The Heartbreak Bakery – A. R. Capetta

So, a couple of hours I got an email from Edelweiss. The notification that I’ve been granted a digital ARC of The Heartbreak Bakery. I’ve had a bit of a crappy day today, so I thought I’d check out the beginning. Only, I just raced through the whole story and love it so much that I can’t wait to write about it. This is exactly what I needed, probably the queerest book I’ve ever read, and absolutely brilliant.

Massive thanks to Candlewick Press and Edelweiss for the eARC. All opinions are my own.

RELEASE DATE: 12/10/2021

STAR RATING: 5/5 ✶

SUMMARY: Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too—one recipe at a time. (from Candlewick)

OPINIONS: This book. It’s EXACTLY what I needed today – just like Syd’s baked goods would be. I adore the story, the characters, the writing. I’m probably slightly biased because the book worked so well for me today – but I think even without the context, it is pretty damn amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a book this quickly – it’s only been about two hours since I got my hands on it. This is why I am a reviewer – magical books that will find their perfect audience in the right moment and make a difference to someone’s life.

One of my favourite things about The Heartbreak Bakery is that it includes actual recipes. Some of them for abstract things, but many of them for baked goods, complete with Syd’s intention. And you can bet that I’m going to bake that strawberry peach basil pie ASAP. I’m very very hungry after reading this story… Also it might well be the queerest thing I’ve ever read. And I’ve been reading Anna-Marie McLemore and Charlie Jane Anders for a long time. So you know, standards are high.

And the characters are absolutely brilliant. Syd is going through so much character growth, it’s amazing to see, and her queer group of people around her are both interesting and heartwarming. This is a character-driven book, with hints of magic, and a lot of humour. When I think about what I consider a comfort read, this is exactly that – I think it will also appeal to readers who have loved T.J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea. It has those same kind of magical and comfy vibes. I love The Heartbreak Bakery with my whole heart.

This is a book you simply need. It is magic. Add it to Goodreads here, and pre-order a copy from my favourite queer indie Portal Bookshop here. I know it’s not out for a while, but please support the author and get yourself an advance present!

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