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The Heartbreak Bakery

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Teenage baker Syd sends ripples of heartbreak through Austin’s queer community when a batch of post-being-dumped brownies turns out to be magical—and makes everyone who eats them break up. “What’s done is done.” Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone. Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Bei Teenage baker Syd sends ripples of heartbreak through Austin’s queer community when a batch of post-being-dumped brownies turns out to be magical—and makes everyone who eats them break up. “What’s done is done.” Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone. 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.


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Teenage baker Syd sends ripples of heartbreak through Austin’s queer community when a batch of post-being-dumped brownies turns out to be magical—and makes everyone who eats them break up. “What’s done is done.” Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone. Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Bei Teenage baker Syd sends ripples of heartbreak through Austin’s queer community when a batch of post-being-dumped brownies turns out to be magical—and makes everyone who eats them break up. “What’s done is done.” Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone. 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.

30 review for The Heartbreak Bakery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laynie Rose

    The Heartbreak Bakery is a quarter cup love letter to queer community, half a cup of tooth-achingly sweet young love, a generous spoonful of gender feelings, and a dash of magic. There aren't enough words to express how well this novel all comes together or how much I adored it. It's cozy and warm, like you've just eaten a homemade baked good, filled with love. Absolutely wonderful, stunning, perfect novel. The Heartbreak Bakery is a quarter cup love letter to queer community, half a cup of tooth-achingly sweet young love, a generous spoonful of gender feelings, and a dash of magic. There aren't enough words to express how well this novel all comes together or how much I adored it. It's cozy and warm, like you've just eaten a homemade baked good, filled with love. Absolutely wonderful, stunning, perfect novel.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    wow! a super gay magical realism breakup novel with a remarkably diverse cast of characters, and some romance for good measure! rtc!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    March 08, 2021: A YA rom-com with magical brownies? Agender and trans main characters? SO READY FOR THIS.

  4. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    ... in which agender teen baker Syd deals with first heartbreak by whipping up brownies—which break up everyone who eats them, including the owners of LGBTQIAP+ institution The Proud Muffin. With the help of magical baking and a cute transmasc bike messenger, Syd must save relationships and defend the bakery from disappearing in a fast-changing Austin, Texas Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram ... in which agender teen baker Syd deals with first heartbreak by whipping up brownies—which break up everyone who eats them, including the owners of LGBTQIAP+ institution The Proud Muffin. With the help of magical baking and a cute transmasc bike messenger, Syd must save relationships and defend the bakery from disappearing in a fast-changing Austin, Texas Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    My favourite experience is and will always be reading a book exactly when you need it. I read this book exactly at the right time for me, and it felt like a warm bath. This was sweet and magical and very very queer, and I loved every second of it. It was so amazing to read a romance between two non-binary characters!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    This is really one of the gayest books I've ever read. And that includes Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride! And like CM, this book means so much to me because of the agender rep. Dylan and Syd are two of the most relatable characters I've come across and I love these two so much. Thank you so much to Pride Book Tours and Candlewick Press for a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Heartbreak Bakery is a story about queer joy, magical baking, love and heartbrea This is really one of the gayest books I've ever read. And that includes Cute Mutants Vol 1: Mutant Pride! And like CM, this book means so much to me because of the agender rep. Dylan and Syd are two of the most relatable characters I've come across and I love these two so much. Thank you so much to Pride Book Tours and Candlewick Press for a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Heartbreak Bakery is a story about queer joy, magical baking, love and heartbreak. The story follows Syd (no pronouns), who is an agender teenage baker. After Syd and W (Syd's girlfriend) break up, Syd is at a loss. Syd throws all the post-breakup feelings into a batch of brownies at the Proud Muffin and ends up breaking several couples up, including the owners of the Proud Muffin. With the help of Harley, the cute bike messenger, Syd is determined to fix the damage caused. And it will take magical baking to do just that. "I don't feel like any pronouns fit. 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." Y'all this book scraped me raw. There were several passages that just GOT me. So many of the thoughts and feelings I've had swirling around my brain about gender and to see them on the page was so validating. I haven't seen an agender MC in fiction until this book and I definitely need more now. Having a gender? Why? Feeling like your body and who you are inside line up all the time? How? Identifying with other folks of your assigned gender as a kid, when I identified with things like extra-fluffy cumulus clouds and nebulas? What does that even feel like? I get nervous trying to explain myself sometimes. I get tired. I grow sharp edges where I didn't think I had any. Not only did I love Syd, but the whole queer cast of the Proud Muffin. There was so much rep, it was so varied and it felt realistic. It wasn't just diversity points, all of these characters felt whole and I loved them so much. I really loved seeing the sibling relationship between Syd and Tess. I loved how Syd was immediately welcoming when the possibility of Tess being aroace came up. I loved how Syd brought Tess to the Proud Muffin and showed her that she was welcome in that space. And the part of me that thinks about gender every day -- mine and everyone else's and just in general -- could use a break. It took me until middle school to realize that most people don't think about it every day. Because they don't have to. Because the world is set up in a way where they just take it for granted. I loved the bakery and the atmosphere of the Proud Muffin. I loved getting to know all of Syd's coworkers/friends. There were so many fun scenes at the bakery. And then there was a polyam brunch! That was easily one of my favorite scenes. Then there was Syd and Harley's relationship. I love these two together so much. I had so many feelings about their relationship. I loved how easily Syd used both he and they pronouns for Harley and switched based on Harley's pin. I loved how Harley understand why Syd doesn't use pronouns. Like there was so much trans happiness and I am soft because of it. It doesn't feel like I'm hiding. It feels like I'm shouting in a language that nobody else can understand. Which is frustrating, because being agender already feels like that a lot of the time. The bottom line here friends is that I love this book with my whole heart. I need more queer bakery stories like this. Or a real life queer bakery! Easily a top 2o21 read! Rep: Bisexual agender white MC, white trans masc nonbinary demisexual love interest, queer Tejano female side character, trans BIPOC sapphic female side character, BIPOC achillean male side character, queer polyamorous BIPOC female side character, Dominican sapphic female side character, white aroace female side character, nonbinary parent couple (one is genderflux), queer deaf side characters that use sign language, multiple other queer side characters, multiple other BIPOC side characters. CWs: consumption of magical baked goods without knowing they are magical. ____________________________________________________________ I feel like I've been waiting forever for this and I NEED IT. Pre-order on Bookshop here!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    "Love comes in every flavor" "Baking is where we put our hearts when there's so much in them and we have to let it out. We put a piece of ourselves on a plate and hand it over to someone else." Let's talk magical baking. In my humble baker opinion, all baking is magical but this book has ✨magical✨ baking. Baking that changes the emotions of those who enjoy the baked good and can alter their lives. When Syd (no pronouns) learns that brownies made in an emotional rage bake, have caused break ups aro "Love comes in every flavor" "Baking is where we put our hearts when there's so much in them and we have to let it out. We put a piece of ourselves on a plate and hand it over to someone else." Let's talk magical baking. In my humble baker opinion, all baking is magical but this book has ✨magical✨ baking. Baking that changes the emotions of those who enjoy the baked good and can alter their lives. When Syd (no pronouns) learns that brownies made in an emotional rage bake, have caused break ups around the city, Syd is determined to bake everything right. (See what I did there, puns are freaking great 😂). Anyway, with the help of the bakery bike delivery person, Harley (he/they), Syd goes on a mission to find everyone who had the break up brownies and help them get back together. This leads to multiple misadventures featuring scones, a car load of pies, big feeling cookies, and cakes galore. Syd and Harley work together to create the best emotion filled bakes and together find something magical between the two of them. I think my favorite part of this book is just how utterly queer it is. We're talking every letter of the acronym and more. Syd is agender and bisexual. Harley is trans masc and demisexual. Syd's sister is aroace. Other employees of the Proud Muffin bakery are trans, gay, sapphic, poly, etc. Never ending queer rep and it was an absolute joy. Every page, every interaction, every recipe is filled with sheer queer joy and love and I can't express how much I loved it. I knew as soon as I got approved to be a part of this book tour, I was gonna bake something, I just didn't expect it to be a full set of decorated cookies to match the cover. I was feeling inspired by the baking joy in this one, and as a queer baker who has the privilege to work at a small bakery with other queer people, I knew I had to go all out. I had a blast making these cookies even though it was a holy hell of a lot of colors 😅 swipe through to see the full set in detail and the entire color scheme in a very satisfying photo with pastry bags. Thanks so much to @pridebooktours , @ar_capetta , and @candlewickpress for a free finished copy in exchange for my review/post.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    HELLO I NEED THIS DESPRATELY IT SOUNDS SO CUTE AND FUN AND I MEAN IT'S AMY ROSE CAPETTA SO I'M SURE I'LL LOVE IT AND AHHHHHHHHHHH!!! HELLO I NEED THIS DESPRATELY IT SOUNDS SO CUTE AND FUN AND I MEAN IT'S AMY ROSE CAPETTA SO I'M SURE I'LL LOVE IT AND AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    LGBT Representation in Books

    Trigger Warnings: Break-up, therapy, coming out, divorce, surgery, sex, dysphoria Representation: Agender, Queer, LGBTQ community, Bisexual, Deaf, Mental Health, Demisexual, Tejano, POC, Transitioning, Dominican The Heartbreak Bakery is a cute, queer story of learning about oneself and discovering your inner magic. The story is about Syd (no pronouns, please) who works for a queer bakery in Austin. Syd may have accidentally made some magical treats and broken up a few couples. Syd is now on a ques Trigger Warnings: Break-up, therapy, coming out, divorce, surgery, sex, dysphoria Representation: Agender, Queer, LGBTQ community, Bisexual, Deaf, Mental Health, Demisexual, Tejano, POC, Transitioning, Dominican The Heartbreak Bakery is a cute, queer story of learning about oneself and discovering your inner magic. The story is about Syd (no pronouns, please) who works for a queer bakery in Austin. Syd may have accidentally made some magical treats and broken up a few couples. Syd is now on a quest to fix everything. This eARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This book was sooo cute! It was like the queer version of Waitress that we didn’t know we needed! I loved everything about it! I do desperately wish I had a space like The Proud Muffin in my city! The books is heartfelt and fun. Following Syd’s story is completely relatable and feels like everyone’s first heartbreak. The book is perfect for anyone looking for a light, fun read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jayden

    This book follows 17 year-old Syd, a bisexual agender teen working at a queer bakery and going through their first break-up. Syd realizes upon baking brownies after they are broken up with by their first girlfriend, W, that they have the ability to bake their feelings into their sweets with potentially disastrous results. Every couple who eats Syd’s brownies has a dramatic break-up, and Syd takes it upon themselves to bake the perfect thing for each couple to give them what they need to get back This book follows 17 year-old Syd, a bisexual agender teen working at a queer bakery and going through their first break-up. Syd realizes upon baking brownies after they are broken up with by their first girlfriend, W, that they have the ability to bake their feelings into their sweets with potentially disastrous results. Every couple who eats Syd’s brownies has a dramatic break-up, and Syd takes it upon themselves to bake the perfect thing for each couple to give them what they need to get back together. This book is heartfelt, adorable and fun, with recipes you can actually bake weaved throughout. There are THREE trans characters in the main cast of characters, all with different gender identities. The Proud Muffin, Syd’s place of work, doubles as a queer safe space and place for community organizing and through it and what the place means to Syd, the author emphasizes the importance of queer spaces and found family. I loved every minute of this read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    jenn

    “mix in reminders that all of this is fleeting… tomorrow, change your ingredients as needed.” [from the recipe: today’s gender] i am grinning even writing this review, just as much as i was smiling stupidly reading this amazing story. i love reading diverse books and books representing different identities- and this delightful queer YA romcom did NOT disappoint! it follows syd (no pronouns), a baker in austin, texas who has just been through a breakup- and also works at a queer bakery, the proud “mix in reminders that all of this is fleeting… tomorrow, change your ingredients as needed.” [from the recipe: today’s gender] i am grinning even writing this review, just as much as i was smiling stupidly reading this amazing story. i love reading diverse books and books representing different identities- and this delightful queer YA romcom did NOT disappoint! it follows syd (no pronouns), a baker in austin, texas who has just been through a breakup- and also works at a queer bakery, the proud muffin. however, when syd bakes a batch of brownies, everybody who eats them… breaks up with their partners?? yikes. syd and the proud muffin’s delivery biker person harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin) work together to help the couples syd accidentally broke up, growing closer to each other as well. i have so many things to say about this novel, and i think the most important thing to note is the way it encapsulates queer joy and representation. syd is bisexual and agender- an identity i haven’t really read about before. being our protagonist, syd talks a lot about gender dysphoria and feelings connected to gender, and just the general struggle to understand personal gender presentation, and these scenes felt so honest and spoke to me so much. then, harley, syd’s love interest, is transmasc and demisexual (happy aspec week btw!!!) and though we don’t see a lot of their personal gender struggles, the way they respected syd, and understood the things syd needed them to honestly made for such a heartwarming and balanced romance. i loved syd and harley- the moments they shared were adorable, and though their plotline wasn’t necessarily primary in the story, i was swooning whenever we got to see their interactions. also, back to queer joy- we got so much other casual rep in the proud muffin itself (considering literally all the workers and therefore most of the characters in the book are queer?? hello??) including pan rep, polyam rep (there’s a polyam brunch y’all), lesbian rep, transfemme rep, aroace rep, gay rep, and more!! like i said, this book’s plot centers around magical baked goods. MAGICAL BAKED GOODS. syd’s a baker (i would LOVE to try something syd baked) and after each chapter of the book, there are recipes!!! some of them are real ones you can try, some of them, like syd’s recipe for today’s gender (iconic) are more conceptual. i loved it. so syd’s a baker, and discovers the ability to make baked goods that can make people feel things. this was so soft and tapped so much into the power of people and love and each other- all illustrated through queer love stories. the way syd discovers more about identity through these talents is also so heartwarming- i wish i could step into the proud muffin myself. i’m insanely glad i read this book!!!!! i love wholesome and soft and emotional and romcom-y young adult books and this truly delivered. do i question why syd was never seen at school as a high school student, or why syd developed a crush barely a week after a breakup? yeah. but do i care???? not really. am i somewhat attracted to syd??? lmao yeah- but MAGICAL BAKED GOODS EVERYBODY. MAGICAL BAKED GOODS AND GENDER DISCUSSION AND SO MUCH QUEER JOY. content warnings: descriptions of gender dysphoria, misgendering (non-malicious)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: dysphoria 3.8 Syd has always had baking, a job at The Proud Muffin, and girlfriend, W, as constants. But when W breaks up with Syd, the baking becomes a problem as well. Because it turns out when Syd was angry baking brownies for The Proud Muffin, they took on all the relationship ending anger Syd had been feeling. And now the break up brownies were... well, breaking people up- including Syd's formerly sickeningly in love bosses, and owners of the bakery. On I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: dysphoria 3.8 Syd has always had baking, a job at The Proud Muffin, and girlfriend, W, as constants. But when W breaks up with Syd, the baking becomes a problem as well. Because it turns out when Syd was angry baking brownies for The Proud Muffin, they took on all the relationship ending anger Syd had been feeling. And now the break up brownies were... well, breaking people up- including Syd's formerly sickeningly in love bosses, and owners of the bakery. On a mad dash to fix the relationships that got magically destroyed, Syd and cute delivery person, Harley, come together to scheme up the perfect recipes to put everyone back together- and may be fixing Syd's broken heart at the same time. If you want queer, diverse fluffy romance and magic, then this is, hands down, your book. This is th kind of book you pick up when you just want something fun and happy. It's a ridiculous premise, and the characters all sort of feel like NPCs in a dating sim more than actual characters/people, besides Syd and Harley, but that's only a problem if you're looking for something with weight and layers to it. That isn't this book anyway! I already mentioned the diversity, but, really, Capetta never lets me down with the flawless casual diversity. You've got a love interest whose pronouns change, and the changing of which is seamless in the narrative, and an agender main character who doesn't use pronouns at all. You have a whole cast of queer characters, but also POCs, students from a deaf school, a polyamorous brunch group, etc. It's just so nice to see! And, of course, the whole thing is sugary sweet. The idea of magical brownies breaking people up and the baker and delivery person trying to magically fix it is already a super cute premise. But it does follow through and really deliver that wholesomeness. My main issue with this book was in the romance. As much as I did like Harley and wanted to want to cheer them on with no hesitation, the fact that this whole thing with them starts about 2 days after Syd has a terrible break up, ending a three year relationship? It just does not at all feel realistic to me, and I wish that a little more time had gone by, or the flirting with Harley wasn't immediate. Over all, this is a cute book and a quick read. Capetta delivers again! Pre-review comments below What an extremely fluffy and on brand book

  13. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler The premise of this book was so sweet. Magical brownies that make people break up and a baker and bike messenger banding together to fix the damage with even more delicious treats? Really, this is as wholesome as it gets. The Heartbreak Bakery also marked the first book I’ve read with an agender protagonist who prefers no pronouns at all. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler The premise of this book was so sweet. Magical brownies that make people break up and a baker and bike messenger banding together to fix the damage with even more delicious treats? Really, this is as wholesome as it gets. The Heartbreak Bakery also marked the first book I’ve read with an agender protagonist who prefers no pronouns at all. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  14. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    Add romance, a cup of magical realism, a few spoonfuls of finding yourself, and lots and lots of baking. This book was absolutely fantastic!! Syd (not ready to pick a gender yet) is an amazing young baker at the Proud Muffin in Austin, TX. One day, after Syd’s relationship with W ends, Syd deals with it in the best way—baking. And amazing Breakup Brownies are created. The problem is, anyone who eats the Breakup Brownies well, breaks up, including Vin and Alec, the owners of the Proud Muffin. With Add romance, a cup of magical realism, a few spoonfuls of finding yourself, and lots and lots of baking. This book was absolutely fantastic!! Syd (not ready to pick a gender yet) is an amazing young baker at the Proud Muffin in Austin, TX. One day, after Syd’s relationship with W ends, Syd deals with it in the best way—baking. And amazing Breakup Brownies are created. The problem is, anyone who eats the Breakup Brownies well, breaks up, including Vin and Alec, the owners of the Proud Muffin. With the future of the bakery at stake as well as a number of relationships on the rocks thanks to Syd’s brownies, Syd is desperate to make it all right. And that means more baking and more feelings and trying to find the right recipe for everyone. With the help of Harley, the sexy delivery messenger for the bakery, Syd makes some important discoveries—about love, about assumptions, about bravery, and about how cupcakes have no gender, and that’s ok. It’s okay to be an agender cupcake. What a special, magical book The Heartbreak Bakery was! And it wasn’t crazy—just a bit of imbuing baked goods with emotions felt by those eating them. But aside from all of the mouthwatering food, this book had so many beautiful, glorious, life-affirming things to say. (And recipes!! I love books with recipes!!) This will easily be one of my favorite YA books of the year. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅

    Ahh this looks AMAZING!! Food? Cupid vibes? AND diversity? Sign me up!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth ✨

    “The Great British Bake Off” but make it gay and Texan! Okay, slightly misleading since the queer baking competition is only part of this book, but it’s still appropriate because this YA novel coming out 10/12 is just as lovable as GBBO, with magic, queer love, gender feelings, and the beating heart of Austin perfectly baked in. THE HEARTBREAK BAKERY is about Syd, an agender baker at the Proud Muffin, a queer-owned bakery and community space in Austin. After a sudden breakup with long-time girlfri “The Great British Bake Off” but make it gay and Texan! Okay, slightly misleading since the queer baking competition is only part of this book, but it’s still appropriate because this YA novel coming out 10/12 is just as lovable as GBBO, with magic, queer love, gender feelings, and the beating heart of Austin perfectly baked in. THE HEARTBREAK BAKERY is about Syd, an agender baker at the Proud Muffin, a queer-owned bakery and community space in Austin. After a sudden breakup with long-time girlfriend W, Syd bakes a batch of brownies accidentally imbued with heartbreak feelings that cause multiple other relationships to end. Syd teams up with Harley, the bakery’s bike delivery person, to make everyone fall in love again, and find love themselves along the way. I absolutely adored this novel. It’s romantic in a beautifully real way, centers a delightful and smart agender cupcake and a bubbly, endearing genderfluid love interest, and wonderfully recreates the experience of working in a cafe - the eclectic regulars, the joy of a sparkling clean kitchen in the early morning, the comforting fellowship with coworkers. Capetta’s writing is poetry, using baking analogies seamlessly to highlight big, emotional truths. The story is chock-full of all kinds of queers - gay, lesbian, bi, pan, ace/aro, trans, agender, genderfluid, poly, etc. - and is also inclusive in terms of other identities. Though there’s a lot of characters and Capetta uses some page space to explain different labels, each person feels well-rounded. I love the delicious-sounding recipes interspersed between chapters that are full of insight, encouragement, and wit. There’s so much wisdom about relationships and love and conflict and feelings packed into this book, with just the perfect amount of magic. Also, it’s probably the only book I’ve read that could pull off this quote: “I’m not packing with a scone!” Highly recommend that you track this one down as soon as you can. Thanks Candlewick Press for the ARC! “Baking is where we put our hearts when there’s so much in them and we have to let it out. We put a piece of ourselves on a plate and hand it over to someone else.” Content warnings: descriptions of gender dysphoria, some misgendering

  17. 5 out of 5

    Miriasha

    There's no recipe for the perfect read, but with a splash of adventure, a cup each of young queer love and gender feelings (we LOVE a trans/trans romance), and a healthy handful of found family, this book won the Big Gay Texas Bakeout of my heart. Thanks to Edelweiss for the e-ARC! There's no recipe for the perfect read, but with a splash of adventure, a cup each of young queer love and gender feelings (we LOVE a trans/trans romance), and a healthy handful of found family, this book won the Big Gay Texas Bakeout of my heart. Thanks to Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

  18. 5 out of 5

    mace

    "(no pronouns, please)" is just such a mood "(no pronouns, please)" is just such a mood

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Johnson

    The Heartbreak Bakery follows Syd (no pronouns), who is going through a rough breakup. Syd unknowingly bakes up a batch of magical rage brownies, causing others to fight and break up. After the owners of the bakery eat a batch of breakup brownies, Syd and the delivery biker, Harley (he/they), work together to mend all of the broken hearts. This YA rom-com was sweet as pie and I loved the inclusiveness! Syd is agender and bisexual, Harley is trans masc and demisexual, and the majority of side cha The Heartbreak Bakery follows Syd (no pronouns), who is going through a rough breakup. Syd unknowingly bakes up a batch of magical rage brownies, causing others to fight and break up. After the owners of the bakery eat a batch of breakup brownies, Syd and the delivery biker, Harley (he/they), work together to mend all of the broken hearts. This YA rom-com was sweet as pie and I loved the inclusiveness! Syd is agender and bisexual, Harley is trans masc and demisexual, and the majority of side characters are queer as well. The bakery is an inviting, safe space for the LGBTQIAP+ community. I adored how loving and wholesome the relationships were between all of the characters. Capetta writes a beautiful, heartfelt story while incorporating scrumptious, witty recipes along the way. I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for an inclusive comfort read! Thank you to @candlewickpress for gifting me this lovely book! 🧁

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Special thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me an ARC of this amazing story. 5 out of 5 stars The Heartbreak Bakery is something I think that queer individuals of ANY age should add to their reading list immediately. This story has the perfect ingredients to be a YA rom-com but manages to add in so many necessary and relevant conversations about our community. This is, as Laynie Rose worded it, a love letter to the queer community. Syd is having to deal with the first breakup, the one th Special thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me an ARC of this amazing story. 5 out of 5 stars The Heartbreak Bakery is something I think that queer individuals of ANY age should add to their reading list immediately. This story has the perfect ingredients to be a YA rom-com but manages to add in so many necessary and relevant conversations about our community. This is, as Laynie Rose worded it, a love letter to the queer community. Syd is having to deal with the first breakup, the one that leaves you heartbroken and chaotic. Syd ends up pouring all of that emotion into the brownies that are currently being baked. People who eat Syd's brownies end up arguing and they break up! Syd has to partner up with Harley (the bike delivery personnel) to create new recipes to mend the relationships that were broken by the break up brownies. Make sure you have a plate of delicious snacks because Syd's journey is bound to make you hungry. There is the cute, romance aspect of Syd's new relationship which shows us all the awkward, adorable moments of a teenage relationship just beginning. Capetta manages to use that prior relationship ending to start conversations on self isolation, relationships, communication styles, introspection, and gender identity. This teenage relationship also allows space for Syd who is trying to figure out pronouns or if the lack of pronouns is better suited. This gave us a good look into agender individuals and how each person who is agender will have a different outlook on what that means for them. Harley is so amazing and feels like such a safe person to be yourself around. I also really enjoyed the discussions around the generational differences in our queer community, polyam, asexuality, family dynamics, and trusting yourself. Syd is flawed and should be! Syd is a teenager and won't always have the emotional insight of an older person. I loved that Syd was allowed to take that journey to the realization that hiding everything and trying to do it all on your own isn't going to work out well. It was growth that was great to see. I also like how the older couples in the book set a boundary with that ending. (view spoiler)[Queer adults need to know that it's okay to go back to the beginning of what you enjoyed. Queer kids can handle the legacy. (hide spoiler)] My one nitpick is that Syd is constantly talking about "this feels straight", "this looks straight", "they look straight" etc. which was aggravating because not all queer people walk around in glitter and rainbows all of the time. Being queer is not decided by what you LOOK like or wear but by who you ARE. It came back to that "not queer enough" conversation that is too often had. This "not queer enough" ideology tends to distance members of our own community. I wish that was one of the conversations that could've been discussed because I think a lot of queer adults and youth need to know that they are simply enough. Overall, I LOVED reading this story and I would highly recommend it to every person.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    4.75 stars! Thank you so much to Candlewick Press for sending me an ARC of this heart-warming book. I am blown away by how this book was able to cram in so many incredibly deep and difficult life lessons while also consistently keeping the tone so comforting and wholesome. This book follows Syd (no pronouns), a 17-year-old baker, who after being broken up with, ends up baking a batch of magic brownies and causes a bunch of people to break up via some brownies. Syd has to team up with bike messenge 4.75 stars! Thank you so much to Candlewick Press for sending me an ARC of this heart-warming book. I am blown away by how this book was able to cram in so many incredibly deep and difficult life lessons while also consistently keeping the tone so comforting and wholesome. This book follows Syd (no pronouns), a 17-year-old baker, who after being broken up with, ends up baking a batch of magic brownies and causes a bunch of people to break up via some brownies. Syd has to team up with bike messenger Harley (he or they, shown on a pronoun pin!) to fix those broken up relationships and learn a thing or two about love and community and communication along the way. The world of this book has so much diversity! Including all the side characters, this book represents such a range of ages, sizes, races, sexualities, genders, etc. and it was so amazing to see all of these different people loving and supporting each other as one big family. I'm honestly not sure I have the words to explain how incredible this book was without just gushing for HOURS, but I will say that it is so stuffed with love and care and that frankly, I think this book should be a staple on every queer reader's shelf. Also warning: you're going to want to have some baked goods ready as a reading snack because this book will make you HUNGRY.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    exactly my favorite genre of everyone being cute and having a good time. all i have to say is 💗🥺🧁💔😭🍰🥰🤩

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anomaly

    Here's a fun story: I was browsing my library's online catalogue, uncertain what I wanted to read later. I had no intentions of borrowing a book immediately; I have other books I need to finish for a reading challenge right now. Then I saw this book among the new arrivals. The cover called to me, drew me in like a moth to a flame - or a bee to a sugary cake - and wouldn't let me go. So I read the synopsis, and my mood soared with the concept of mixing tons of LGBTQIA+ rep with tons of baking and Here's a fun story: I was browsing my library's online catalogue, uncertain what I wanted to read later. I had no intentions of borrowing a book immediately; I have other books I need to finish for a reading challenge right now. Then I saw this book among the new arrivals. The cover called to me, drew me in like a moth to a flame - or a bee to a sugary cake - and wouldn't let me go. So I read the synopsis, and my mood soared with the concept of mixing tons of LGBTQIA+ rep with tons of baking and magic. I love baked goods, I occasionally enjoy baking, and I am all over the idea of food-based magic. I couldn't wait and risk this book being hidden behind a queue of others in line to read it! So I snagged it, opened it, fell in love almost instantly... and now, here we are. Like the people drawn to Syd's magical baking, I was lured to this book by some incredibly accurate instinct. And like those people, I discovered this book was just what I needed... but also that nothing is perfect. Sometimes, there are bits we don't like in things we love. That's okay, and it being okay is one of the central themes of The Heartbreak Bakery. Life isn't perfect, relationships aren't perfect - nothing is - but some things are worth a little trial and tribulation to keep. Also, did I mention magical baking and massive representation of the LGBT community? Because there's so much of both and it's an absolute delight. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It's light and fluffy and generally positive despite all the conflicts within. It's easy to read and the main character's narration feels authentic - occasionally even to excess (more on that later). I had trouble putting this book down for the majority of the experience and things felt so organic that I was stunned at the end to realize the main relationship had only developed over a month - far too fast for young folk to be talking about or expecting absolute love and devotion in a new relationship - because everything just felt like it fit in place. I loved the plotline, and Syd's dedication to fixing an epic mistake so others could be happy was a refreshing change of pace from all the selfish YA protagonists out there. (Not that Syd is in anyway flawless or completely without selfless moments, but still.) Seeing recipes both real and imagined was delightful, as well. Each chapter has a recipe at the end: some for real things like brownies or pies, others clever ways to show a cutscene of what happened between chapters or delve deeper into Syd's emotions. It had the potential to be a little cringey when the fake recipes occurred, but I think it worked to portray how Syd sees the world in terms of baking and often channels emotions through that creative process. I even loved most of the characters most of the time and thought the romance was cute. In fact, at one point I had the biggest damn grin ever while reading because one of my most hated romance tropes was teased then inverted - thrown away as it deserves to be. (view spoiler)[No rekindling of toxic relationships here. No 'the ex comes crawling back and the new love interest gets ditched.' Just someone learning to get over an unhealthy relationship! (hide spoiler)] And the rep? Delightfully inclusive most of the time! We have everything from buzzcut haired agender teens to old man gay cowboys to polyamorous pansexuals and genderflux drag queens. From the spectacular-looking to the ones who blend in with non-queer society: everyone is treated as valued and accepted and welcome. There's even a little extra rep in the form of deaf characters and those who know how to sign to communicate with them (and those like Syd who don't, but find other ways to communicate). That said, though, I struggled with the middle and a few aspects of the end of this book. At times, Syd felt too realistic as a Gen Z kid. You know the part of Twitter that's toxic and mentally draining and teeming with teens? Yeah, Syd's personality occasionally dips into that territory. We're talking over-emphasis of race to the point "for obvious being-white reasons" is used twice on one page because it's not good enough to mention Syd feels uncomfortable offering identity advice to a POC struggling with being white-passing without hitting readers over the head with borderline self-loathing anvils about it. And for some reason it wasn't enough just to mention there was an event for queer people of colour that Syd never attended because Syd's white; there had to be an entire paragraph about that not being Syd's space to invade. There's also a bit where, instead of referring to disliking bikes, Syd refers to "I canceled bikes" which... no. Please don't perpetuate cancel culture in a cute, fluffy book, especially when it doesn't even apply to the situation and is only used colloquially. And sometimes Syd dips a bit too far on the scale of othering straight people... such as attributing random things (even some I as a bisexual woman can relate to) as being "so straight". For a book about a character who's sick of the gender binary and struggling to find a place to fit in, I didn't expect to feel like I'm not queer enough at times - like I have things I like or feel which label me as "so straight" when I know that's not who or what I am. But apparently it's totally okay, never goes challenged as the utter disrespect it is, for Syd to ask Syd's mom how she fell in love with her husband, then complain that it better not be too straight of an answer. Even though Syd's mom is straight. And it's totally okay to look at Syd's parents being adorable and romantic and constantly other them for being straight. I expect better from a character as concerned about inclusivity and everyone having a right to exist, and was very let down by how similar some of those thoughts felt to the way bigots in my hometown other LGBT people - don't want to see them being cute and romantic, label random behaviours as 'for gay people,' etc. I don't want the character championing inclusivity to echo some of the thought patterns of the very people who keep me hiding in the closet irl, scared to admit who I am to people who will judge and ostracize me for it. But I digress. Were it not for these bits and a few others I'm about to mention, this would have been a solid five-star book for me. So I'm probably being a little too strict on the parts that rubbed me the wrong way. Other annoyances include: - A teenager decides that their love interest not having been deeply in love with a recent ex-girlfriend is a reason they can't be a couple now... when the breakup was barely a month prior. (Because said teen wants instant love, devotion, and whirlwind romance. As a teen. When they've only been romantically involved with their crush for less than a month.) - A character who was generally nice and also directly involved in spying on a couple has a sudden heel turn into a complete and utter jackass, attacking the other person who spied for talking to the observed couple about what was overheard. She also belittles the person based on age, treats that person like total trash... and never once has to apologize because the conflict gets swept under the rug and soon they're close friends again. - It's treated as completely acceptable and fair to (view spoiler)[deliberately strand a kid with magical powers like one's own abilities, not inform that kid they aren't alone in the world, (hide spoiler)] and bluntly refuse to mentor or help the kid get their bearings when dealing with that (view spoiler)[newfound power (hide spoiler)] . I just... no. That is a level of negligent selfishness which I need to have challenged for how fucked up it is, not blindly accepted as totally okay. - Everyone, include Syd's internal narrative by the midway point, treats Syd like being 17 is being a "baby child" but being 18 is the magic solution to being no longer such a thing. That's not how ages that close work in terms of maturity and personality, and I needed to see more challenging of that mindset. (I'm super okay with this in regards to relationships and such, but we're talking in terms of baking, being a friend, etc.) - Syd seemed not to care about Tess (Syd's sister) as much until after deciding Tess might be aroace. Then suddenly spending sibling time together seemed like a priority and suddenly Syd thought maybe Tess could understand matters of identity. But just because Syd had an unconfirmed guess about Tess' identity didn't magically mean her personality was any different. I'd have loved to see a realization that having a common thread of being both potentially LGBT+ isn't required for siblings to bond and understand each other and respect who each other are. So, yeah. Some of the magic wore off in places. Some of the bites of this delectable treat were a little too salty for my tastes. But overall? I still loved it. I still felt happy and hopeful while reading most of it. (I still plan to try some of the included recipes.) And somehow, despite how ridiculously instant the love is, I thought Syd and Harley were adorable together. And at the end of the day? I gave this book a heart in the library app before returning it and will probably read more from this author who has an amazing way with words and creates generally cozy, comfortable environments even when characters are in conflict. Nothing is perfect. And I love this anyway.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Emily

    What a delightful teen romcom, with a bit of magic, some super amazing baking, and so much wonderful and queer inclusivity and rep! Syd is an agender bisexual baker who works for a local queer-owned/operated bakery in Austin. At the start, Syd has just realized that they had a relationship-ending fight with their girlfriend, W. And when Syd bakes brownies - later to be called break-up brownies, they realize that their feelings were mixed into the delicious baked goods and are actually causing oth What a delightful teen romcom, with a bit of magic, some super amazing baking, and so much wonderful and queer inclusivity and rep! Syd is an agender bisexual baker who works for a local queer-owned/operated bakery in Austin. At the start, Syd has just realized that they had a relationship-ending fight with their girlfriend, W. And when Syd bakes brownies - later to be called break-up brownies, they realize that their feelings were mixed into the delicious baked goods and are actually causing others to break up too - including the owners of the Proud Muffin bakery! (OMG I had total flashbacks to this cheesy romcom in the early 00's with SMG - Simply Irresistible? I think was the name??) Together with Harley, a demi delivery person who wears pronoun pins (he/him or they/them), the two of them work together to figure out how to fix the relationships that Syd's brownies have ruined. Along the way, Syd starts to realize that maybe her relationship with W wasn't all the perfection they thought it was, and Harley might be more than just the flirty delivery person. I absolutely loved the diversity and inclusion in this story - gay, bi, pan, agender, genderfluid, poly, demi, ace/aro, and probably some I am leaving out. It felt just so warm and inclusive and I loved it. I also love the feel of a family, with the staff of the Proud Muffin all working together, especially towards the end of the book. Honestly, this whole book feels like a love letter to the LGBTQIA+ community, young and old, newly out or ride and die proudly out, and I'm so here for more books like this. One of my favorite bits were the recipes spread throughout the story - I love how it was part real recipe and part snark and sass and storytelling, I just loved it. The storytelling and writing was just so wonderful, it had such a great voice with Syd and their goals of saving relationships and the Proud Muffin, while also finding a HEA for themself. I highly recommend this to someone wanting a very diverse and inclusive read filled with love and hope and baked goods! I received a copy for Pride Book Tours in exchange for my review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Randi (Rampant Reading Reviews)

    I received an advanced copy of The Heartbreak Bakery from Candlewick Press so I could share my review with you! Syd’s baking is magical. No, not just in the “Wow! This taste is absolutely magical!” but in the literal, “I put a spell on you,” sort of way. When Syd bakes, emotions can become tangled up into the recipe, so that anyone who eats them feels whatever Syd was experiencing. This hasn’t been too much of a problem, but that all changes when Syd gets dumped for the first time. A sudden end t I received an advanced copy of The Heartbreak Bakery from Candlewick Press so I could share my review with you! Syd’s baking is magical. No, not just in the “Wow! This taste is absolutely magical!” but in the literal, “I put a spell on you,” sort of way. When Syd bakes, emotions can become tangled up into the recipe, so that anyone who eats them feels whatever Syd was experiencing. This hasn’t been too much of a problem, but that all changes when Syd gets dumped for the first time. A sudden end to a many-year relationship leaves Syd reeling, and leads to an accidental tray of break-up brownies destroying several relationships. Syd has to undo the brownies’ damage, but this job won’t be possible alone. With the help of the cute bakery delivery person, Harvey, Syd will try to fix everything, one recipe at a time! You can get your copy of The Heartbreak Bakery now from Candlewick Press! I could honestly rave about this book for days, so I will try to keep my review on the short side (but know that I loved every single thing about this story)! The Heartbreak Bakery is the single best story centering queer love I have ever read. Each of the character interactions was beautifully authentic to my experiences with love and heartbreak. Several times, I was brought to tears by Syd’s emotional journey and growth during the story. The Heartbreak Bakery has its own kind of emotional magic: a power to speak to the emotions in our hearts that demand to be felt. My favorite structural element of this book was the recipes that A. R. Capetta included, which reflected Syd’s emotional state through a creatively baking-themed manner. These sections really brought Syd’s character out for me as a reader, and helped me to fully understand the magic in Syd’s baking! My Recommendation- If you are in need of a heartwarming story jam-packed with Queer joy, you need to pick up a copy of The Heartbreak Bakery! This book feels like a chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven, baked with love in every bite.

  26. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Before I even began The Heartbreak Bakery I was already so excited. I've slowly been reading more books by A.R. Capetta, so this one was already on my radar. How could it not be? Magical baked goods, recipes within the book, and a queer contemporary! As soon as I began, I fell in love. Syd is just so charming and relatable. Reeling from a break up, Syd pours Syd's feelings into th (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Before I even began The Heartbreak Bakery I was already so excited. I've slowly been reading more books by A.R. Capetta, so this one was already on my radar. How could it not be? Magical baked goods, recipes within the book, and a queer contemporary! As soon as I began, I fell in love. Syd is just so charming and relatable. Reeling from a break up, Syd pours Syd's feelings into these brownies which wreak havoc. And The Heartbreak Bakery is not only about fixing Syd's mistakes, it's about looking at relationships. About relationships which have always been on the precipice. Or relationships which need a good fight because to reach apathy is worse. One of my favorite elements was witnessing the other relationships in the books, mostly the ones Syd is trying to fix. But my favorite element had to be Syd and Harley. While their flirting seemed a bit soon, especially considering Syd's break up, their tension, banter, and getting to know each other was beyond precious. Don't even get me started on how much I loved Syd's family! full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erin Moulton

    Love and baking? Please sign me up.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Theanticharles007

    Already knew I would love it based on the description.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lu Kluck

    I loved this book, it was so cute and heartwarming. The pace felt a little rushed at some points, but I'm giving extra points for all of the amazing queer representation. This is the second time this week I've ripped through a book. Fluffy and magical contemporary romances are the bane of my to-do list. Full Review: The following review and other bookish content can be found in my blog, Luie's Digital Bookshelf and also on my Instagram @luies_digital_bookshelf •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I loved this book, it was so cute and heartwarming. The pace felt a little rushed at some points, but I'm giving extra points for all of the amazing queer representation. This is the second time this week I've ripped through a book. Fluffy and magical contemporary romances are the bane of my to-do list. Full Review: The following review and other bookish content can be found in my blog, Luie's Digital Bookshelf and also on my Instagram @luies_digital_bookshelf •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Rating: 5☆ Age-range; Genre: Young-Adult; LGBTQ+ Romance/Magical Realism Trigger warnings: Minor for Fatphobia, Transphobia, and Dysphoria. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• “But it does seem like I’m always the one who has to speak up and tell everyone how I’m different. I have to find a way to help them understand me, even though I don’t really understand them either. Syd is an agender, teen baker working at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. Syd’s coping mechanism has always been baking, but Syd’s post-dumping brownies turn up to be magical, breaking up anyone who eats them. Now Syd and Harley (the cute delivery person) have to go after the broken-up romances, fixing up the brownie’s damage one recipe at a time. Having a gender? Why? Feeling like your body and who you are inside line up all the time? How? Identifying with other folks of your assigned gender as a kid, when I identified with things like extra-fluffy cumulus clouds and nebulas? At first, I didn’t love this book. The initial plot points felt rushed through and undeveloped, but it got better and completely swept me off my feet. The Heartbreak Bakery was a profoundly reflective book, and maybe because of that, it lacked subtlety in the writing style. I haven’t related this much or felt this close to a protagonist since Alice Oseman’s Loveless. I saw myself in Syd, and Syd’s relationship with gender and self-expression spoke out to me. What does that even feel like? I get nervous trying to explain myself sometimes. I get tired. I grow sharp edges where I didn’t think I had any. his review will probably be short because all I can actively say about this book is that it feels like a giant queer hug. The rest are uncomprehensible sounds of joy. The representation in this book was effortless but meaningful, with LGBTQIA+, POC, and disabled characters, all respectful portrayals. The story itself also felt cozy and heartwarming, with a breathtaking romance and the actual depiction of healthy relationships. The novel also approached issues such as gentrification, the difficulty in finding safe spaces out there, and how important they are, depicting the generational differences within the queer community. And I definitely get to the point where I just want to bury myself in baking and not deal with any of it.”

  30. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. (I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO TYPE THAT) This book is a treat, quite literally. It's a love letter for the LGBTQ+ community, to be sure, but also to everyone who's ever felt like an outsider, but found their support in a group of people who understand them and their situation. The workers at the Proud Muffin and their relationships with each other are reminiscent of the cast of a Casey McQuiston book, as each of them a I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. (I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO TYPE THAT) This book is a treat, quite literally. It's a love letter for the LGBTQ+ community, to be sure, but also to everyone who's ever felt like an outsider, but found their support in a group of people who understand them and their situation. The workers at the Proud Muffin and their relationships with each other are reminiscent of the cast of a Casey McQuiston book, as each of them add their individual touch to the plot. Syd and Harley had the sweetest romance. Their chemistry felt natural. Marisol, I'd have to say, was my favorite character, just because of how she was sort of the cool older sister character archetype that I love so much. But if that's not your thing, there's many more to choose from-- there are many employees of the Proud Muffin, and all of them are fun and developed. The magical baking plotline was interesting, and added higher stakes to the story. Not to mention the mouthwatering recipes that the author periodically sprinkles in at the end of the chapters. I'll be sure to try baking one of them soon. All in all, I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves baking and sugary-sweet romance.

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