Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: bakery, London, romance, friendship
Format read: eBook from Publisher via NetGalley! (Thanks!)
Summary: When Issy is laid off from her job, she decides to take the plunge and open up a bakery — a dream she has had since she was a little girl learning how to cook with her grandfather. The opportunity brings many challenges, friendships, and realizations into her life.
Cupcakes, London, and a gal following her dreams? If it sounds like a cute novel, then it is a cute novel. Really.
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe introduces us to Issy, who after being forced to leave her easy-peasy job as an office assistant decides to challenge herself by opening her own business. She’s part of a family of bakers and decides to let her passion become her job: opening a cozy cupcake cafe in a space that hasn’t had the most luck with clientele in the past.
I really appreciated Issy’s see-sawing when it came to making this commitment. It’s never an easy thing to take a chance, step out of your comfort zone with the realistic knowledge that it might not all work out. But I’m so glad that she did because the people who come into her life end up making the experience that much more special and important. Pearl, her sassy assistant with cute kid Louis, and even the banker who gives her a loan, the totally cute Austin.
Colgan gives us a really detailed look at Issy’s life — not only her budding business but also her sick grandfather, disasterous romance with her ex-boss, and sweet best friendship with Helena (determined to find her own John Cusack). Sometimes a bit too detailed though. The pacing definitely dragged at points, especially when the reader became privy to everyone’s thoughts in the book. (There were so points where I thought this book could have been cut into multiple volumes — so much going on in everyone’s head!)
Also. The dialogue? Hilarious and witty. I wish there had been a little bit more of it to break up the long paragraphs but Colgan is seriously on to something.
As if Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe doesn’t make your mouth water enough, the author was sweet enough (ha!) to include some yummy sounding recipes throughout the novel. I never felt more like baking in my life. Seriously, though, it was nice (and inspiring!) to read a feel-good story about a character in her 30s working her tail off to get what she wanted. Go Issy!