Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to Bake a Perfect Life

So I finally finished reading another book yesterday.  I took the day off from school, since next week is finals and my classes are slowly dying down.  Even though I should have started studying (I did make flash cards!!), I may have .... accidentally... been reading and watching a few movies instead....  Okay! You got me...maybe not accidentally.  I least I got my flash cards done for my business class, the most difficult class this semester for me.  I did, however, make them while I was watching 27 Dresses and 13 Going 30 (I had a serious Romantic Comedy morning)However, I did none of these things before I finished reading How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal.

It feels like forever since I have written a post (even though Monday was the last time I did), and I just couldn't take it anymore.  I finished it, and actually liked it a lot!

The story is about a woman named Ramona, who owns and runs a bakery out of the Victorian style house her grandmother left her when she died.  Ramona, I am assuming, was in her early 40s when the book took place.  She found out she was pregnant at the age of 15, courtesy of a big mistake she made one night at a work party.  She had lost her big V on that night to a young hispanic man who worked for her parents restaurant.  Ramona thought she liked him a lot, but unfortunately found out the day after that he had suddenly moved back to Mexico, and not doing so before he had slept with practically everyone working at the restaurant, even including a few of the married women.

Now Ramona's daughter, Sophia is in her mid to late twenties, married, and expecting her own first child.  Unfortunately, Sophia's husband, Oscar, gets injured in Iraq (where he is serving his third term); in a bombing, that left him extremely burned and even suffer from leg amputation.  Sophia, with a very pregnant stomach, has to fly to Germany to be with her husband.  Oscar's daughter, Katie, was supposed to come live with Sophia and Oscar, while her mom (Oscar's first wife) goes to yet another rehabilitation center for being a Meth addict; so while Sophia is with her husband, and Katie's dad, she comes to stay with Ramona.

Katie has had a tough life, as you can imagine.  Her mom and dad were both soldiers, who served numerous terms in Iraq.  They got divorced when Katie was young, because her mom couldn't handle what she witnessed while fighting in the war.  Soon after the divorce, her mom started using and became addicted, leaving Katie, who was living with most of the time, to fend for herself.

The novel gives you a feeling of what Ramona, Katie, and Sophia are thinking.  However, the novel is in Ramona's point-of-view (I hope that makes sense).

Ramona tells the story, at the one point, about herself at the age of fifteen and pregnant with Sophia.  When she had found out about the pregnancy, her parents wanted to pretty much disown her.  The family is Catholic, and very against having sex before marriage.  Ramona gets pretty much exiled for the summer to her Aunt Poppy's house, where she learns about the art of baking bread for the first time.

During that summer she also meets, Jonah, a twenty-something musician who works at the town's local record store.  Ramona starts spending a lot of time with him, because he seems to be the only person in her life, who doesn't judge her.  Ramona encourages Jonah to continue following his dream, and he helps Ramona get over her guilt of becoming Pregnant; and ultimately because of Jonah, Ramona decides to keep the baby; much to her parent's discouragement.  At the end of the summer, Jonah, because of Ramona, leaves the town to pursue his love for music.

Now 25 years later, Jonah is back in town, and Ramona and him cross paths once again.  And their chemistry is just as strong as it was during that summer.

The novel is filled with pain, love, family, drama, and learning.

I found the novel to have a very good story.  I especially loved the love.  Not just the love that Ramona shares with Jonah, but also the love that Ramona feels for her daughter, and even for Katie.  Ramona is so good-hearted that I really loved her character.

I do have one complaint about the novel.  Some parts I found were a little silly.  I don't have the book with me right now, but there were a couple of part where I had to laugh because they were kind of badly written.  For instance, one part said that one of the guy's in the story, felt like his heart was "filled with glitter".  I found that to be sooooo funny, because I have NEVER heard a straight guy use the word "glitter".  I would love to get some feed-back on that one haha.  Plus there was also a part in the novel where a chapter's first line was, "Ramona was making lemonade with lemons" (I am not sure if I quoted that exactly, but I know it used making lemonade with or out of lemons).  HAHA I was thinking, "Well, duh!"  It's like, "Noooo, really, she was making lemonade out of apples!"  haha.
These were just small things, and I am sure if the author were to read them right now, she would think, "Wow, that was obvious".

Otherwise, however, this story was very cute.  The love story was great and I loved when Ramona remembered the story of the summer she was pregnant.   If this story sounds remotely interesting then I would definitely recommend reading it.  There is a lot more to the story, that I didn't mention, because I didn't want to give too much away.  The story goes a lot into Katie's story too.

Overall Rating:

So that's it for another post :).  I hope you found it helpful.  Up next...Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin.  I started yesterday afternoon, and I am really enjoying it so far.  I really want to see the movie that was just released based on the novel, featuring Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, and John Krasinski.

I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend, and for everyone who has to finals next week or in the next couple of weeks, GOOD LUCK!!

The Romance Bookie :)

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