Browsing in my local library recently, I noticed a display introducing books by new authors. Intrigued, I picked up the book Life’s Too Short to Frost a Cupcake by Rosie Wilde. This is Rosie Wilde’s only published novel, although I hope that she writes more in the future.
Life’s Too Short to Frost a Cupcake is a relatively new book published by Orion. Very little information is available about author Rosie Wilde. Her official autobiography says simply, “British born Rosie Wilde now lives in Ohio, where she is perfecting the art of baking cupcakes.” Her dual residence in England and America are crucial to this novel.
In Wilde’s Life’s too Short to Frost a Cupcake, we follow the life of Alice. Alice is a slightly Bridget Jones type character who we can all identify with through her imperfections and hopes. When the new boss at Carmichael Music sends Alice to work in the U.S., Alice envisions a glamorous jet-set life based in New York City. Instead, she ends up in rural Ohio. Although she feels out of place at first, she quickly becomes a part of the community.
In fact, the reader gets to know the small-town residents including the womanizer, the sweet kid, the regulars at the diner, the high school wanna be pop-star, a variety of farm animals, and the seemingly perfect (and slightly scary) woman. Alice is supposed to be convincing reclusive ex-superstar singer Wyatt to record another album. However, rather than a purely professional relationship, they first drive each other crazy and then develop a meaningful friendship. Could more happen between them? What will happen with Alice’s boyfriend from back home? Will she settle for a life of compulsions and budgeting?
Yes, the story is rather predictable. However, overall it is a sweet rom-com. There are interesting (if rather typical) characters. There’s also a lot of play on the cultural differences between London and Ohio that add an extra element to Life’s Too Short to Frost a Cupcake.
My biggest problem with this novel is Rosie Wilde’s seemingly obsessive need to advertise. It is like reading a books with commercials. The second page of the book, for example, names six separate real-life brands. Six! The whole books is peppered with way too many brand names. I don’t mind having a few included if they are relevant, but I don’t need to know where every single character bought every single item of clothing that they wear, or which supermarket each character shops at. It gets ridiculous and it really distracted me from the story. It’s like when you watch a film on TV and it keeps being interrupted by ads, only you’re reading it.
If you enjoy Life’s Too Short to Frost a Cupcake, I recommend other romantic comedies like Meg Cabot’s The Queen of Babble, The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, or any of Sophie Kinsella’s books.
Orion Publishing Group
Life’s too Short to frost a Cupcake, by Rosie Wilde, Orion, 2008