Cupcake Diaries #15: Emma Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Author: Coco Simon
129 Pages
Published in New York by Simon & Schuster (2013)


Emma’s younger brother Jake had tonsillitis and frequently suffered from sore throat and ear infection. Due to this, the doctor one day decided that Jake’s tonsils should be removed to prevent any more sore throats and ear infections in the future.

With the day of his surgery looming near, Jake became distressed and miserable, in turn tiring the people around him especially his family members. Emma and her friends Alexis, Mia and Katie, who were members of the Cupcake Club, tried to cheer up Jake with a bunch of cupcakes they baked. The Cupcake Club members – though being middle school students – baked some very delicious and creative cupcakes and made good money from their part-time business. However, the cupcakes were not enough to keep Jake happy and calm.

When the day of his operation came, Jake absolutely refused to go to the hospital. In his tantrums, Emma blurted an absent-minded offer that she will accompany him to the hospital, which Jake immediately agreed to. He stopped his tantrums instantly.

Emma was actually very afraid of anything to do with hospitals and dentists, especially the sight of needles and blood. She usually got squeamish and sometimes fainted when she saw blood, be it real or fake. Now Emma had gotten herself in a sticky situation after offering to accompany Jake to the hospital.

When the two siblings, alongside their parents, arrived at the hospital, Emma naturally felt faint and squeamish. But then, she saw how the much younger Jake suddenly coping with the situation bravely – despite initially protesting everything in a bratty manner. Emma also encountered crush material by the name Diego Diaz – who had to undergo surgery in the near future – but managed to control his own emotions. She also saw how both her parents coped with their own anxieties while waiting for Jake’s surgery to finish. 

Finally Emma realized that everyone had their own anxieties to deal with, and that people deal with it differently. She also realized that because of Jake’s courage in undergoing a surgery, she had slowly begun to maintain calm when faced with her greatest fears. She survived her day at the hospital without fainting, and it was a big step towards recovering from her phobia.

This is the first book in the Cupcake Diaries series that I read. I learnt that the author, Coco Simon, is very fond of cupcakes, thus incorporating elements of cupcake baking in her stories. She actually described in detail each cupcake that is featured in her stories, be it in terms of its appearance, ingredients or flavour. I honestly felt very hungry reading the book and wished I had some cupcakes in front of me right then.  

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