There’s Cake in my Future by Kim Gruenenfelder
First impression: Let’s dust off the cover…
Last impression: I wish there was a LITTLE more
Format: Paperback on sale from B&N / 360 pages
Publishing Info: December 21, 2010 / Goodreads
Other books read by author: None
After listening to her closest friends’ latest travails in love, parenting, and careers, superstitious bride-to-be Nicole (Nic) believes she has the perfect recipe for everyone’s happiness: a bridal shower “cake pull” in which each ribboned silver charm planted in her cake will bring its recipient the magical assistance she needs to change her destiny. Melissa (Mel), still ringless after dating the same man for six years, deserves the engagement ring charm. The red hot chili pepper would be perfect for Seema, who is in love with her best male friend Scott, but can’t seem to make their relationship more than platonic. And recently laid off journalist Nic wants the shovel, which symbolizes hard work, to help her get her career back on track. Nic does everything she can to control who gets which silver keepsake – as well as the future it represents. But when the charmed cake is mysteriously shifted from the place settings Nic arranged around it, no one gets the charm she chose for them. And when the other party guests’ fortunes begin coming true, Mel, Seema, and Nic can’t help but wonder…. Is the cake trying to tell them something?
Review: When I saw this book at Barnes & Noble for less than $5, I knew I needed to have it. I haven’t read a lot of adult fiction books lately, but this one was a nice break from the YA. The plot summary sounds so unique and interesting. A bride-to-be, Nicole, organizes a cake pull for her friends at her bridal shower. She rigs it so that the girls receive exactly the charms they’d be best suited for: the engagement ring for Mel, whose boyfriend of six years STILL hasn’t asked to marry him; the red hot chili pepper for Seema, who has been in love with her best friend Scott for a long time; and the shovel for Nicole, who needs some luck in finding a new job and getting her career back on track. When each person accidentally picks the wrong charm, each person at the shower finds their fortune coming true. What is Mel going to do with a chili pepper charm when she doesn’t need any hot lovin’ in her life? She already has a boyfriend. What is Seema’s life going to be like now that she has the shovel? Her career is already in a good place. How does Nic feel about the baby carriage, when she doesn’t feel ready to be a mother yet? This book alternates between the perspectives of all three women as their lives begin to change. I didn’t really feel super attached to the characters and didn’t feel like the girls were developed too much. The author primarily showed what their daily lives and thoughts looked like, but we didn’t get much information about their actual personalities. A lot of the characterization and plot moved forward with cliches, which you actually come to expect from “chick lit” like this. I sat here for a second trying to think of which character was my favorite, and honestly I couldn’t pick one. I didn’t care about any of the three girls that much. I liked them and didn’t have any adverse feelings towards them, but none of them stuck out as my favorite. Seema was harboring a longtime crush on her best friend Scott and struggles with his new girlfriend. Scott REALLY pissed me off. He was constantly making sweeping generalizations about women and what they’re like. I despise when guys do this. I honestly couldn’t find any redeeming qualities in him that would make Seema be so fucking obsessed with. Move on and find a guy who isn’t a borderline misogynist. I liked Mel in her quest to follow her heart and come to terms with what is happening in her love life. I felt for her; I’d been in her position (in some ways) before. She was a little crazy at times but nothing too annoying. Nicole, the final girl, liked to complain a lot about her life while simultaneously loving it. Her soon-to-be husband had two daughters from his previous marriage and she struggled in her role as stepmother. I’m not sure what her deal was because the kids obviously liked her and she did a pretty good job at it. The book opens with her getting “cold feet” before the ceremony, then goes back in time to the shower and continues from there. I’m truly not sure why she got cold feet. She loved her fiancee, her stepkids, and almost everything else in her life; she really had no reason to hesitate. She barely elaborated on why she was hesitating either. Overall, this was a very cute book with likable characters that you only came to know on a superficial level. The end left things somewhat open-ended, but I wasn’t too upset about it. You get enough closure in the previous chapters for the most part. I give this a very high 3.5 stars because I did enjoy reading it. I think it was a brilliant concept but wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. Despite all of my complaints, I would actually recommend this to people who enjoy chick lit.