Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: "There's Cake in My Future" by Kim Gruenenfelder

Superstitious bride-to-be Nicole (Nic) decides to rig the cake pull at her bridal shower in order to give her friends' futures a boost in the right direction. She rigs it that her friend Melissa (Mel) will get the engagement ring charm so that her unable-to-commit boyfriend Fred will finally pop the question. For Seema, Nic chooses the hot chili pepper charm so that she will engage in a red-hot love affair. For herself, Nic chooses the shovel charm in the hopes that she will find a new job as she's been laid off from her old one which she loved. When the cake is positioned incorrectly all three women, as well as the other women at the bridal shower, receive the wrong charms. Seema gets the shovel, Mel gets the chili pepper, and Nic gets the *gasp* baby carriage charm. Even though Seema and Mel think that the idea of a cake pull and charms is silly, even they can't ignore when the other women that were at the shower start having their cake pull fortunes come true. Suddenly everything has changed for the three friends and they can do nothing about it but hold on for the ride.

I started There's Cake in My Future this week when I was looking for something light and fun to read. My younger son went in for (minor) surgery this morning and I knew that I wouldn't want to be reading anything too heavy while we got ready for that. Cake.... fit the bill perfectly and was a humorous, engaging read. It tells the stories of three of the women, Nic, Seema, and Mel. Nic is busy dealing with her new role of full-time step-parent as well as her lack of paying employment, Mel is coming to terms with the fact that her boyfriend Fred is not who he appears to be, and Seema has an all-out crush on her best male friend. Each chapter is a part of the story from the point of the view of one of the women, and I love that despite the fact that the women were all around the same age, they all had very different stories to tell, and they meshed beautifully.

I appreciated all three of the characters and their personal dilemmas, but I especially related to Nic's story. Recently married, she essentially has her two new step-daughters dumped into her care full-time when their mom accepts a job out-of-state. It's clear that Nic loves the girls and is happy to be their "bonus mom", but she's also having trouble dealing with the instant parenthood aspect of her new marriage. As a mom to three I can agree that parenting is rarely easy and I appreciated her candid reflection of that. Seema's story was my next favourite. She has a huge crush on her best male friend, Scott, and isn't quite sure what to do about it. I found it harder to relate to Mel's story- she's a new addition to the dating scene and is determined to get out there and get her feet wet.

What stuck me the most about their story is that all three of the women seemed real. None of them was too perfect, and each had flaws and insecurities like most of the women I know. Their individual weaknesses skewed each one of their stories enough that they were all unique yet I was able to relate to them in some way.

My only complaint would be that this was a rather short book, and it wrapped up a bit too quickly for me. It seemed like one moment they were dealing with their problems, and the next, WHAM, the problems were solved and all of their story lines were wrapped up neatly. I could have used a little more development in the middle but this didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.

I would recommend this one to anyone looking for a light, fun read about dating, love, parenting and friendship. I certainly enjoyed it!

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge, 2011 RYOB Challenge, 2011 E-Book Challenge

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