Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Icing on the Cupcake: A Novel

Jennifer Ross

In Ansley Waller's world of Southern belles and gentlemen, getting a diamond ring isn't just important--it's the ultimate goal.  So when her fiance, Parish, unceremoniously kicks her to the curb and cancels their upcoming wedding, Ansley is so ashamed that she decided to leave Dallas and make a fresh start.  In a surprise move, she heads to New York City to live with her recently widowed grandmother, Vivian, whom she's never met.  In turn, Vivian gives Ansley a no-nonsense ultimatum:  Rather than wallow in misery, either get a job or go home.  

The Waller women have a tradition of baking their way out of sorrow. So Ansley mixes batch after batch of creative cupcakes--Black Bottom Heartache, Moving Blues Banana Caramel, Tres Leches Made Small.  Before long, she's opening up her own cupcake shop and even trying her hand at dating.  But the way of Manhattan's eligible bachelors are altogether different from their Southern counterparts, and Ansley's nearly fail-safe tactics fall flat.  And worse, someone's got a half-baked scheme to sabotage Ansley's new life.  It'll take a cup of courage and a dash of Southern charm, plus a few secret ingredients, if Ansley hopes to pull off her recipe for success.

My Take:

Nooooooo!  Why Jennifer Ross??  Why did you throw in a completely ridiculous plot twist in the end?  And worse, why did you have your characters respond implausibly cavalier about a MURDER attempt.  This book is the perfect example of how a bad ending can ruin an otherwise perfectly good book.  The beginning was fun, you didn't like the main character, but you weren't supposed to because the book was about her evolution as a person.  The book starts out with Ansley getting (rightfully) dumped for being a big ol' "B word" all the time.  I enjoyed her development through several healthy doses of much needed humility.  There are no sinister undertones whatsoever throughout the book, so when the sabotage and murder attempt go down, the reader feels broadsided and even betrayed.  The tone of the book goes from chic lit to James Patterson/Mary Higgins Clark wannabe back to chic lit in less than 50 pages at the end.  Honestly, this book was super fun to read until page 267, but I wish I hadn't read any more.  To end on a positive note however, the book is chalk full of yummy recipes and descriptions of delicious food and baked goods.  This is a great book for foodies (unless you are a foodie annoyed by pointless plot twists thrown in purely for the sake of plot twisting) and I don't recommend reading while hungry, it'll be torture :)  I wish I could rate the bulk of the book separate from the end, but I can't, and thusly, I rate The Icing on the Cupcake a 4, Borrow from a Friend.  (The recipes alone saved it from the ratings Siberia that is a 5, Don't even bother)

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I' love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If this book were a movie it would be rated PG-13 for sexual content and very brief but very strong language

***FTC Disclosure:  This book was provided in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***

If you are interested in purchasing The Icing on the Cupcake, please consider supporting The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link, thank you!



Jenn said...

Haha! That review is awesome! I am a foody, but annoyed by plot twists for the sake of plot twists. Will definately stay away. Thanks for the honesty!

Joanna said...

I grabbed this in a stack of library books to take to the beach this summer. I made it through 3 chapters, maybe less. I love foodie books, but this one was so lame I almost gagged!


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