Originally posted on These Pretty Words.I really wanted to love this book. I gave it more than a fair shake considering I was ready to flounce at chapter four, but I held on until the end because the author is such a sweetie. Unfortunately the story never really grabbed onto me. I loved Maddie – she's funny, brazen, a little blunt, a lotta snarky –but in my opinion the other characters were written without clear characterizations. There were many moments throughout the book where I had to double back and reread to be able to figure out who was doing what. That really pulled me out of the story and frustrated me as a reader. I also didn't feel a strong draw to any of the three boys in Maddie's life. I didn't swoon over any one of them, even though I wanted to. And the girls around her? There were times when I wanted to throw my Nook across the room because of how her friends and sister were behaving. I will admit that Maddie's wit was quite a treat. There were many moments when my husband came to check what I was doing because he heard me giggling away during a particularly good section of dialogue. I was also very impressed with some of the scenes Dalya described. One in particular is an evening of drinking and dancing for the underage Maddie. While most authors tend to tell the reader how much their character drank and how 'wobbly' they felt, Dalya was able to write a scene from the point of view of a tipsy eighteen year old that made me give my tea the sniff test to make sure I hadn't poured in any Bailey's. The lady knows how to write good drunkenness. In the end, I liked the book but didn't fall in love with it. The basic premise of Practice Cake is intriguing (reality TV baking show? YES!) so give it a go if you think you might enjoy it. If it helps, I would recommend this book to someone looking for a light, fun read with a snarky leading lady. I've already recommended it to a few friends who I think will enjoy it, flaws and all.