About the Book:
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.
As I peruse book blogs, it seems that the latest fad is books with some sort of dessert in the title. When this one was offered on NetGalley, it piqued my interest so I grabbed it. I found it to be an interesting book about a young woman's love life--yet it wasn't a romance in the usual sense. While Hannah was certainly the main character, she did not appear in all scenes and one of the subplots did not really involve her at all.
Semi-Sweet is set in a small Irish town and was actually first published in Ireland. I enjoyed reading about some of the differences in Irish culture and ours. The town in which this book was set was one small enough that everyone knew everyone, yet the characters often took taxis. Prices for things were quoted in Euros or Pounds Sterling, which given my total lack of knowledge of currency exchange, meant nothing to me. American spelling was used in this book.
For a short book, Semi-Sweet had a lot going on. We follow Hannah through several relationships; watch Alice and Tom go to Hell and back, and cheer Adam on as he reaches out to the mysterious musician. Nora is easy to hate, and I just wanted to shake Leah. Patrick didn't change Will the cupcake shop make it?
One disadvantage of reviewing a NetGalley edition rather than the published book is that I don't know if the issues I had with the formatting will be in the final, or not. As I noted above, there is a lot happening in this book and the story lines don't really tie together. One paragraph would be about one story line and then the next about another, and there were no visual cues in the galley I read to tell me to shift gears. Only after realizing that the paragraph I just read didn't make sense when added to the one before did I realize that I had been shifted to a different story line. Perhaps the final will have some sort of heading or spacing to show this.
I wonder if there is going to be a sequel because the ending, while definitely showing that things are heading in the right direction does not give any final outcome to the relationships.
There are lots of incidences of non-marital intimacy in the book, but mostly we are left on the other side of the bedroom door. Grade: B