Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Book Review: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan


Released:  April 2011
Publisher:  Sphere (an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group)
Review format:  Paperback
Source: Tesco Books in exchange for an honest review
Buy at Tesco
Pages: 456
Ever dreamed of starting over?

Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. So when she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment and open up her own café. It should be a piece of cake, right?

Wrong. As her friends point out, she has trouble remembering where she left her house keys, let alone trying to run her own business. But Issy is determined. Armed with recipes posted to her from Grampa, and with her local bank manager fighting her corner, Issy attempts to prove everyone wrong. Following your dreams is never easy and this is no exception. Can Issy do it?
Synopsis from Goodreads.
The Cupcake Cafe has a really pretty girly cover and inside there are cute little drawings of cupcakes and cups of coffee throughout, but what really made this book different for me were the recipes at the beginning of each chapter for different cupcakes and cookies. They sound so mouthwatering that I really must make some of them. There’s also a section at the end of the book with recipes and a guide to baking the perfect cupcake! Reading this book whilst on a diet (like me!) is really not a good idea ;-)

The main character is Issy who is a really sweet natured young woman and an extremely gifted baker. At the start of the book Issy works in an office until she is suddenly, without warning made redundant. It was at this point in the story that I really connected with Issy. Maybe it’s because of my work situation at the moment, but I really felt her anger and despondency.

Apart from Issy, my favourite characters in the book were Austin and Gramps. Austin was Issy’s Banker and he was just such a nice guy and I instantly felt an attraction to him. He had a bit of a crush on Issy and I really, desperately wanted them to get together. Gramps, Issy’s grandad was in a home as he’d started to suffer with dementia, but he was just so lovely that I really felt Issy’s heartache as his condition worsened.

We also had the joy (or not) of meeting Graeme, Issy’s ex. Graeme was a slimy, arrogant piece of work and I loved hating him. I could ‘see’ him stood there with the arrogant smirk on his face and I just wanted him to go away and crawl under a rock. I felt very protective towards Issy and I could feel my hackles raising every time Graeme came back into the story.

After the first few chapters I thought I knew where this book was going and I was right in a way, but there were some really good twists and turns which surprised me and made things not quite as predicable as I first thought.  I loved Jenny Colgan’s writing.   It’s humorous, intelligent and easy to read. Her descriptions of Issy’s cakes where so spot on that I could taste those cakes for real!

It’s a long time since I’ve read a chic-lit and I really enjoyed Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe. I felt nice and relaxed at the change of pace to my usual reads and I really looked forward to picking this book up each evening. At 456 pages, it’s not the smallest of books, but it most definitely warmed my heart and chilled me out.

My Rating:  4 stars

Author Links:
Jenny Colgan's Website
Twitter:  @jennycolgan
Facebook: Jenny Colgan Books


DJL said...

I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed the book. :) When I saw it on an IMM post for you, I knew it looked like a good book. Now, I've got to find it to read for myself. Thank you for your honest review!

Dizzy C said...

Great review.

I read a lot of chick-lit and have read Jenny Colgan but not this one yet.

on my wishlist

Vivienne said...

Fab review. You have made me want to read this even more!

Bungle said...

Nice review. I have this one, I bought it because of the title, I love a good cake!! I haven't read it yet but very much looking forward to it now.

Cliona said...

Really great review, but I don't think this will be for me... It sounds a bit too predictable for my liking! I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

Zoe Crook said...

This sounds great, I think I will like it (especially the cupcake recipies... ;))! Amazing review.