“Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. So when she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment and open up her own café.” -Jenny Colgan, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café
A light, funny read, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café makes me want to move to the UK and open a bakery. Mind you, I’ve always wanted to move to the UK and open a bakery, but this novel reminded me again of that dream.
Jenny Colgan is a new find for me, although I have no idea why it took me so long to discover her! Her writing style and theme is similar to Sophie Kinsella (who I adore). Colgan does something in Meet Me at the Cupcake Café that I’ve not really seen an author do so well before. She switches perspectives between characters. Now, this sounds fairly normal, but she does so smoothly, sometimes in the same chapter. It’s not just the few main characters either, you get quick snapshots of the lives of brief characters – someone who only makes one or a couple of appearances gets a minute in the spotlight. It’s something that I very much appreciate.
As for the story itself. It’s light and cheerful but realistic as well. Issy even struggles with feelings for an ex (I think most of us have been there) and the whole time we the readers are screaming “NO! He’s trash!” which is exactly what our friends were doing when we were still pining over our trash exes. It’s wholesome and like I said, it 100% makes me want to open a bakery in the UK. Like, tomorrow.
Rating: 4.5 🧁 out of 5 🧁
Why: I plowed through this story. I couldn’t get enough! Issy is wholesome and a little anxious (relatable), and Grandpa Joe is such a great character. Many times the influential grandparent is long gone before the story starts and the main character does something in memory of their loved one, but here we get to really enjoy Grandpa Joe. I do take off half a star/cupcake because of some of the more mature content that I will list below. While the content was realistic, not every adult woman drinks half a bottle of wine every night after work. Even if it had been a little bit it wouldn’t have been noteworthy, but there was a distracting amount of alcohol consumption.
Warning: For my readers who are Christian or those who prefer clean fiction, there are some themes that I will warn you of; some swearing and a lot of drinking occurs. It’s mostly wine, but there is a lot of drinking. Also, a character gets pregnant while not married, and while the couple are very happy, no sign of marriage seems to be coming for the couple. This is realistic, but if such topics are sensitive for you, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café may not be the perfect fit for you.
Ending Thoughts: If you’re looking for a funny read, with a tablespoon of romance, a cup of cupcakes, a dash of sass, and even a sprinkling of mystery, this book will fill you up.
With love and wishing you a blessed day, Storm