Friday, September 14, 2012

Review / Excerpt / Giveaway: The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer

Title: The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer
Published: July 24th, 2012 by Bold Print Press
Source: Received for Review for Blog Tour
Format: PDF
Grade rate: B-

Seventeen year old Alexandra spends so much time helping others realize their dreams that she never has time for her own. An expert ocean diver and reluctant maker of wedding cakes, she longs to leave roses and frosting behind to study oceanography. Alex’s mother won’t have it—needy and dependent, Mom can’t run the family wedding cake business on her own.

No matter what Alex does, things only get worse for her. When she risks her life to save a tourist while scuba diving and becomes the local hero, Mom's angry with Alex for going diving at all. Mom also discourages Alex's new friendship with the insanely wealthy Jeremy, a fun boy with a secret. Then, Alex's best friend, Zack, a hunky island guy, starts to take an interest in her as well. The problem is, he's dating another girl.

As Alex struggles to learn where she stands between her two difficult and confusing Prince Charmings, it occurs to her that maybe what she really needs is a Prince Charming for Mom. If she doesn't do something, she will make cakes all her life and die in her "Sue's Wedding Cakery" apron with a spatula in her hand.

This story features a colorful island setting, dangerous underwater diving adventures,a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of buttercream. It is Alex's journey toward not only finding love, but learning how to step forward and take control of her own life, a rite of passage that faces all young readers.

My Review

Sometimes I feel like accepting a book for review or a blog tour is type of gamble or as the wise Forest Gump would say about a box of chocolates ‘you never know what you’re going to get’.  I have to say that the gamble paid off as I enjoyed The Wedding Cake Girl.

Alex was a bit hard to identify with.  She is a good friend and tries to be a good, honest person too.  She is ambitious, which is a good thing and has a clear focus on her life.  The problem is that her mom is not supportive at all.  I understand that the relationship between mom and daughter is somewhat complicated and not altogether healthy and that might be why Alex is so insecure.  BUT this is my main issue with Alex: She is really whiny.  She has self esteem issues and it shows.  It is also strange that she has not left the island or have any close friends (not even in on-line).

Now, about the boys in the story: Alex’s only friend (at least at the beginning) is Zack and I just couldn’t like him.  He wasn’t there for Alex when she needed him and was trying to be with her for all the wrong reasons.  On the other hand, I just love Jeremy, he is a true friend and really understands Alex.  Chris is okay, he has a lot in common with Alex, but he’s introduced almost at the end and we don’t have a lot of time to get to know him.
Alex’s mom is childish, immature and somewhat abusive of Alex. I am glad that she found someone to keep her 'grounded', but I don't like the idea that a woman needs a man in order to make the right decisions.  Other characters were well developed as well.  

The plot is simple, but interesting enough to keep me reading.  I really enjoyed the banter between Alex and Jeremy.  The writing was easy to read and follow. Overall, The Wedding Cake Girl makes a good story of self discovery, and coming of age.

About the cover:  The cover doesn’t do this book justice, I wouldn’t have picked the book up, just based on the cover. I can’t identify with the girl at all, it’s not what I pictured Alex looks like or even something she might wear.

Where to find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Now for an Excerpt of The Wedding Cake Girl:

Someone with a whimsical imagination must have named the streets in Paradise. I head down Cinnamon Street to Carousel Avenue and turn left. It takes me all of one minute to get to Dizzy's Dive. Fishnets full of carefully preserved sea life cover the walls. Amidst the motionless crabs and swordfish, a soccer game blares from ten TVs. Brazil's playing Italy.
I squeeze my way through the tables. Zack's already sitting at the counter. Technically, since Dizzy's is a full-fledged liquor-slinging establishment, Zack and I are not allowed on the premises. But seeing as how Dizzy Malone is Zack's uncle, and Spike Malone, Zack's dad, is Chief of Police, there's no one to turn us in or arrest us. Zack and I have been hanging at Dizzy's since we were little, slugging down sodas and sitting near Dizzy at the bar, where he could keep an eye on us.
Zack listens to the person beside him, grinning broadly, his smile white against his tan. I love the way he's always himself, always calm and centered. A couple of girls walk by, checking him out, but he's waving to me.
It's okay if Zack's with Rosie, I try to convince myself. After all, I was the one who stupidly said it was better to be just friends.
Three months ago, Zack and I went mountain biking and stopped to rest on a hillside. I lay in a patch of sun with my eyes closed, while Zack walked around nearby. I heard him rustling in the grass, but didn't know what he was doing until I sat up, opened my eyes, and found him holding out a bunch of wildflowers. To me.
I leaned forward, admiring the island poppies and Arroyo lupine in his hand. "The flowers are great this spring, with all the rain we've gotten!" Then I looked up.
He had a half-embarrassed, half-determined expression on his face. "They're for you," he said.
"Oh!" In shock, I took them and sat there, looking down at them, not knowing what to say.
"I thought that maybe I should ask you out on a date. That is," he added, "if you're interested." He put on this "just-kidding" expression that masked the shy and serious Zack underneath and gave him an escape route if needed.
But the word "date" meant one thing: my mother and her men. I would never live in that world or let it touch what I had with Zack.
"I don't do dates!" The words flew out of me. I scrambled to my feet, the flowers falling from my hand. "Your friendship means too much to me."
"Yeah, I know, me too," he said, suddenly busy brushing off his shorts with angry little strokes.
"Zack, I...." I knew I'd hurt him, but I didn't know how to undo what I'd done. "Now I've dropped your flowers!" I wailed, trying to pick them up out of the long grass.
"Don't worry about it." He stalked off toward his mountain bike.
"Forget it." He asked Rosie out the very next day.
I haven't been able to fix my mistake. We're still friends and diving partners, but it's not the same. 

About the author:  Anne Pfeffer lives in Los Angeles near a large rotating neon chicken head with her daughter and her dachshund Taco.

Now for the Giveaway!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*


  1. Hi Liza! Thank you for your review and offering this book as a giveaway! ^.^

  2. I agree with you Liza, the cover doesn't draw me to the book. However, your positive review and the synopsis does. This sounds like a cut little love story, and hopefully the so character gets her mother out of her hair! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    Lindy Gomez

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. You never really do know what you're going to get with a box of chocolates! Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. The book sounds great!Thanks for the giveaway! :)


I love comments! Please leave me one and I will try to reply as soon as I can. Liza


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