The Heartbreak Bakery
Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone.
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.
What worked: I totally enjoyed this fun YA rom com contemporary fantasy with strong GLBTQIA characters. Syd is a determined, talented baker whose edible delights in the bakery lead to real magic. Or does it?
I loved the idea of The Proud Muffin, a safe place for the GLBTQIA community. The recipes interwoven through this magical tale sound delicious and have hints of humor throughout. Such recipes include Today's Gender, Shiny New Scones, and Honest pie. Each one of these pastries can cause intense emotional reactions. Readers will have fun watching this happen and also see how some results don't go exactly as Syd had planned.
I especially feel that this book is perfect for GLBTQIA teens, who will see a strong agender protagonist they can relate to. There's also a couple of trans individuals and all throughout this book have different gender identies.
I also liked how this story doesn't flinch on pronouns and how it's not okay to assume someone is one way or another. Even when Syd tries to get former couples back together again, she finds that maybe things don't always go the way you planned.
Empowering themes throughout, including a very likable, relatable heroine who finds there is magic not only in the kitchen but within one's own heart. Highly recommend.
2. Contemporary fantasy with strong GLBTQIA characters