FROM THE CUPCAKE QUEEN.
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, http://www.heatherhepler.com/books/bk_cupcake_s.html
"Readers will root for Penny, a talented artist, as she develops her gifts and adapts to small-town life." —Kirkus Reviews
AWARDS AND HONOURS
Scholastic Book Club and Fair Selection 2009
Fall 2009 Indie Pick
Young adult fiction, ages 10-15; hardcover, 240 pages.
(c) heatherhepler.com, http://www.heatherhepler.com/books/bk_cupcake_w.html and Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com/Cupcake-Queen-Heather-Hepler/dp/0525421572
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 Amazon.com.