Kit picked up this book for me to read because she wants the OK from me that it's a clean book, and I'm so glad I get to pass it on. It was a quick read, only 2 semi-committed days, but a good one! I loved Scrambled Eggs at Midnight, and Dream Factory, so I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed this book, too.
The Cupcake Queen is narrated by a girl named Penny Lane (Beatles reference). How strange is it that I've read two books with a main character named Penny Lane in the last month (The Lonely Hearts Club)? Penny is an almost fourteen-year-old who has just moved from the big city (Manhattan) to the tiny town of Hog's Hollow, following her parents separation. As if things aren't hard enough already, Penny finds herself immediately hated and bullied by the popular girl in school, for reasons she doesn't even know, and practically ignored by her mother who doesn't know how to tell Penny that the separation is moving toward divorce. As Penny tries to figure out life in this strange town (that actually crowns a "Hog Queen" ever year) she finds herself meeting new friends, and a cute boy, who help her to overcome her problems, and help her look past herself at the problems of those she loves. Ultimately Penny has to make a choice: does she stay in Hog's Hollow with her mom and her new friends, or does she return to NYC and the life she knew and loved.
Parents need to know that this was a very clean book! The only issues are the bullying of Penny, Penny's parents divorce, and a blossoming relationship with a boy (clean). For the full content review, check out Parental Book Reviews.