Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer

Title: The Wedding Cake Girl
Author: Anne Pfeffer
Publisher: Bold Print Press
Pages: 232
Release date: July 24th 2012
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Received a finished copy from the author in exchange for an honest review - thank you, Anne!
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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.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I was really surprised by how much I loved The Wedding Cake Girl. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm often kind of wary of small press or self-published books; my expectations are just always lower, even though I know these smaller titles can be just as great as the ones by the big publishers. But I shouldn't have worried - Anne Pfeffer's debut, Any Other Night (or Loving Emily, as it was called back when I read it) was good, and The Wedding Cake Girl was even better!

I'll admit that I didn't start out loving The Wedding Cake Girl, and that's mainly because of the main character. Alex just bugged me in the beginning, whining about her life but not doing anything. But the character growth she goes through is great; she really grew on me, and towards the end, I couldn't help but love her.

In the beginning, I also had some issues with the writing. It felt clumsy and amateurish to me, and it just didn't flow the way I wanted it to, made it hard for me to get into the story. I don't know if the writing improved over the course of the novel or if I just got used to the style, but I ended up liking the writing later on. It's not the most obviously beautiful writing, but it fits the story; it's simple and moves the plot along nicely.

And the plot, I loved. It sounds pretty basic, but I just love the way Anne Pfeffer developed the story! The family storyline is good - I always like reading about a character finding herself and learning to stand up for herself in a situation like this one. I wish we could have gotten some more insight into why Alex's mom acts the way she does, but I still liked reading about how Alex's relationship with her mom developed.

And then there's the romance. I'm picky about romance storylines and for once, the romance was just the way I liked it! It may seem predictable in the beginning, and you, like me, will think you have it all figured out, that it's the typical love triangle with the obvious ending. But it's not - I loved all the twists that I didn't see coming! The boys' characters are really well-developed, and I loved getting to know them. And I especially love the unconventional way Anne Pfeffer decided to end things!

Another part I really liked is the setting. Alex lives on an island off of Southern California, and it all just sounds so beautiful! I think I should have read this in the summer instead, to keep my jealousy in check. Either way, I loved all the island-y stuff, the descriptions of Alex's diving, all of that.

I'm not even sure what made this novel so great. Maybe it's just the simplicity - no one thing made me fall in love with the novel, but all the simple subtleties made me love it nonetheless. The Wedding Cake Girl is a sweet coming-of-age story, and I loved it!


  1. So, it seems that if I persevere I will be in for a great read.


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