Funny, free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated, ambitious Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls who know nothing of class differences and scholarships could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.
A decade later, Annie is now a talented, if underpaid, pastry chef who bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death. Julia, a successful businesswoman, is tormented by a painful secret that could jeopardize her engagement to the man she loves. When a chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, they must overcome past hurts and a mysterious saboteur or risk losing their fledgling business and any chance of healing their fractured friendship. (Synopsis via Goodreads)
How to Eat a Cupcake is a light read that I’d recommend for anyone who likes stories about estranged friends coming back together for a cause. Of course, in this case, the cause is a cupcakery, which is honestly the part that really drew me in.
Though the story is slow to get to it, the element that kept me wanting to read was Julia’s secret that prompted her to suddenly quit her job in New York and return home to San Francisco. I was wrong with my guess of what her secret was, which felt weird because I’m normally better at predicting these things. It did give me a better perspective on why Julia was acting the way she was in the beginning of the novel and when it was revealed it was definitely a turn for the better of her mending friendship with Annie.
Annie was a character I liked for the most part. She was guarded due to the hurt she experienced in high school and from losing her mother at only 18 years old. I could relate in the way that I’d be lost without my mom if anything happened to her, even though she’s not my only family (I’m just very close to her). It was more her playful sarcasm that won me over, especially when it was aimed toward Julia, because it showed that she was learning to forgive Julia’s actions as a teenager and give their friendship another shot.
The mystery behind who is trying to sabotage the cupcakery was another plot point that is worth reading for, though the answer is a little weird in my opinion. I think I would have preferred the author to go a different way with it, but it is what it is.
Overall, How to Eat a Cupcake gets 3/5 stars. I liked it and enjoyed it for the most part, and I think others will too, as long as you don’t expect too much from it.