Genre | YA Contemporary Fiction
Page #s | 352
Publishing Date | October 2021
Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too—one recipe at a time.
I did not expect to be emotionally moved by magical baked goods, but here we are! The Heartbreak Bakery celebrates love, whether romantic, communal, or sugar, and it’s the perfect quick read to satisfy a readers’ sweet tooth.
Syd works at a queer bakery in Austin, TX, and literally everything about this sentence makes me happy. Austin is one of my favorite cities, and its awesomeness (as well as it’s flaws) is captured here so personally. If this is based on an actual queer bakery in Austin, someone please let me know because I want to go there immediately. The Proud Muffin is the queer community we all long for – diverse, inclusive, and full of activities and free desserts.
Anyway, Syd works there, and accidentally bakes a batch of breakup brownies by pouring heartbreak into them. The rest of the book is a falling-in-love montage while Syd and coworker Harley scramble to reunite couples through even more magical baked goods. I honestly thought this would all turn out to be a “we were reading too much into this and thought magic but it was mundane” situation, but instead the reveal at the end turned out to be thematic and poignant.
This book does gender non-conforming so well! Syd is agender and wrestles with what this means throughout the book, while Harley is confidently gender fluid and signals their pronouns by pin on any given day. While there is some coming out themes where Syd is concerned, it’s very much about personal understanding rather than societal acceptance. I loved it.
For a book about falling in and out of love, I only fell in! The Heartbreak Bakery is so much fun.
Who Do I Recommend This Book To?
Want a fun summer read to read at a (literal or imaginative) coffee shop? The Heartbreak Bakery is for you!
Check out our Queer Lil Library for more book recommendations and reviews!
This one has been on my TBR! So glad to hear that you enjoyed it and that it’s such a heartwarming queer read.
Pingback: My Favorite Books Read in 2022 – Roar Cat Reads