Cupcakes & Dreams: A Piece of Cake Review

tumblr_m1tpzwAFLa1qdbzgno1_400The thing about being in a #onewomanbookclub and reviewing the books you read, is knowing which ones to write about and which ones to let slip by.

I wasn’t sure if it was even worth reviewing this one, but then, when I mentioned I was reading it, lots of people proclaimed it was their favourite book or otherwise was “Amazing!”.

Which interests me, since I didn’t really enjoy it.

Based on the real life events in the life of Cupcake Brown, an eleven year old girl in San Diego, whose life takes a heartbreaking turn for the worse when she finds her beloved mother dead one morning.

A tale of a young child let down in spectacular ways by the system, beaten, sexually abused and ultimately left to fend for herself, it’s no surprise when she turns to drink and drugs to numb the pain.

I get that this is a tale of hope and that in the end Cupcake fights back, which is incredible; a story always worth reading. But, and I understand it’s a memoir written in the authentic voice of a young girl from the Ghetto, it’s terrible.

I can’t get on board this kind of prose at all. All the “then I said, he said this, then I said this and then, little did I know the tragedy to come” is not for me . The writing is horrific and the rambling makes it dull, too.

That said, the fact that it’s completely unpolished made it more ‘real’ and says more about the strength of the story than the writing. I finished it because I wanted to know that how Cupcake came to save her own life.IMG_20140423_145125

I will say that for a while, I didn’t even like the main character. Beyond her very young years, Cupcake becomes a hard girl and it’s difficult to recognise the good heart within. This is justifiable of course, and had I experienced even a quarter of what she has in life, I’d be kind of a bitch too.

This all changes when she finally seeks help. The journey from waking up behind a dumpster to a life of total sobriety is not an easy one and she experiences many bumps along the way. But she gets there.

Although I just wasn’t that into Cupcake and her story, I did well up at the end and am glad I finished it. It’s a shame though because I wanted to love it more.

Sadly, I have read better, well-written books of a similar nature in the past and would probably recommend them over this. (I read a great one years ago and can’t for the life of me remember it’s name).

Book details:

  • A Piece of Cake: A Memoir
  • Publisher: Bantam (2 Oct 2006)
  • ISBN-10: 0553818171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553818178
  • Bought paperback (secondhand)

4 thoughts on “Cupcakes & Dreams: A Piece of Cake Review

  1. I read this book a few years ago and quite enjoyed it – especially as she was a ‘functioning’ drug addict, and the cycle of drugs that she took to counteract the last. I found it quite interesting.


  2. I agree with your review. I read it about a year ago and I was pretty disappointed, somewhere along the middle I had to force myself to complete it. Like you said, it did have its moments but I wouldn’t recommend it personally, or ever read it again.


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