Cupcake by Cookie O’Gorman

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the finished book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Cupcake

Author: Cookie O’Gorman

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Diversity: Plus size MC, same gendered couples mentioned

Recommended For…: young adult readers, contemporary, romance, plus-size positive

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Recommended Age: 16+ (Sexual content, Fatphobia, HP content, Disordered eating, Emotional abuse, Romance, Bullying, Mental health)

Explanation of CWs: Mental Health is discussed in the context of what characters went to therapy for. Disordered eating is mentioned several times, sometimes in the past and sometimes in the ways people talked to others. There is a lot of fatphobic comments stated. There are 2 HP references. There is emotional abuse shown in the book. There is a lot of romance. There is some bullying shown.

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Pages: 297

Synopsis: I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking this will be just one more story of the ignored, “big-boned ” girl, who sheds her glasses and a few extra pounds and finally attracts the notice of the most popular guy in school.

Except it isn’t. Because I’m not unpopular. Not all that ignored. And I love the way I look―just as I am.

Then someone puts my name in for Homecoming Court.

The bigger surprise?

People actually vote for me!

Now, I’m a “princess”―whether I like it or not―but the guy I’m paired with isn’t exactly Prince Charming.

Rhys Castle is the strong, silent type who always wears a frown―he’s certainly never smiled at me. I’m 99.9% sure he hates being on Court and being my partner, but surprisingly…he doesn’t switch when he gets the chance.

Turns out Rhys has a secret―something that makes him run hot and cold throughout the entire three weeks of Homecoming festivities. Whether he’s stepping on my feet during dance lessons or gallantly escorting me through the Homecoming parade, I can’t get a read on this guy, and for the first time, I find my confidence wavering.

But there’s more to Rhys than meets the eye. And the more the spotlight shines on me, I realize there’s more to me, too.

Review: For the most part I really liked this read! It was corny with all of the pop culture references, and sometimes cringey especially when the characters were talking about Sarah J. Maas and the ACOTAR books, but it was so much fun and I related so much to Cupcake. I liked the character development and the world building. I loved the plus size rep and I loved the message behind the book. I loved how much fun the book was and the writing, for the most part, was so well done.

However, I did have some concerns. There are two HP references in this book and it’s a fairly new release, so I had to demote it a star because of that. We are almost in 2022 and JK Rowling has been problematic for awhile. It is so easy to take out references in your works that might be harmful to many people, even if it has to be done via email to your publisher to remove it or whatever you have to do, and not doing so is extremely lazy and makes me uncertain if the author is someone I want to associate with. I also had concerns with the term “fat-ist” because of the connotation that being fatphobic is like being racist. While being fatphobic is awful (and trust me, I know because I’ve been on the receiving end of many many comments and things thrown at me), being racist is not on the same level. The history of racism, what has happened to BIPOC people, and what is continuing to occur to this day is far worse than fatphobia. And while I love this book, I am very concerned about those points. I also felt that the book didn’t describe the characters well. There was a moment when I thought Cupcake was bisexual due to her comment about a woman, but nothing else was said about it. I also didn’t see any character building on what Cupcake looks like… or anyone else besides plus size, skinny, blonde, or hot/sexy.

Verdict: It was good! Just some concerns, but a well done book.