It's Raining Cupcakes
By: Lisa Shroeder
193 Pages (including recipes)
Isabel is a 12 year old girl who wants to travel. She desperatly wants to see what the world has to offer beyond her town of Willow, Oregon. Her family recently decided to support her Mother's dream of opening a cupcake store and Isabel is among those trying to keep her Mother from throwing in the towel before the store even opens. Sophie, Isabel's best friend, tells her about a baking contest in a magazine. The finalists will be flown to New York to participate in the bake off. Now all Isabel has to do is decide what recipe she'll submit, the one she wants or the one her mom wants her too. That and help her Mother see the dream come she dared to dream of.
I really, really wanted to like this book. I eagerly waited for it come in once I requested it from my library. Sadly, I didn't like the book. To begin with, the book description and the the actual story are not the same. The baking contest isn't the main story at all. The vast majority of the book is about the cupcake store Isabel's Mom wants to open and all the emotions involved with it. The baking contest is a minor charcter.
I had a hard time dealing with the dynamic between Isabel and her mother, which is dealth with heavily in the first half of the book. According to Isabel's Grandmother, the mother lacks "gumption". To me, the Mother came off sounding like she needed to be on anti-depressants. Isabel's Mother sees the contest as a great way to get publicity for the new store while Isabel sees at a chance to do something all her own, and possibly travel. In fact, Isabel eventually chooses to submit a cupcake recipe so that her mom will be happy. To me, that defeated the purpose of her entering the contest all together.
Overall, the book just was not the fun, cute, and enjoyable read I thought it was going to be. It was a downer in so many ways. My breaking point was when Isabel's Mother is ready to sell the store (that hasn't even opened yet) because she's convinced she can't make it work. This despite the front page story done on her store. I'm no stranger to how overwhelming insecurity and fear can be- I struggle with them A LOT. However, there is only so much one can take. It's a sad reality to come to when a 12 year old decides she doesn't want to be like her Mother, which is exactly what Isabel did. I felt like instead of showing the readers ways to deal with these emotions and giving what you started a chance, they were shown examples where an adult wallows in their fear. It's not an example I'd want for little girls and boys who are experiencing those feelings themselves.
Rating: Borrow From The Library