVE HER FREE MONEY! ROLL IN IT!!

  • Nicole Zanoudakis 5 years ago

    Well, the point was that they'd filled her locker with $75 of pennies. In essence, making fun of your name. But imagine 7500 pennies falling out of your locker. What kind of sound would that make in an empty hallway as they crashed onto the tiled floors? Not to mention she had to clean them up after the embarrassment of them falling all of her.

    But they did for sure have some fun with the 7500 pennies after they took them to the bank to get cash instead. (:

  • Nicole Zanoudakis 5 years ago

    Her name; please excuse my lack of proofreading.

  • k.b. 5 years ago


  • giovanna 5 years ago

    help me i am doing a report on this book and i needd some comments and rewiews on the book can u help me

  • harry potter 4 years ago

    this was NOT the best book in the world... i think

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    why not

  • harry potter 4 years ago

    yeah rock on r. cooper

  • Kamy 4 years ago

    This is my favorite book in the world!This book is so good I love the character of Penny and Tally.I kind of think that Blake and Tally like each other.I love the way Heather Hepler makes Penny and Marcus's meet I love the thought of them at the beach.And all those cupcakes males me hungry.The idea of making big planets in a modle scale in the woods.THIS IS THE BEST BOOK THAT I HAVE READ EVER!!!!!!Does anyone know Heather Hepler's e-mail I have some questons for her about the book?

  • Hog warts 4 years ago

    I agree with Kamy this si a good book

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    im reading this book for a school project and i dont get the history or the culture of new york that is mentioned here ... help ?

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