Book: Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes

Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and CupcakesSemi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney

Publisher: 5 Spot
Publish Date: April 25, 2011
ISBN: 00446570117
ISBN-13: 9780446570114

Hannah Robinson is just about to open the doors to her new shop Cupcakes on the Corner when out of the blue her boyfriend Patrick announces that he’s leaving her for another woman. Faced with starting a business on her own, Hannah begins to wonder if her life-long dream has just turned into a nightmare.

So her best friend Adam sets his birthday as a deadline – seven months to make her shop a success, or walk away from it all. And as Hannah immerses herself in her new business, she soon discovers that she’s too busy to think about Patrick and his now pregnant girlfriend …or to notice an increasingly regular customer who has recently developed a sweet tooth for all things cupcake. But while Hannah is slowly piecing her life back together, family friend Alice’s is falling apart. Her husband Tom’s drinking is getting out of control and things are about to get a whole lot worse.

As the seven-month milestone approaches, Hannah must decide her future. And while she’s figuring out what’s really important, it becomes clear to everyone that happiness in life, and in love, is all in the making. My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More like 3.5.

I was intrigued by the title when I saw this on Netgalley’s list of books. Of course I was drawn to the title. Anything mentioning cupcakes always has my instant attention. Then I saw the beautiful cover that is reminiscent of the 50’s era. I can just imagine a Mrs. Cleaver type behind the counter, while young girls with poodle skirts enter the store. So yes, I was interested in reading it.

Hannah Robinson is a great girl. She is about to open her very own business, a cupcake shop in town. She signed the lease, fixed the shop up, and has perfected her recipes. She’s a good daughter, a great friend, and a wonderful girlfriend. So why is it, that her boyfriend, Patrick, has just told Hannah that he no longer wants to pretend to love her and proceeds to tell her that he is leaving her for someone else? And why tell her right before a dinner party being held for her?

Hannah goes through the story living through a harsh and heart breaking break-up. It doesn’t help that she lives in a small town and soon, everyone knows about her business, who Patrick is, and eventually, who the other woman is. It was easy to relate to Hannah. She is trying to save herself after such a tragic experience. She felt that Patrick was the love of her life and after his infidelity, she still had to be strong enough to run her business. I couldn’t help but sympathize with Hannah. You wish for everything to work out in her world.

You will love the various cast of characters in Semi-Sweet. Although, there are some who you will despise. But Meaney’s writing is so thorough that her intention for each character comes through loud and clear. Their lives separate, yet intertwined.

The story is told in a very different manner than most books that I have read. You start with Hannah’s point-of-view, then proceed to Patrick’s, and with each character that becomes a focal point, you switch to their point-of-view. At first, it was a little too much to constantly switch from one voice to another, but after a while, it became a necessary part of the book. I was able to see each character in many different angles. I was able to understand their thought process, what they thought of the situation. To a certain extent, I feel like I’m a part of the town, being a part of the gossip mill.

Meaney writes a story with a main plot and several sub plots. She introduces characters that have depth and individuality that you can’t help but be emotionally invested. While the different points of view may be confusing, it is also genius on how Meaney came about with the structure of the book. Nothing is happy ever after, just semi-sweet.

It’s a great read and I think you should add it to your bookshelf today.

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