Title: Katie and the Cupcake Cure
Series: The Cupcake Diaries
Author: Coco Simon
Publisher: Simon Spotlight
May Contain Spoilers
This first book in The Cupcake Diaries is told through the perspective of Katie Brown. We find Katie miserable on the first day of middle school. Her best friend Callie came back from camp boy-crazy and part of a whole new group of friends. When it’s made clear that Callie is in the PGC (Popular Girls Club) and Katie is not invited to join, Katie suddenly feels incredibly alone. Katie realizes if she’s going to survive middle school she needs to seriously regroup and find some new friends. But how? She bites into the cupcake her mother packed her for lunch and for a second closes her eyes. The sweet treat makes her happy—finally something goes right! Looking around her table, Katie notices the other students seeming a bit lost, as well. Which gives her an idea…With three new friends Katie forms a club as a way to spread the cupcake love and earn some cupcake cash.
Katie has no clue what kind of a mine field she is about to walk into when she heads out to her first day of middle school. She and her BFF Callie have known each since they were babies, and they will have each other to lean on while dealing with any road bumps that they might encounter. Wrong! Over summer vacation, Callie has changed and now she’s got other friends to hang with. What will Katie do? Now she’s friendless, her locker is an alien monster, and some of her teachers are scary and strict!
I really enjoyed this fast MG read. Katie is a sweet girl, which is why it takes her so long to realize that she’s been ditched by her BFF. She just can’t believe that Callie would do that to her. She’s also a little embarrassed about the situation, and she doesn’t want to worry her mom, so she doesn’t have anyone to confide in about Callie dumping her for a bunch of mean, snobby girls. I really felt her pain, but I wished more than once that Katie would defend herself against Callie’s new friends and their bullying. It seems painfully obvious to me that if you need to call yourself the Popular Girls Club (PGC), you are just a bunch of cool-girl wannabes.
Katie keeps making excuses for Callie instead of calling her out on her defection, and that frustrated me just a bit, too. Thankfully, she makes some new friends with the help of some homemade cupcakes, and her new clique appreciates Katie for who she is. They decide to call themselves the Cupcake Club, and together they discover the joy of baking cupcakes and then sharing them with each other. It sounds kind of corny, but it didn’t read that way at all. The baking and the cupcakes bonded them together, and their new mad cooking skillz gave them the courage to compete against the PGC at the school fund-raiser. Though I wished that Katie and her friends had duct-taped their rivals lips shut, I did like how they competed against the other girls without lowering themselves to their level.
I thought this was a fun book, and I am eager to read the rest of the series. I may hate to cook, but who can resist the wonderfulness of cupcakes?
Review copy provided by publisher