Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: The Wedding Cake Girl

The Wedding Cake GirlTitle: The Wedding Cake Girl
Author: Anne Pfeffer
Publisher: Bold Print Press
Published: July 24, 2012
Format:  PDF
Genre: YA
Pages: 255
Source:  Won in a giveaway @Getting Your Read On
Read: January 6, 2013
In A Few Words: Simple yet engaging
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen year old Alexandra spends so much time helping others realize their dreams that she never has time for her own. An expert ocean diver and reluctant maker of wedding cakes, she longs to leave roses and frosting behind to study oceanography. Alex’s mother won’t have it—needy and dependent, Mom can’t run the family wedding cake business on her own.

No matter what Alex does, things only get worse for her. When she risks her life to save a tourist while scuba diving and becomes the local hero, Mom's angry with Alex for going diving at all. Mom also discourages Alex's new friendship with the insanely wealthy Jeremy, a fun boy with a secret. Then, Alex's best friend, Zack, a hunky island guy, starts to take an interest in her as well. The problem is, he's dating another girl.

As Alex struggles to learn where she stands between her two difficult and confusing Prince Charmings, it occurs to her that maybe what she really needs is a Prince Charming for Mom. If she doesn't do something, she will make cakes all her life and die in her "Sue's Wedding Cakery" apron with a spatula in her hand.

This story features a colorful island setting, dangerous underwater diving adventures,a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of buttercream. It is Alex's journey toward not only finding love, but learning how to step forward and take control of her own life, a rite of passage that faces all young readers.

Melissa's Musings:

This was a great story. I got pulled in right away, primarily because the dialogue flows so easily, you're quick to get wrapped up in the story. Right away we meet Alex, a girl with big dreams, to study marine life, but who has a mom that just can't seem to get it together.

I have to admit I felt really sorry for Alex. Here she is, at 17, with big dreams, of going to college to do what she loves, and at the same time she's hesitant to leave because she doesn't think her mom will make it without her. And at first, as the reader, I thought she might not make it either. The more I read though, the angrier at Alex's mom I became. She was so self involved, and so... just plain rude to Alex I found myself thinking at one point "man, her mom is a leech." 

She takes Alex for granted, and what's worse, she almost ruins opportunities for Alex by refusing to help her. First it's by refusing to pay for her to attend a summer course to help set up her senior thesis. Then, it's by telling her that she won't give her a  ride to attend a wedding that she's been asked to help out at. (The reason why she's been asked to help out is a major plot point so I don't want to spoil it.)

But, the thing about Alex is that she's determined. Her mom won't help? Fine. She'll do it herself. She makes it to that wedding and that sets the course for the rest of the story. Alex is a strong character, which is always a good thing and I would say in this case, necessary, in order for her to be able to deal with her mother.

 Alex also stands up for herself and her principles which is nice to see. There's a point in the book where her and her friend Zack become romantially involved, and she feels like she may be ready to have sex with him. (There are a lot of factors to this, including other characters, and again I don't want to ruin it.) But, as time goes on, she realizes she's not ready and she lets him know that. Zack is disappointed, but Alex stands her ground and that's something I really enjoyed.

Alex also grows a lot personally. She turns her dislike for the wedding cake business into a skill that works for her and allows her to live out her dream for her senior year the way she wants it to be. She learns to take more risks and it's nice to see her enjoying the benefits.

Overall this is a great story. It's wonderfully written and you are immediately drawn to the characters. And anyways, any story that has wedding cake in it can't be bad.

No comments: