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The Heartbreak Bakery

Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Heartbreak Bakery (2021) A.R. Capetta

The Heartbreak BakerySyd is finishing up high school while working full time in the Proud Muffin–the bakery and community space that is a second home for so many LGBT teens and adults in Austin.

But when Syd is dumped by their girlfriend, the accidentally bake Break-Up brownies which not only breaks up some of the customers who eat them, but also the co-owners of the bakery, which endangers the Proud Muffin and all their jobs.

It’s also a story of Syd’s revelations about their (now defunct) relationship, as well as who they are.

“I don’t feel like any pronouns fit,” I say, so low the words are nearly invisible. “Or any of them fits more than the others. And when I think about all the people whose lives are changed by the right words, people who have to fight for them every day, I feel like I should apologize because my pronouns are No, thanks.”

The main character is non-binary, and has a supportive family, as does the love interest. Which was an amazing point of view that is so far relatively rare.

It also presents therapy as something that is normal and accepted, which doesn’t always happen.

“It’s good to talk. At least, it feels good to me. I guess that’s one side effect of all the therapy.”

“I go to therapy, too!” I don’t know why that feels like such a vital thing to have in common. Maybe because I know some queer people who mildly scorn therapy. It makes utter sense that having a bad therapist, especially as a queer person, can be catastrophic. But my therapist is kind of the best.

Harley and I exchange the exploding fist bump of two people who are taking care of their mental health.

I love the casual drop of therapy.

The problem I had was that it was very strongly a YA book, with the characters in high school and very much teenagers. That is so much a time I do not want to relive, that I find it hard to get into books set in high school.

On the plus side, if the name didn’t give it away, there is a LOT of baking in this story, including recipes, which was lovely.

I can’t legally tell you to lick the beaters, but if you believe in living life to the fullest, you know what to do.

It’s not a reread, but it is definitely a book I would give to any queer kids in my life.

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Rating: 7.5/10




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