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The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer
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The Wedding Cake Girl

by Anne Pfeffer

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Can Anne Pfeffer write a bad book? The answer is - NO!

I read this both excited, because I loved [b:Any Other Night|14059049|Any Other Night|Anne Pfeffer|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337973763s/14059049.jpg|19695037] so much, and with dread, because I loved [b:Any Other Night|14059049|Any Other Night|Anne Pfeffer|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337973763s/14059049.jpg|19695037] so much. I just didn't think it would even come close. Was I ever more wrong?

Alex is such a great girl, and so well-rounded I could easily relate to her. The author does a great job of layering her personality, I almost felt like I knew her. She has all these hopes and dreams and you can see that she's destined for something big, but she has a weird relationship with her friend, Zack, a mom that is the child in their family, and to top it all, they're practically always broke. I really felt for her because it all seemed so hopeless. Good thing she is stubborn, too, because she doesn't let anything bring her down.

I didn't like Zack, from the beginning. I couldn't help it, I just thought she deserved better than him. It felt like he just wanted to be with her because he was feeling like he would lose her as a friend if he didn't.
What I really didn't like about him was the whole Rosie thing. It just made him a weak, confused boy in my eyes.
I thought Alex would eventually end up with him anyways, and I was all ready to hate on this book because of it.


The Jeremy thing was a shocker. Because I was rooting for him. So kudos to Anne Pfeffer for totally surprising me. Speaking of which, I loved Jeremy. She does the same thing she did with Ryan in [b:Any Other Night|14059049|Any Other Night|Anne Pfeffer|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337973763s/14059049.jpg|19695037] - he comes from money, he has all these things on a silver platter, but it doesn't define him. To me, this is more than a good character, he felt real.

The ending was just perfect.
We don't even get a lot of time with him, but I warmed up to him instantly.

It is wonderfully written. There's good chemistry between the characters, beautiful descriptions of this little island, and there's real conflict in the way Alex wants to break her ties with where she comes from, but she still feels like it is a big part of her and it's hard to leave it all behind.

If you liked [b:Any Other Night|14059049|Any Other Night|Anne Pfeffer|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1337973763s/14059049.jpg|19695037], you will love this, too. I definitely recommend reading it!
Actually, I think I may need a sequel for this. I just want to know where the story goes. ( )
  AriBookzilla | Sep 21, 2013 |
I received a copy of this book from the author, for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and conclusions are honestly given and entirely my responsibility. This book review was requested by Freebooksyreviews.

Alex is a soon to be senior in high school, an exceptional science student with dreams of becoming a marine biologist, if being far too involved in managing a very irresponsible and manipulative mother doesn’t derail her dreams. At almost 18, she has never been off the island; her only escape is scuba diving, an activity her mother despises. Her mother, Sue, has an amazing talent and love for making and decorating wedding cakes, but no skill or willingness to manage her own business; leaving all of the “details” to Alex.

We see Alex “parent” her mother, waking her up, managing the business, baking the cakes, delivering them, and deferring to her mother in all things. What has been done, that is clear from the start of the novel, is that Alex feels she is the only person who is both willing to, and understands just how much care her mother requires.

While tangled relationships are not easily portrayed or defined, the author has done a fabulous job of creating in Sue, a character that is the example of “what not to do” to your child. Her fears of being alone have trumped her capabilities, leaning on Alex to such a degree that the child is literally convinced if she doesn’t do all that she has taken on in the home, that they will be homeless, penniless and it will be her fault. To that end, I was completely unsympathetic and disliked Sue with a near visceral reaction. Her actions are selfish and her temper hair-trigger, placing her daughter in a position that lying, either directly or by omission, is the far simpler option when attempting to live her life.

You will cheer for Alex’s triumphs, and there is a real sense of ache and loss when things don’t go her way. And then we hit the one place of the story that I had issues with. While it’s really a wonderful concept to believe that “deserving” something, and actually achieving it in the real world is often two very different things. Throughout the story there are little events where Alex “wins” in the battle between her wants and her grasping and controlling mother, but the situations converged in such a “fairy tale” happy ending way that I found it rather unrealistic. And to that point each character and scene was so realistically crafted and real that I was torn at the end. Yes, I believe that Alex’s 18 years of struggle were deserving of reward and happiness – perhaps it was a feeling of too much positive and I was left with wanting to know what happened next; when the other shoe would drop.

I have been a YA fan since my daughter was young, and I felt it part of my job as a parent to be aware of what she was interested in reading, and have some ‘forewarning’ about the subjects tackled in the books. I still read YA with an eye to the “parent” role, being hyper aware of language, sexual situations and characters, as well as writing style and skill. This is a book I would happily and wholeheartedly recommend to all readers, young or not so young. While there are several ‘important’ characters, and I have seen fit only to concentrate on the two main players – each character is treated with a deference and detail that defines them as they relate to the whole story with great skill. The writing was both smooth and tight – I literally read the entire book in one sitting: more because I needed to know what happens next. There was only one typo that stopped my flow of reading for a moment, otherwise if there were errors – they went unnoticed. Anne Pfeffer has certainly found a niche for her style of storytelling, and there are 2 other titles in this genre available… I suggest you rush to the link and get them !
( )
  IamIndeed | Mar 29, 2013 |
I received this book for free from Ereader News Today, it had looked interesting and I thought why not. I was very glad that I got this book, it turned out to be a good read. It makes you question yourself, your abilities, your mother skills, while giving you an entertaining story. You can't help but to admire Alex, she knows what she wants and works towards it in spite of her mother's road blocks. Yet, you can also see her mother's point of view, what parent doesn't worry over their children, especially when they have a dangerous interest and hobby. ( )
  tapiona | Nov 1, 2012 |
** I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That being said, let’s continue to the review. I didn’t expect to like this book. I thought it would be too juvenile for my tastes. Instead, I was hooked as soon as I started reading it. I felt the main character Alex was driven, by both her love of oceanography and diving, and her love of her mother.

However, as much as I felt conected to Alex, I felt myself questioning my own mothering abilities, as I put myself up against Alex’s mother. Would I get rid of the object of my daughter’s love if I was afraid she could die from it? Can’t you die from anything? Could I trust my daughter’s judgement? Would I, could I ever be that dependent on my own daughter, and put that much responsibility on her shoulders as a teenager?

And yet, as much as I understand the ending, I don’t agree with it as a mother. But that’s just me. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil it.

The fact that this book made me question and self-reflect upon my maternal abilities definitely gives it a high rating. Life-changing? No. A great read for an adult? Yes. A great read for a teenager/YA? Definitely. ( )
  Ravenaier | Aug 25, 2012 |
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