Monday, June 30, 2008

Juli's Review: A Piece of Cake


Author: Cupcake Brown

Pages: 470

Genre: Non-Fiction/Autobiography

Personal Rating: 5/5

From the back cover:
There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness.

Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she’d even turned twenty.

And that’s when things got interesting….

You have in your hands the strange, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating tale of a woman named Cupcake. It begins as the story of a girl orphaned twice over, once by the death of her mother and then again by a child welfare system that separated her from her stepfather and put her into the hands of an epically sadistic foster parent. But there comes a point in her preteen years—maybe it’s the night she first tries to run away and is exposed to drugs, alcohol, and sex all at once—when Cupcake’s story shifts from a tear-jerking tragedy to a dark comic blues opera. As Cupcake’s troubles grow, so do her voice and spirit. Her gut-punch sense of humor and eye for the absurd, along with her outsized will, carry her through a fateful series of events that could easily have left her dead.

Young Cupcake learned to survive by turning tricks, downing hard liquor, partying like a rock star, and ingesting every drug she could find while hitchhiking up and down the California coast. She stumbled into gangbanging, drug dealing, hustling, prostitution, theft, and, eventually, the best scam of all: a series of 9-to-5 jobs. But Cupcake’s unlikely tour through the cubicle world was paralleled by a quickening descent into the nightmare of crack cocaine use, till she eventually found herself living behind a Dumpster.

Astonishingly, she turned it around. With the help of a cobbled together family of eccentric fellow addicts and “angels”—a series of friends and strangers who came to her aid at pivotal moments—she slowly transformed her life from the inside out.

A Piece of Cake is unlike any memoir you’ll ever read. Moving and almost transgressive in its frankness, it is a relentlessly gripping tale of a resilient spirit who took on the worst of contemporary urban life and survived it with a furious wit and unyielding determination. Cupcake Brown is a dynamic and utterly original storyteller who will guide you on the most satisfying, startlingly funny, and genuinely affecting tour through hell you’ll ever take.
I couldn't believe this was a true story by the time it I was finished. It was simply too horrific at times to have actually happened. This girl should be dead, she should be imprisoned...but she isn't...she is a lawyer and a functional member of society!

This is one eye opening look into our failing foster care system and how easy it for children and simply people in general to fall between the cracks. At the same time however, it is also a story about "making it" and picking yourself up and being somebody.

This book gave me perspective and what it really means to have hard times and be down. It also refocused me on what CAN be accomplished with hard work, dedication and determination.

I have never done this before but I am going to contact Cupcake Brown and just let her know what an impact her book had on me.

Sometimes I (we) think we have it bad, and sometimes we do. Usually we don't. This book really allowed me to set my priorities straight and appreciate how good I really do have it, even with the problems I do have.

I believe that this is such a good book that I would like to give it to someone. If you are interested in this book please come over to my blog HERE and leave me a comment. I'll randomly pick someone in one week to mail it to.

1 comment:

N.Vasillis said...

Hey, Juli! I read this book a couple of months ago and loved it also. If Cupcake Brown can do what she sets her mind up to do, anyone can.