Review: Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney

Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney
Release Date: April 25th, 2011
Publisher: 5 Spot (Hachette)
Page Count: 400
Source: NetGalley

Hannah Robinson is just about to open the doors to her new shop Cupcakes on the Corner when out of the blue her boyfriend Patrick announces that he’s leaving her for another woman. Faced with starting a business on her own, Hannah begins to wonder if her life-long dream has just turned into a nightmare. So her best friend Adam sets his birthday as a deadline – seven months to make her shop a success, or walk away from it all. And as Hannah immerses herself in her new business, she soon discovers that she’s too busy to think about Patrick and his now pregnant girlfriend …or to notice an increasingly regular customer who has recently developed a sweet tooth for all things cupcake. But while Hannah is slowly piecing her life back together, family friend Alice’s is falling apart. Her husband Tom’s drinking is getting out of control and things are about to get a whole lot worse. As the seven-month milestone approaches, Hannah must decide her future. And while she’s figuring out what’s really important, it becomes clear to everyone that happiness in life, and in love, is all in the making.

Review:  I’ll admit that the title of this book drew me in and the blurb made me want to read the book.  However as I read, I found that a “novel of love” is a little misleading.  This book is not a romance… it is very much chick-lit or woman’s fiction.  The blurb makes it sound like the story is going to be about Hannah, and while she is a main character in the story, she isn’t front and center.  There are multiple plots going on at once; I think I can come up with 7.  Of course they intertwine, but with so many story lines going on, I never got a satisfied feeling with this read.  In fact, I feel this book could easily be expanded into two novels with a more fleshed out story and characters.

But what I think bothered me the most was how much this story jumped around between the different story lines… and points of view.  Each change of plot finds the reader jumping into someone else’s head and because the shifts were so frequent, I often found my head spinning trying to keep up.

All that said, I did like the characters (for the most part) and the various plots all tied in together well.  And the setting of a small town in Ireland was charming.  There was just a little too much to keep up with for my tastes.


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