Thursday, February 10, 2011
REVIEW: Girl Meets Cake by Susie Day
Geeky fangirl Heidi, 15, has a great fantasy life thanks to her TV and her laptop - and no wonder, when she's stuck at the boarding school for crazy drop-outs where her parents teach, with only a cake-shop Saturday job to escape to. At least she's got her best mates - but when they all start coupling up, Heidi needs a boyfriend - and fast. Enter Gingerbread Ed, a sexy lovemuppet with a motorke. He'd be perfect - if he actually existed. Heidi's mad online life collides hysterically with her real one in a laugh-out-loud uber-cool teen novel.
I was very excited when the offer came up to read Girl Meets Cake by Susie Day (titled My Invisible Boyfriend in the USA). It sounded fun, and funny and a little out there. And it is definitely all of those things!
Within the first few pages and I was giggling away at Heidi - her voice and the things she'd say, and the other characters in the story. Quirky might be the right word for Heidi, but I found her to be utterly charming. She's such a great character, with her mad obsession with fictional detective, Mycroft Christie, and her zany way of speaking. She really makes me happy. I couldn't help but laugh when she called her mom the 'Mothership' or when she'd carry on long, detailed and imaginary conversations with Mycroft Christie.
When all of Heidi's friends start pairing up into couples, Heidi inadvertently admits to having a boyfriend. Instead of owning up to this almost-lie straightaway, she creates Gingerbread Ed, fictional (biscuit-y) boyfriend who embodies all of the characteristics (ingredients!) of the perfect boy for her. She goes to great lengths in order to maintain a realistic, if one-sided relationship with him, but things start going particularly wrong when Heidi's friends start telling Gingerbread Ed all their problems through email and instant message. How far will Heidi go to keep her imaginary boyfriend?
There are some absolutely wonderful characters in Girl Meets Cake. Heidi, of course, but I really loved Betsy, the American owner of the cafe that Heidi works in. I think they have a great relationship together. Heidi's friends, The Leftover Squad, are all incredibly sweet and loyal. Together with Heidi's, they have a whole heap of relationship problems. From imaginary boyfriend, to cheating boyfriend to so-insecure-I'm-about-to-lose-my-boyfriend. All the pairings in this book seemed very true-to-life and I could really imagine myself hanging out with this fun group of friends.
I absolutely adored the format of the book - with each chapter beginning with recipe - recipes to make a Heidi, one for an Imaginary Boyfriend, one for excellent detective work. With everyone telling Gingerbread Ed (and therefore telling Heidi) their problems, Heidi begins work immediately to gather more clues and solve the mysteries that surround her friends' relationship problems, but also work out who the mystery boy is who keeps emailing Heidi. Not being a Mycroft Christie standard of detective, it was really interesting to just follow along Heidi's bumbling path to solving these mysteries. Every twist and wrong turn she took, I took with her and I was left completely surprised at the very sweet and satisfying ending!
I really, really loved this book! I urge you all to read it and a very BIG thank you to Susie Day for providing me with a copy of this book to read, and also to giveaway! Susie has also very kindly agreed to guest post for love month, which will be on the blog later this month. Stay tuned.