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Friday, November 30, 2012

REVIEW REDUX: The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer

Title: The Wedding Cake Girl
Author: Anne Pfeffer
ASIN: B008ONMR2Y
Genre: YA fiction
Rating: 4 stars

(Originally posted 08.21.2012)

 Synopsis from Goodreads.com: 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.

My Review: ** I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That being said, let's continue to the review. I didn't expect to like this book. I thought it would be too juvenile for my tastes. Instead, I was hooked as soon as I started reading it. I felt the main character Alex was driven, by both her love of oceanography and diving, and her love of her mother. However, as much as I felt conected to Alex, I felt myself questioning my own mothering abilities, as I put myself up against Alex's mother. Would I get rid of the object of my daughter's love if I was afraid she could die from it? Can't you die from anything? Could I trust my daughter's judgement? Would I, could I ever be that dependent on my own daughter, and put that much responsibility on her shoulders as a teenager? And yet, as much as I understand the ending, I don't agree with it as a mother. But that's just me. I won't go into details because I don't want to spoil it. The fact that this book made me question and self-reflect upon my maternal abilities definitely gives it a high rating. Life-changing? No. A great read for an adult? Yes. A great read for a teenager/YA? Definitely.

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