How to Eat a Cupcake: A Novel

How to Eat a Cupcake: A Novel

by Meg Donohue

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062069283
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 685,363
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Meg Donohue is the USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake, All the Summer Girls, and Dog Crazy. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, three children, and dog.

What People are Saying About This

Rebecca Rasmussen

“Deliciously engaging. Donohue writes with charm and grace. What could be better than friendship and cupcakes?”

Katie Crouch

“[A] sparkling, witty story. Donohue’s voice is lovely, intelligent, and alluring. Grab one of these for your best friend and read it together—preferably with a plate of Meyer Lemon cupcakes nearby.”

Beth Kendrick

“An irresistible blend of sweet and tart, this book is truly a treat to be savored.”

Sarah Jio

“Beautifully written and quietly wise, Meg Donohue’s How to Eat a Cupcake is an achingly honest portrayal of the many layers of friendship—a story so vividly told, you can (almost) taste the buttercream.”

Zoe Fishman

“A heartwarming and unpredictable tale of friendship, family and frosting.”

Customer Reviews

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How to Eat a Cupcake: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 135 reviews.
KimballSK More than 1 year ago
How to Eat a Cupcake is told from both of the perspectives of Julia and Annie, old high school friends who parted ways after a mishap their senior year. Sometimes, this literary technique of multiple perspectives can go wrong, but in How to Eat a Cupcake it flows perfectly. Each character has such a distinct voice: Julia distant and troubled, Annie hilarious and sometimes sad, but always sassy. As we have been taught, there are two sides to every story and I like that Donohue chose to let us see both of these POV's come together, from their awkward reunion, to clashing flashbacks and current mutual understandings. Annie and Julia are unlikely friends from the beginning and only by forgiving and understanding each other can they remain so. They come together to start a cupcakery and the descriptions of the shop and the sweets were so detailed that I longed for a cupcake ASAP! Throughout How to Eat a Cupcake, several mysteries begin to unfold: one from their shared past and destruction of their friendship in their high school years, one involving Annie's mom and her missing recipe book and another that threatens their burgeoning business and possibly their lives. A couple of love interests float in and out and in again, but this book is not a romance. The real relationship being dissected in detail in How to Eat a Cupcake is the bond between friends and the trust and understanding needed to put a broken friendship back together again. Donohue has put together a perfect cupcake of a novel. The story has many levels: sweet, tart, spicy and mellow. What a great treat to curl up and pass the time with!
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Are you looking for a book that is centered around friendship and will take you on a journey with two friends who are reconnecting? This book would be the one to pick up and read and pass onto a friend. The book hops between both main characters points of view with ease - Julia is the organized, behind the counter, saleswoman who is trying to find out what her future should look like and Annie has always felt left out, but can bake like the dickens! (Yes, I used dickens in a review!) They are friends from the past, but history and drama has separated them. Although this book had some predictability to it, the overall story and writing were superb, so I didn't mind that I knew where it was headed. A sweet (in more ways than one) book that friends of all ages can enjoy.
mommybooknerd More than 1 year ago
Donohue has blasted her debut novel right out of the ballpark. It was moving, believable, well written and real. The characters were well developed and despite their imperfections you found yourself rooting for them, grieving with them, celebrating with them...just simply feeling for them throughout the entire novel. The novel was perfectly paced and it kept me engaged from start to finish. Just when I thought I may have figured things out Donohue threw me for a loop. I am so excited to see what else Donohue has in store for us as readers. One thing I know for sure is that she has talent and staying power! I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So much better than I expected. I loved the writing style with the different perspectives. I craved cupcakes when I was done!
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Annie Quintana and Julia St. Clair as a different as night is to day. Separated by ten years, the two find themselves brought together once again. Julia St. Clair is ambitious, sophisticated and is very wealthy. The only daughter of the St. Clair family, she is in the planning process of her wedding to Wesley, a Southern businessman but is hiding a secret she must tell him before she marries. Julia finds herself with time on her hands now that she has quit her job to move back home to San Francisco to begin planning her wedding with her mother, Lolly. Annie Quintana has been used to taking the back seat in life, especially when it comes to Julia or the St. Clair family. Annie's mother Lucia was the housekeeper for the St. Clair's and also became a close personal friend to Lolly during the time she worked there. Annie grew up with Julia since they lived in a small apartment on the St. Clair estate and was provided for by the St. Clair family. Attending the same schools as Julia since they were both only children. It made sense for them to be friends. Lucia died in the kitchen after having a brain aneurism and after attending the funeral and dealing with issues in high school, the girls grew apart. Now that Annie has been asked by Lolly St. Clair to cater her party by bringing her delicious cupcakes, Annie and Julia are reunited. By this reunion isn't a warm one. The reader gets a sense that something more has happened between the two girls and as they begin to make plans to go into the cupcake business together, the reader is taken on a journey between alternate points of view between Julia and Annie. As they come to terms with how they can work together in running this business, the reader gets a sense that all is not what it seems to be. Annie is warm and hard working, trying to find a way to make her cupcake business a success while still working through some unresolved issues with Julia that happened in high school. Julia on the other hand remains distant from wedding plans, avoids confrontation with Annie over what issues she has with her, and seeks solace in sharing drinks with her ex boyfriend Jake Logan. I received How To Eat A Cupcake by Meg Donahue compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. The beginning of the book starts off pretty slow for me trying to figure out where these two fit into each other's lives but about 1/3 of the way through the story picks up. I related to Annie the most, having been raised in Julia's shadow most of her life, she seeks resolution with Julia before she can move forward but Julia is constantly changing the subject or passes it off without realizing the impact it had on Annie's childhood. Julia is a bit self absorbed and likes to be the center of attention, seeking to remain at the top of whatever event is going on at the time. I really liked this book because it portrays a unique connection between the two women who come from different walks of life but are drawn together in a compelling way. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this one for a great summer read. The only thing missing were some recipes for these delicious cupcakes that are invented along the way!
anniemichelle More than 1 year ago
I finished How to Eat a Cupcake late last night propped up in bed and drooling on my pillow! A delightfully delicious sweet story of rekindled friendship with a little romance & mystery stirred in...:) This is the story of Annie & Julia. Best friends from very different worlds who grow up together. They grow apart through childhood hurts and losses, go their separate ways & at a turning point in both their lives end up coming together again. Through the love of cupcakes and family they manage to build a thriving "Cupcakery", find love and the friendship they thought was lost along the way. I do have one complaint...You need to include some of those mouth watering cupcake recipes!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this authors writing. Easy light hearted read about friendship and family, with just enough mystery to keep you turning pages instead of turning out the light. Will definately look for more from this author. Would highly reccomend this book and definately pickup and read again.
olympicgram More than 1 year ago
This book was not at all what I was expecting from the title. However it was more than I was hoping for. It is fun, sometimes sentamental and mysterious. I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Julia and Annie's story was sweet and interesting. I was worried this would be predictable, but I was happily surprised with the entire story. I couldn't decide which character to root for, but by the end of this book I was seriously voting for both Julia and Annie. One thing missing......cupcake recipes....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wasn't at all confident in a book that cost $3, but I'm very glad I gave it a chance. It's a cute story, if a bit fluffy and predictable. I really liked it though. I was instantly hooked! And despite being mostly predictable, the twist at the end was entirely unexpected!! I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a little distraction in their life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How to Eat a Cupcake is written from the perspectives of Annie and Julia, unlikely childhood friends who previously had a falling out in high school. Ten years later, they decide to open a cupcake shop together knowing they have unresolved issues between them. The story of the two girls' struggles to find and understand themselves to begin the journey back to each other and a lasting friendship is filled with mishaps, dark moments, a mysterious death and learning to trust and love again. Author Meg Donohue manages to include all of these factors sprinkled with delicious prose focused on the heaven that is Annie's cupcake creations. Oddly enough, Annie's love of creating delectable pastries and Julia's desperate desire to eat every crumb is the common ground that brings them back together. This book managed to be funny, delicious, dark and heart warming all at once. It's definitely one of my favorite reads this year.
NanaM11 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book it was my first from Meg Donohue and looked up more books by her to read since I enjoyed this one so much. It kept your attention and had surprises along the way. I would recommend it for sure.
bookgirlTC More than 1 year ago
Julia and Annie grew up together. Annie's mother, Lucia, was Julia's nanny and became the family cook. They became estranged at 18 and it's now ten years later. Julia is a successful business woman who's recently moved home to San Francisco to plan her wedding and Annie is a successful baker with a growing reputation. Julia's mother has hired Annie to supply cupcakes for her charity event and the two reunite. Julia, who's bored, suggests a business proposition to Annie: open a cupcakery, funded by Julia's money and Annie's incredible baking talent. The book is about how they resolve the rift that tore their friendship apart 10 years ago. I found it slow-going at first. Annie hates Julia for something she thinks Julia did and Julia is depressed over something that's recently happened in her life. Both instances are hinted at, but, it's not until the last 80 or so pages that we find out what happened. Overall, I enjoyed the book, I just wish we'd gotten to the heart of the matter sooner - oh, and there was a twist I didn't see coming.
girlfromwvirginia More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. The characters grew up and into each others' lives. It was very well written and I enjoyed reading it. It is her first novel and I will certainly read her next one. I wasn't sure what to expect but I wasn't disappointed. I loved the title, the cover, and what Sarah Jio wrote in her comments about the book.
yukon92 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
A somewhat predictable ending, but a very good read!
debnance on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Annie and Julia grew up together in the same house, almost like sisters. Almost, but not quite. Julia¿s parents owned the house the two lived in and employed Annie¿s mother as the housekeeper. Annie and Julia were friends until gossip, initiated and then shared by Julia and her friends, almost ruined Annie¿s life.Time passes and Annie and Julia meet again and Julia decides to help Annie open a cupcake shop. Hard feelings still exist and Annie and Julia must work at their new relationship if the renewed friendship and the cupcake shop are to succeed.There are lots of things to like about this book. It¿s wonderful to read a story that takes place in a cupcake shop. It¿s wonderful to read about all the amazing ideas Annie has for cupcake (Key lime cupcakes¿Moroccan vanilla bean and pumpkin spice cupcakes¿lemonade cupcakes with hot pink Swiss meringue buttercream icing¿Do you see what I mean?) It¿s always wonderful to read a story about people working on a difficult relationship. And the story is full of mysteries, and that¿s always fun. Thank you to the publisher who sent this book for review.
julyso on LibraryThing 29 days ago
How to Eat a Cupcake is about two childhood friends who reconnect after a long estrangement. Annie Quintana is a pastry chef who bakes amazing cupcakes and is haunted by the loss of her mother. Julia is a businesswoman engaged to be married, but who is keeping a secret from all who love her. Julia and Annie decide to open a cupcakery together. They have lots to overcome...long ago betrayals, hidden secrets, and a threat from someone unknown...I loved reading How to Eat a Cupcake....I was in with just the title!!! Annie and Julia are both terrific characters, both likeable, yet frustrating at times. Their friendship feels real and I loved their story.
elbakerone on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Annie and Julia were born into opposite stations - Annie to an Ecuadorian immigrant and Julia to a rich prep-school family - but as nanny to Julia, Annie's mother raised them both and as children they were practically sisters. High school antics drove them apart and after Annie's mother died, the two girls went their separate ways: Annie to pursue independent culinary dreams and Julia to business school.As grown woman, the two cross paths again and though Annie is reluctant to place any trust in her old friend, Julia's wealth and business savvy hold the keys to making Annie's dream of owning her own cupcake shop a reality. Entering into a an uneasy partnership, the two find that their past of hurt, betrayals, and buried secrets soon surfaces. Annie and Julia must decide if they can overcome their differences amidst a new barrage of business challenges and threats to their shop and possibly even find their childhood friendship rekindled along the way.Meg Donohue cooks up a winning recipe of friendship, and family, blended with puzzling mysteries in this heartwarming novel. The title How to Eat a Cupcake refers to the different styles each character has of consuming pastries perfectly and though Annie and Julia are as different as chocolate mocha and vanilla bean, each is a delightful heroine in the novel. Reminiscent of the works of Sarah Addison Allen, this was a book that brings descriptions to life in tastes and smells along with sights and sounds and if there's anything bad I have to say about this novel it's that it will certainly leave readers hungry for a cupcake after reading!
ethel55 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
This kind of started out as many chick lit novels do, with two young women who grew up as best friends who had a major falling out during the mean girl high school years. Fast forward ten years to the beginning of the novel, and through family connections (Lolly St. Claire, Julia's mother) Annie has arrived at their home for the first time in a long time, cupcakes in tow for Lolly's charity event. Julia has recently quit her job and moved back home before her upcoming wedding. Enamoured of Annie's baking skills, Julia proposes that she will fund a cupcake business for Annie, just to give her something to do until the wedding. The novels proceeds along a winding path, but it's a good path, where we learn along with Julia and Annie what kind of strong friendship and family they have. A background story of vandalism at their shop comes to a neat conclusion as well. The deeper I read into the book, the more I appreciated the fragility of it. This was really a surprisingly wonderful read.
momofzandc2003 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
As much as I really wanted to, I just couldn't finish this book. I picked it up several times since receiving it and just couldn't get into the storyline.
suetu on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I gained weight with every pageI live in San Francisco, where this novel is so evocatively set. After the coldest, dreariest, rainiest week ever, I felt I deserved a treat. I pulled How to Eat a Cupcake off the shelf.At the novel¿s heart, are two very different women with a shared past. Annie Quintana grew up in the carriage house of the St. Clair¿s Pacific Heights mansion. Her mother, Lucia, was the nanny to Julia St. Clair, and the two girls were raised practically as sisters. They were the closest of friends until a rift in their teen years. The last time they¿d seen each other was at Lucia¿s funeral, a decade prior.As the novel opens, Annie and Julia live very different lives. Annie is a baker who has finally accepted a catering job from Julia¿s mother, Lolly. What she doesn¿t know is that her erstwhile friend has left New York¿s high finance whirl and has moved home for the month¿s leading up to her wedding. They have an awkward (and engineered) reunion at Lolly¿s party.And that would have been that, perhaps, but Julia needs something to do with herself that doesn¿t involve wedding planning and nurturing the secret she¿s keeping from her fiancé and the world. In the midst of a sugar high, she proposes to Annie that they collaborate on opening a cupcake shop. Despite her distrust of Julia, Annie can¿t pass up the opportunity to make her dreams come true. And so an uneasy alliance is born.As the two women work together towards a common goal, they work to heal their fractured relationship. There are many allusions to past wrongs before the full story is eventually teased out, and there are an equal number of ominous foreshadowings, because not everyone seems to want these two to succeed. Beyond that there are subplots about men, parents, business, and many, many references to delicious cupcakes! I will warn you now, the cravings became unbearable. Kara¿s Cupcakes, That Takes the Cake, American Cupcake, I hit them all! Let this serve as a warning to all dieters.The fact that debut novelist Meg Donohue¿s prose was tempting enough to send me to multiple bakeries speaks volumes. In many ways, How to Eat a Cupcake is fairly typical women¿s fiction. There really weren¿t too many big surprises along the way, but that¿s not why I was reading it. Sometimes some semi-formulaic entertainment is exactly what you¿re looking for. For me, in the midst of some god-awful dreary weather, it was exactly the literary comfort food I needed.
ReviewsFromTheHeart on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Annie Quintana and Julia St. Clair as a different as night is to day. Separated by ten years, the two find themselves brought together once again. Julia St. Clair is ambitious, sophisticated and is very wealthy. The only daughter of the St. Clair family, she is in the planning process of her wedding to Wesley, a Southern businessman but is hiding a secret she must tell him before she marries. Julia finds herself with time on her hands now that she has quit her job to move back home to San Francisco to begin planning her wedding with her mother, Lolly.Annie Quintana has been used to taking the back seat in life, especially when it comes to Julia or the St. Clair family. Annie's mother Lucia was the housekeeper for the St. Clair's and also became a close personal friend to Lolly during the time she worked there. Annie grew up with Julia since they lived in a small apartment on the St. Clair estate and was provided for by the St. Clair family. Attending the same schools as Julia since they were both only children. It made sense for them to be friends. Lucia died in the kitchen after having a brain aneurism and after attending the funeral and dealing with issues in high school, the girls grew apart.Now that Annie has been asked by Lolly St. Clair to cater her party by bringing her delicious cupcakes, Annie and Julia are reunited. By this reunion isn't a warm one. The reader gets a sense that something more has happened between the two girls and as they begin to make plans to go into the cupcake business together, the reader is taken on a journey between alternate points of view between Julia and Annie.As they come to terms with how they can work together in running this business, the reader gets a sense that all is not what it seems to be. Annie is warm and hard working, trying to find a way to make her cupcake business a success while still working through some unresolved issues with Julia that happened in high school. Julia on the other hand remains distant from wedding plans, avoids confrontation with Annie over what issues she has with her, and seeks solace in sharing drinks with her ex boyfriend Jake Logan.I received How To Eat A Cupcake by Meg Donahue compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. The beginning of the book starts off pretty slow for me trying to figure out where these two fit into each other's lives but about 1/3 of the way through the story picks up. I related to Annie the most, having been raised in Julia's shadow most of her life, she seeks resolution with Julia before she can move forward but Julia is constantly changing the subject or passes it off without realizing the impact it had on Annie's childhood. Julia is a bit self absorbed and likes to be the center of attention, seeking to remain at the top of whatever event is going on at the time. I really liked this book because it portrays a unique connection between the two women who come from different walks of life but are drawn together in a compelling way. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this one for a great summer read. The only thing missing were some recipes for these delicious cupcakes that are invented along the way!
dgmlrhodes on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I loved the story in this novel about the sophisticated Julia St Clair and the spunky Annie Quintana. While as different as possible, the girls grew up together basically as sisters although Annies mother was a servant in the St Clair's home. After a falling out just prior to her mothers death, the girls are reunited at a charity event put on by Mrs St Clair where she has asked Julia to bake cupcakes. Ultimately, the girls go into business together and learn to get over their differences. The book is about friendship and forgiveness and shows strong female leads. The guys in the story are minor characters without any depth. However, the women characters are fully developed and fun to get to know. Worth the read and an enjoyable story. Reader received a complimentary copy from Good Reads First Reads.
gincam on LibraryThing 29 days ago
Meg Donohue's debut work, "How to Eat a Cupcake", is as well-prepared and appealing as the various exquisite cupcake creations described throughout the book! Food is such an integral part of our lives, not just for sustenance, but also for comfort and celebration. Food is also a universal communicator. Many times in our lives we express emotions that we cannot verbalize through cooking and sharing food. Annie Quintara is a baker of captivating cupcakes--blissful bites bursting with familiar flavors and unexpected, unique enhancements. Annie's mother, Lucia, was for many years the cook for the wealthy St. Clair family, whose daughter Julia was Annie's childhood friend. As the camaraderie of children gave way to class consciousness and competitiveness, the friendship lost its luster. Julia, the entitled, supremely blonde and beautiful rich girl is jealous of Annie in more ways than she can comprehend. Annie, always a bright and funny free spirit, is comfortable with her Ecuadorian heritage and exotic looks. A nasty rumor, started by Julia and later proven false, almost costs Annie her scholastic opportunities. A decade later, an unplanned reunion brings the former friends back together and sets in motion events which will forever change their lives. I was so drawn in to this story line, and I was quite involved with the characters, even though some of them were at times quite unlikeable. Even though I didn't always like the characters, I very much enjoyed reading their story. Annie is a sweetheart, and you root for her from beginning to end. Julia is much harder to accept, but after you get over the urge to slap her pretty face, then you also want her to find a happy ending. I have always known that the relationships formed in youth will affect us throughout all of our life. We may think that we can leave them behind, but they are woven into our souls with a fine and flexible thread. Meg Donohue is a worthy storyteller to follow, and I am eager to see what she will do with her second book. Review Copy Gratis Amazon Vine
Carolee888 on LibraryThing 29 days ago
I really enjoyed reading 'How to Eat a Cupcake' by Meg Donohue. In fact after I finished the book, I looked for more books by her but couldn't find any. So, if this is her first book, I think she has done very well. What attracted me to this book was the cover with a wonderful array of cupcakes in a cupcakery. After my mouth watered for a while, I started to read the story of two women of the same age who grew in the same house but weren't related to each other. Anna Quintana was the daughter of the cook and housekeeper for the St. Clairs. She didn't know who her father was and her mother didn't tell her about her past. Anna had a bubbly personality, curly hair, was very creative with cupcakes. Since her mother died early and after an argument that they had had, Anna felt cheated out of a chance to reconcile with her mother. Anna was determined to be independent and vowed never to return to the house where she grew up. Julia, the Sinclair's daughter was serious, a successful business woman, engaged to be married, ambitious and she hid her depression from everyone. Although she grew up with all the advantages, she was somewhat jealous of Anna for a wonderfully loving mother. Julia's mother, Lolly had sent invitations to Annie before but when one came requesting her to cater a charity event for a fee, Annie's friend told her to go ahead and do it. When Julia tastes Annie's mocha flavored cupcake, it made her a little less sad and temporarily released her pain for all the secrets that she kept from every one. That cupcake made Julia to decide to open a cupcakery. Julia and Anna's joint business tested to the limits any remains of any friendship that they had when they were young. Being together, eventually brought their closely held secrets, and provided for a slow healing between them. 'How to Eat a Cupcake' has mystery, humor, wit, surprises, sorrow, regret, anger and just about every emotion that you can imagine. At the first, I felt that Anna was just a little too bubbly but she grew on me and so did Julia. I was sad that the book ended. I recommend this book to all who love to read about women's relationships and who enjoy an occasional delicious cupcake. I received this book free from the Amazon Vine Program but that did not influence my review.