Thursday, April 14, 2011

Girl Meets Cake - Susie Day

The Facts
Title: Girl Meets Cake (published in the US as My Invisible Boyfriend)
Author: Susie Day
Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books
Date of Publication: April 2009
Length: 240 pages

The Fiction
From Susie's website: 15-year-old Heidi’s stuck at the boarding school for crazy drop-outs where her parents teach, with only a cake-shop Saturday job to escape to. When her coupled-up mates assume she’s got a secret boyfriend, she can’t resist agreeing! Enter Gingerbread Ed, a sexy lovemuppet with a motorbike. He’d be perfect, if he actually existed. But now her friends are sending him all kinds of revealing messages… and ‘A Real Boy’ knows the truth. Will all those little white lies destroy her chance at real romance?

Oh Heidi! A fangirl after my own heart! Heidi Ryder is such a likeable character – I found it really easy to connect with her, and Susie Day has given her this brilliant, funny lingo and language quirks that I loved. One of the highlights of Girl Meets Cake, for me, are the scenes in which Heidi has these imaged dialogues (and the occasional tango) with Mycroft Christie, the decidedly Doctor Who-ish hero from her favourite show. These bits are so fun and enjoyable to read! Because really, who hasn’t fantasised about liaisons with their TV crush (c’mon .... Bueller? Bueller?)

There’s also Heidi’s group of friends – Ludo, Dai, and Fili-are a little flaky but enjoyable to read and feel age-appropriate. I’m also rather fond of Teddy and Betsy – the mother-son-tea-serving-team from the Little Leaf Cafe, Heidi’s after-school job.I also love that Heidi gets it wrong – (and she gets it really wrong at times) and her wannabe detective antics throughout the book tie many storylines together nicely.

Of course, as I’m a total theatre geek, the whole subplot involving the school production (a musical version of Twelfth Night! But in the 80s! Set at a nightclub! With lycra!) and which Heidi’s whole friendship group are involved in, really appealed to me. Even though it’s a a small detail, but I adored the costume descriptions for the show (oh my goodness – the Tron inspired lycra jumpsuits = genius!). Susie Day really made me want to see this play - though I kind of imagine it to be like Hamlet 2 and Rock of Ages' love-child.

Another thing that appealed to me about Girl Eats Cake (besides the fandom-loving heroine and the sparkly-theatre bits) was the use of social media and the role it played throughout the novel. I’ve been really interested in this lately, and have been thinking about the role of social media and the internet in YA fiction (I find it interesting that some texts utilise it and others ignore it, which seems to be a deliberate choice as it obviously plays such a big part in today’s teen, with some stats here). I’m now on a bit of a hunt for more books in which social media/life online plays a critical part in the narrative, so if you have some favourites (or books where you think it really doesn’t work), let me know in the comments!

Girl Meets Cake is a fun, slightly fluffy read. I feel like I should say – don’t be put off by the UK cover (I know it’s a bit tweeny and I’m sure I’ve seen it at my local library a number of times without borrowing it), but I promise you it has some absolutely laugh-out-loud funny moments and is really quite charming.


Mel said...

Great review as usual Steph. :)
I really like the sound of this. I read the first chapter online and I liked it.
I also checked out Susie Day's website, from the link you posted on your Heidi Polyvore profile. Did you see the Dr Who gingerbread she made?! So cool.
I have to say, I like the US cover a lot more than I do the UK one. As you said, it's a bit tweeny.
I can't think of any books right now that involve social media/life online, but if I think of one I'll let you know. :)

Nomes said...

LOL ~ I am slightly put off by the cover. but your review is just fab. and i love those charming fun reads.

Miss Friday said...

Mel - thanks! I know - Susie's gingerbread creations are fab!!

Nomes - haha, yes I think the cover doesn't quite capture the audience/feel of the book - but definitely worth a read :)

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