Rebel Belle: hummingbird cake recipe + giveaway

March 10, 2014 2014, food in books, giveaway, hilarious, paranormal, rachel hawkins, recipes, Wendy 216



Rebel Belle goes down like a glass of cool, sweet tea on a hot summer’s day. As a big fan of both Hex Hall and School Spirits, I’m always excited when I hear there’s a new Rachel Hawkins book on the horizon, and this freaking cover had me panting with excitement. SO pretty! And full of potential kickassery! When Tonya sent me her copy from YAllFest, I was giddy with joy.

You’ll be happy to know that the contents are just as fun as the packaging. The book starts out with Harper Price, southern belle, all gussied up at a school dance–only to find that some guy has passed on his not-of-this-earth abilities to her after she witnesses his death in the girls’ bathroom. Eventually she finds out that she’s charged with protecting David Stark, a former childhood friend, but the problem is, David’s mission in life seems to be to make her life absolutely miserable. Oh, and she has to figure out what she can do with her new powers and also has a boyfriend who’s wondering why she has to spend all this time with this other guy. I mean, talk about awkward.

There are some similarities to the Hex Hall series for sure, but I always enjoy the author’s lighthearted, breezy tone. I also love the genteel southern setting here, as well as how Harper turns all that upside down as she tries to navigate her new duties as a guardian to a guy she doesn’t always get along with. The story isn’t enormously complicated, but it is funny and engaging, and it’s great to have YA that’s appealing to all ages, while still being appropriate content- and romance-wise to the younger readers in the spectrum.

Rebel Belle is a perfectly fluffy cake of a book…and I really, really enjoy cake.

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Download the Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Harper decides to make an “apology cake” at one point, and I had never heard of the one she whips up: hummingbird cake! Apparently it originated in the south, which makes sense given the author’s southern roots and since Rebel Belle is set in Alabama.  I had no idea how this cake was supposed to taste, but I was fascinated by the idea of the bananas and pineapples in it. I did a ton of research to crib together a few recipes to make my own, adapting it to be gluten-free for Mr. Darling’s sake. I was a bit nervous about taking this on since I’m not the world’s most experienced cake baker, but I figured hey, cream cheese frosting would hide a lot of flaws if there were issues.

I’m happy to report that it turned out to be problem-free and pretty darned delicious, however, and everyone who tasted it was crazy about it. If you’d like to try out the recipe, feel free to download one of the two versions below. I promise, it’s a very easy cake to make, and the extra steps are worth the effort.

Gluten-Free Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Regular Hummingbird Cake Recipe

I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did! Best enjoyed, of course, while reading Rebel Belle.


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8475505Win a copy of Rebel Belle!

Our friends at Putnam Juvenile are also kind enough to offer up an ARC to give away to our lovely readers. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a thoughtful comment below telling us why you love Rachel Hawkins books OR which humorous YA books are your favorites!

Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. Good luck!


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 An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review. And big thanks to Tonya for sending me her copy!


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

216 Responses to “Rebel Belle: hummingbird cake recipe + giveaway”

  1. Natalie

    This book has SUCH a pretty cover, plus the cake next to it make for a very good book! Hex Hall was hilarious so I can only hope her humor carries into this one!

  2. Harman

    My sister is a HUGE fan of Rachel Hawkin’s books and she roped me into them as well! I’m also a sucker for a humorous YA book.

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  3. Fatma Shahin

    ive heard nothing bu good things about this author. cant wait to read something by her, esp rebel belle! )

  4. Rachel H.

    I’d love to get my hands on this book AND the cake! I’d leave off the nuts (allergic), but the banana and pineapple sounds delicious!

  5. Danielle P

    Yes! I love the Hex Hall Series! SOOOO GOOD!!! I’m SUPER excited for this book! Can’t wait! I’d totally try hummingbird cake if someone else made it! haha! :D

  6. Michelle

    Omg, I gave the Hummingbird Cake recipe to my mom, I need her to make it for me ASAP. I’ll post a photo on my blog when she makes it! Aha!

    OMG I can’t wait to pick up Rebel Belle! I adored the Hex Hall trilogy, so this one definitely will be a keeper. :)

  7. Rose

    I’m really excited to read this book because of the bookplosion read-a-long group i hope to participate in this month! They are reading Rebel Bell and it sounds REALLY GOOD! i can’t wait to read it!

  8. Ariel T

    I actually haven’t read any of Rachel Hawkins books yet. I started the audio book of Hex Hall, but I never finished it. I was going to borrow it from the library when I went a couple of weeks ago, but it was already checked out. I will definitely finish reading it sometime, because I was really enjoying it! I’m also super excited for Rebel Belle. It sounds amazing!

  9. Rachel Bostick

    I’ve never really read any Rachel Hawkins books but I’ve heard great things about them. One of the funniest series I’ve ever come across is the Percy Jackson series. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been reading one of those books and suddenly burst out laughing in dead silence in a room full of people. Oh, the stares. Oh well, I just slide down in my chair a little and keep reading!

  10. Harleen Kaur

    I love, love, love Rachel Hawkins’s books. They are freaking hilarious, and she is just overall amazing. I loved the Hex Hall series, except the end of Spellbound killed me:( But, then School Spirits came out and I didn’t feel as depressed… So, yeah I’m really excited for this book!

  11. Danielle Richardson

    I’ve never read any books by Rachel Hawkins, but this book looks like a great place to start. The cover is gorgeous, and it sounds like a lot of fun.

  12. Rachel

    Hummingbird cake is so good! And I hope I win, this book sounds like fun. :)

  13. Belinda

    Some of my favorite humorous YA novels include The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska by John Green, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. All of the books have a sort of lighthearted and sarcastic witty humor that always makes me laugh to myself, but at the same time make me so emotional I start to cry. These books are the perfect balance between humor and feels.

  14. Denisa

    I’ve only read Rachel Hawkins Hex Hall series but it’s a series I simply adore, the last book was fantastic and made me tear up a bit. Sophie’s POV was entertaining and I’m sure all of Hawkins books are :)

  15. Mara

    Funny YA books are a fluffy delight in contrast to all of the more serious YA books out there!

  16. Joana

    The breezy humor is what I love the most about Rachel Hawkins’s books, so I’m very excited to read this. Also, I believe she said in her twitter the OTP of this book would remind of Dan and Blair from Gossip Girl and that’s a BIG plus for me.

  17. Tammy

    Yay – finally after ages I get to catch up on your blog. What a delicious little review Wendy. I must confess that I haven’t read the Hex Hall series (something I may still get around to at some point), but this one sounds like an absolute fun read. Also, I’m a sucker for books with a genteel southern setting, so I’m pretty sure I’ll like it. The pretty cover doesn’t hurt either. :) Lovely review Wendy!

  18. Sashana

    I’m very excited to read Rebel Belle. The cover is simple yet gorgeous! I can already tell that the protagonist is going to be someone who kicks ass and looks good while doing it! Some of my favorite funny YA books are Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman, How to Ruin My Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles, and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White.

  19. Natasha

    I can’t wait to read Rebel Belle!
    It sounds amazing and that cake looks amazing too!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  20. Stephanie T.

    I loved her Hex Hall series! The snarky conversations between Sophie and Archer never failed to make me laugh. I hope the new characters inherited at least a part of their wit and humor.

  21. Nevey Berry

    I have not read anything by Rachel Hawkins yet but have been planning to since ages; I am exciting for this one because it seems to be a paranormal cute read.

  22. elizabeth

    I just recently belly-laughed my way through the Hex Hall series and am on the waiting list at my library for School Spirits. Basically, I’ve become a Rachel Hawkins-aholic ;) Before that, the last time I laughed whilecreading was Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And other Concerns). I swear she’s a genius. And waaaay before that, it would have had to have been while reading Meg Cabot or Sophie Kinsella. Thank goodness for Rachel Hawkins, making humor relevant again!

  23. Louise MK

    Oh my, I’m so happy that you’re hosting this giveaway! ^__^

    I have to admit that I haven’t yet read any Rachel Hawkins books. I know, shame shame shame. I think the last humorous YA book I read was Croak, by Gina Damico… though actually Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell was pretty funny too, if in a somewhat sweeter way.

    Anyway, I’ve just added Rebel Belle to my already crazy TBR list in Goodreads.

  24. Sarah J

    How fun! This book looks really cute. I adore the cover. My mom would love that cake. It’s fun to pick pecans. I never acquired a taste for them but picking them is fun. I sadly have not read any of Hawkins’ books. *shies away* Some of my favorite comical YA are books with sarcastic humor. I loved the humor in The DUFF.
    Sarah J recently posted…And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

  25. Ranee

    I love your review! This is actually next on my reading list for our blog. I was excited about reading it before I saw what you thought so now I’m looking forward to it even more. And I’ll have to try that cake! It looks amazing!
    Ranee recently posted…Review of The Winner’s Curse

  26. Heather@The Flyleaf Review

    I’m a lucky girl– I live in the south & cN usually count on Hummingbird Cake– or a cake as equally delicious– every Easter with my family:) But thanks for providing a gluten free recipe because my husband is showing some symptoms if gluten sensitivity too ( it’s been an experience trying to go gluten free in my house!)

    So obviously I love the southern setting in this book– but like most readers I’m a fan of her particular brand of humor- I’d love to start this new series of hers:)
    Heather@The Flyleaf Review recently posted…Book Review: Side Effects May Vary

  27. Shannelle C.

    I haven’t read Rachel Hawkins, so I can’t relate. I was drawn here by that pretty cake. I’m not a fan of pineapples and bananas put together, but I am a fan of your frosting skills. My attempts in frosting ended up in some sort of lump.
    Shannelle C. recently posted…Summer Plans!

  28. Brittany T

    I originally tried to win this thru goodreads first reads but it is now on my ‘ I need now’ wish list. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. While it is very old and I’m not sure if considered YA I absolutely loved anything by Sophie Kinsella. She has a way to portray women that I absolutely adore. I think my favorite of her books would be the Shopoholic series or I’ve Got Your Number or Remember Me.
    Brittany T recently posted…FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY! Hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.

  29. Whimsical

    I loved Hex Hall! I’m looking forward to reading this and that cakes looks delicious. *drools*

  30. Valerie

    Mr. Darling is gluten intolerant? So’s Mr. Glenmullen! Let me know if you want to trade recipes sometime. He made a pretty delicious cake using coconut flour the other day. Since you’re a fellow GF wife, do you find yourself never going out to restaurants because the joy of going out is seriously muted by your husband only being able to eat 3 things off the menu? I always find myself looking at his meal choices before I even decide on mine.

    I am most definitely going to read Rebel Belle after reading this, even though I find that Hawkins books go too fast for them to leave much of an impact on me (if that makes sense). I enjoy them, but the speed at which I go through them detracts. Maybe I can try to read slower…?

    Regardless, great post!
    Valerie recently posted…The marriage survives beta reading!

  31. Shoshana

    I haven’t read Rachel Hawkins yet (though Hex Hall has been on my list for ages) but my all-time favorite funny YA is “Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot” by Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stervermer. Not only is it hilarious, with great heroines, but the authors wrote the whole thing through the letter game, which I think is incredible.
    Shoshana recently posted…Rebel Belle

    • Wendy Darling

      I haven’t read that one, Shoshana, so thanks for the recommendation! But what is the letter game? I need to google this, it sounds intriguing.

      I hope you take Hex Hall off your TBR list and move it right over to the “currently reading” list soon. It’s SO much fun.

      • Valerie

        Also totally butting in here but Sorcery and Cecilia is AMAZING. (The sequels are not, at least in my opinion.)

        If you haven’t had a chance to look it up yet, the letter game is where you write a story by sending letters back and forth… except they kept it in letter format, so the characters were telling each other the story. Not something I’d always go for but it really worked in this book. Plus, so many laughs.
        Valerie recently posted…The marriage survives beta reading!

    • Wendy Darling

      Bonnie, you can totally make this with walnuts if you wish! Or any nut that will hold up to the cream cheese frosting. I’m curious about this allergy, though–is it just pecans? Tonya is allergic specifically to walnuts, and before I heard that, I thought that a nut allergy meant pretty much all nuts.

      You can order Domata online (even Amazon), and some of the fancier Wal-Marts have it, too. I’ve tried at least a half a dozen glute-free flours, and this one is my favorite, not only for lightness and texture, but because it’s cup for cup replacement, so you don’t need to do the weighing thing. I had no idea you were gf, too.

      And yeah, REBEL BELLE put a goofy smile on my face that never really left as I was reading it. :)

      • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

        Ha – I’ve got bad allergies to pecans and walnuts both. Can have peanuts in moderation but no issues with almonds. Yep, gf and I also use Ener-G egg replacer because I can’t have eggs. I’m challenged. Lol The only pre-mixed gluten free flour I’ve used before is Bob’s Red Mill and it wasn’t too bad. I recently found a recipe to make my own and am thinking I need to give that a shot at least. :)
        Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

        • Wendy Darling

          Oh, man–you’ve got it bad! I won’t complain about having to think about gf again, hah. You could really skip the nuts altogether, I guess. It’s the frosting that is the most interesting part anyway. ;)

          I like Bob’s, too. I REALLY like their tapioca flour for making gf Brazilian bread, my husband loves it.

  32. Sara Turner

    I love Rachel Hawkins books because they make for such fun, light reading. Given all the dystopias popping up in YA lately, it’s always breath of fresh air to have something light to sit down with.

    • Wendy Darling

      I totally agree! It’s so nice to know that you’re going to be relaxing with a crazily fun book that isn’t shallow, but also isn’t going to make your head hurt either. She really strikes just the right tone with her books.

  33. Kari j

    I love Rachel Hawkins books because the heroines are smart, the writing is witty and the guys are hot

  34. Kelly L.

    I love Rachel Hawkin’s books because they make me laugh! I also just LOVE Sophie and Archer’s chemistry together! <3
    I've never had Hummingbird Cake before, but it looks delicious! (:
    Kelly L. recently posted…It’s Time I Take A Hiatus

    • Wendy Darling

      You’re right–so much chemistry, I love Sophie and Archer together. *sigh* I still miss those two. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they showed up again in a short story or something? I wiiiiish.

  35. Rachel

    I can’t wait to read Rebel Belle, Wendy! I loved her Hex Hall series because of the sheer fun of it and I’m happy to hear this book has Ms. Hawkins signature humor. The cover is just so lovely and what you’d picture for a Southern Belle! Excellent review, and thanks for the recipe. :)
    Rachel recently posted…Review & Giveaway: Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, I can’t wait for you to read this, Rachel! (I feel like I’ve talked to a lot of Rachels today, hmmm.) I’m sure you’ll love this one, too. I’ll be on the lookout for your thoughts on it.

  36. Alicia

    I love Rachel’s books because they are fun, hilarious, have awesome and supportive girl friendships (Sophie and Jenna), a hot and witty love interest (Archer), and a snarky badass heroine (Sophie). Also, she’s not afraid to kill people off. And Rachel is just lovely.

    • Wendy Darling

      Your description sums up her books PERFECTLY–I love it! I was upset with ONE of those deaths in a big way, but…let us not speak of that, hah.

  37. Danielle Nguyen

    I read the Hex Hall series & really enjoyed it. She’s also one of my favorite authors to follow on social media bc she’s so funny. Can’t wait to read this one!

    • Wendy Darling

      She is one of the funniest people online, and definitely one of the funniest authors in YA, too! It’s hard not to smile as you read her books.

  38. Janet Rivera

    I haven’t yet got around to Rachel Hawkins’ books, but they are going to be moved closer to the top of my (enormously long) list. I am a fan of Meg Cabot’s 1-800-Where-R-You series and the Ruby Oliver books by E. Lockhart, although the latter are more serious with incidental lols.

    I was looking for something to make this weekend for my book club and since we do have a GF member, I can try your cake recipe, if I can get my hands on a premixed GF flour. I kind of hate experimenting with GF recipes myself, since I always end up with bags of potato starch or tapioca flour that go off before I want to try again again.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh yes–if you enjoy humor in your YA, you definitely have to give this author a try. So fluffy and sweet, Janet!

      I absolutely refuse to mix my own gluten-free flour, by the way–I just cannot be bothered, so I always go the pre-mixed flour route as well. I’ve tried several different kinds, and I like Domata the best (you can buy it on Amazon, online, and at some of the Wal-Marts with nicer grocery items), because it’s cup for cup replacement. It’s rice flour-based, so it’s much much lighter than a lot of other gf flours, and there isn’t any gritty/sandy texture in your cookies or pie crusts.

      Let me know how it turns out if you end up making it.

      • Janet Rivera

        Thanks again, Wendy. I will definitely let you know :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Soooo fun, Shalayna. :) I’m glad you enjoyed both the review and the recipe! Fingers crossed you enjoy REBEL BELLE as well.

  39. Amir

    I’ve just started baking but I’ve never really set my eyes on baking a whole cake yet! This one looks so yummy and its gluten free! I’ve never baked a gluten free dessert before. Baking can be so therapeutic don’t you think? :)

    I have not read anything from this author but I have been meaning to read Hex Hall but I think I will try this book first! The covercover and premise is gorgeous and I got reeled in by the cake.
    Amir recently posted…{Guest Post} Not Reading is Hard by Kate Scott

    • Wendy Darling

      Amir, I haven’t baked very many cakes in my life either, so don’t be afraid of this one! And I’ll tell you a secret–the last time I baked a cake, it was such a disaster that I didn’t try again for at least two years. But this one turned out perfectly, so…I hope that gives you some comfort!

      Gluten-free really can be a better option if you can find recipes that taste good. Sometimes they can turn out too dry or sandy, depending on the method or ingredients you used, but this one works well. I also posted a gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe awhile back (with my EVERY DAY review) that is really, really easy.

      And YES. Read HEX HALL, please. It’s such a fun series! Oh, and REBEL BELLE, too. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, Jen–Kate isn’t a big cake eater either, but she does love hummingbird cake! And this one has banana in it, so maybe you’d enjoy it, too? It’s a denser cake, and it keeps very well.

      I know what you mean about SPELL BOUND, though. It went that way that no one likes to see triangles go, and it was sad for everyone. I’m still not over it, ugh. But I love love love the first two Hex Hall books, they’re still my favorite Hawkins.

  40. Amy

    I really enjoyed the Hex Hall Series. I haven’t read anymore from this author so I am looking forward to trying her newest book out. I’m also a sucker for a good book cover and I like this one… I know, never judge a book by it’s cover, but ‘I Do’.

    • Wendy Darling

      You know, if we weren’t meant to at least partially judge a book by its cover, everything would just be black and white typeface. ;) I’m so glad you like HEX HALL, too! I hope you enjoy Harper and David and Alabama just as much.

  41. Carolsue

    I love humorous books — YA and other kinds. The books by this author certainly fit the bill for me!

    • Wendy Darling

      I love funny books, too–I desperately wish we saw more of them. Or even more humor in regular old contemporaries or PNRs or scifi, too. Humor is a big part of life. A very good part of life.

  42. Emily

    I haven’t read any Rachel Hawkins books yet, but I am looking forward to reading some! My favourite humorous YA book would have to be any of the books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. They’re really easy to read, and a lot of fun! (:

  43. Kendra

    I love Rachel Hawkins, her books are perfect when you need a reading pick-me-up

    • Wendy Darling

      Absolutely agree. I just gifted my co-blogger Kim with HEX HALL since she hasn’t read it yet (outrageous, right?), and I told her to save it for a day when she needs a good laugh.

  44. Kelly @ Diva Booknerd

    I’m so on the verge of licking my screen, first the cookies on Twitter, now this? You kill me woman! I had no idea that she had another book out, I’m a big fan of Hex and School Spirits too (shouldn’t there be another one in that series coming out soon?).

    I love books with a Southern flare, this one sounds brilliant. Good luck to everyone who enters.
    Kelly @ Diva Booknerd recently posted…The One and Only Jack Chant by Rosie Borella

    • Wendy Darling

      My understanding is that the SCHOOL SPIRITS series is on hold for now, which is sad. :( I’m really hoping that this one does well, though, so we can get book two! I’m glad to hear you’re a fellow RH fan.

      And heeeeee, if I’m infected with cookie/cake madness, you must be, too!

  45. Stephanie Johnson

    Love the lightheartedness of Hawkins’ books. Especially excited about this one as I love books set in the south.

    • Wendy Darling

      So light, so fluffy, so wonderful. :) I’m actually surprised it took her this long to set a book in the south, it seems so natural and right.

  46. AmyL

    I haven’t read any Rachel Hawkins books (yet!) but I followed her on Twitter a while ago because she’s hilarious!

    My favorite humorous YA book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell — though of course there’s plenty of serious parts in that book, too.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh man, you have to fix that ASAP, Amy! Her Twitter personality totally comes through in her books.

      I liked FANGIRL, too–and both Tonya and K picked that as one of their favorite books from 2013 as well.

  47. Cyn

    I didn’t realize Rebel Belle was more on the fluffy humorous side, that’s great to hear. I loved the Hex Hall series because Sophie wasn’t annoying haha, but I still need to check out School Spirits. That cake looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    Cyn recently posted…Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

    • Wendy Darling

      All of this author’s books are on the fluffy, humorous side! And yeah, it’s hard to balance the quirky, snarky characters so that they aren’t annoying, but RH does a really great job with her heroines. SCHOOL SPIRITS was super fun as well–and also, a little darker than her other books, imo. Though still funny.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, thank you! I love books set in the south, too. You’re lucky you knew about hummingbird cake before this, I had no idea they existed before reading this book.

  48. Jessica

    I think I like Rachel Hawkins books because of the humor and romance and adventure.

  49. Brynn

    This books sounds like a southern version of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, one of my favorite TV shows. My favorite humorous YA are I Funny by James Patterson, Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer and Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa.

  50. Nan

    I really liked the Hex Hall books, but I have to say that my favorite humorous YA of all time would have to be “Don’t Care High” by Gordon Korman. I’m sure it’s probably really dated now (it was published in the 80s), but it was just delightfully madcap.

    I’m eager to see what Hawkins has done with this new book. She showed a lot of potential in the Hex Hall series, so I’d like to see what she does as she gains more experience.
    Nan recently posted…In Which I am a Watering Pot

    • Wendy Darling

      I’ve seen Gordon Karman books around but have never read him–as a child of the 80s, though, I am very curious! Thanks for the rec, “delightfully madcap” sounds like fun to me.

  51. Katya

    Oh my goodness, I’m so thrilled that you provided a GF cake recipe! Us GF folks get left out of so many recipe-sharing instances that I’m simply psyched that you’ve thought of us. I loved Hex Hall, so I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this book as well. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      III know. I’m always on the lookout for gluten-free recipes for my husband, so I’m pleased to be able to share this one. :) I posted a great recipe for chewy sea salt peanut butter cookies awhile back with my EVERY DAY review as well.

      This one’s very fun, Katya. I hope you love it as much as you loved HH!

    • Wendy Darling

      She’s an auto-read/buy for me too, Jenn. :) And thanks, the cake was pretty tasty! The book will make you want to eaaatt it.

  52. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    This post has made me so hungry! Thanks a lot, Wendy xD Anyways, I’m really looking forward to this book. I read the excerpt and it just made me want to read more. I love Rachel’s way to make light-hearted yet serious books. Love that it’s set in the South :)
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh good, I’m glad the excerpt hooked you! I should have thought to link to it in the review.

      And yeah, I love the combination of sweet and light and dark things happening, too.

  53. Rachel R

    This one sounds like it might be a great fit for my library’s YA collection. Our audience skews younger (more 7th graders than 11th, so we’re often on the lookout for younger YA). The Hex Hall books are a big hit here, too, but I haven’t gotten around to them just yet!

    • Wendy Darling

      All of Rachel Hawkins’ books are great for younger YA readers, Rachel–I was just telling author Paula Weston about Hex Hall, because she was looking for books for her 13-year-old niece who isn’t a big bookworm. I love that they are fun and full of strong girls and swoony romances, but the romances are still perfectly suitable for those a little less experienced as well. :) I hope you get a chance to read her books soon! REBEL BELLE is another winner for sure.

    • Wendy Darling

      I hope you get cream cheese frosting allll over you, Bethzaida. That is my wish for you. :D

      Okay, and that you get your hands on this soon, too.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, it’s actually light paranormal, Jeann! So much fun, though, and it doesn’t itself as seriously as a lot of other urban fantasies do. Which is a really nice change of pace.

  54. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Wendy, no one said it was your life mission to show off delicious looking food to me when I am about to starve to death. SO DON’T *sobs* I still haven’t had dinner yet because my mum only just got home from shopping, she’s almost finished but I think I won’t make it, especially thanks to your delish looking cake :P

    THANKS for sharing <33
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Review: Tandem by Anna Jarzab

  55. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    Aw, this is why sometimes I wish I lived in the US, lol! Anyway, I thought Hex Hall was okay and School Spirits was cute, but I do like this author’s writing style, so I’m definitely interested in this one! Plus, the cover’s gorgeous. And that cake looks delicious. @_@
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

    • Wendy Darling

      Well, if you like the author’s writing style, you’ll probably enjoy this, Aimee. We may have a fight over the “Hex Hall is okay” comment, though. PUT UP YOUR DUKES.

  56. Melliane

    Oh I didn’t know she had a new book, that’s a wonderful news and I agree with you I just love the cover. And knowing that the story is also great intrigues me a lot. thank you!

  57. Giselle

    SO MUCH DELISH!! your recipes and pictures and especially Instagram is going to make us all so fat! haha. But I love it! :D And this book sounds like such a fun and entertaining read! I read Hex Hall a while back but I never finished the series. I think I read book 1 before I even was a blogger and then my TBR grew like crazy shiz so yeah. >.< It's funny I only just realized it was the same author now. I always thought it was the author of Belles (Jen Calonita) probably bc the covers and names are similar.
    Giselle recently posted…Review: The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, her books are so cute! I hope you get a chance to pick them up again sometime, Giselle. And you’re totally right, even the colors on the BELLES book are the same. o.O I liked this one much better, though, if that counts for anything.

      *tempts Giselle with sweets* Mwah hah hah.

  58. Amy

    Yummy ! I will for sure make this cake! I haven’t read Hex Hall yet but Rebel Belle seems like a cute book. I love the cover!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hooray! Take photos and share with us how you liked it, Amy. And if you’re looking for cute, Rachel Hawkins is definitely the way to go.

  59. J. Oh

    I’ve read a lot of dystopia lately–not necessarily because I love dystopia, but because I do love fantasy and I’ve found that most fantasy books I pick up nowadays have at least hints of dystopia–and a cake-like book, by contrast, sounds excellent. I haven’t read any other Rachel Hawkins books, but I’m curious about them, especially if they all have this breezy tone that you enjoyed in Rebel Belle. My favorite humorous YA books are mostly from my childhood–The Phantom Tollbooth and Everything on a Waffle, for instance.

    • Wendy Darling

      This book is definitely a great palate cleanser between heavier books for sure–I really wish we saw more funny, light-hearted YA books. I sometimes have that Heath Ledger as The Joker moment and think, “Why so serious?” Not that I don’t enjoy serious books, too, mind you–I just feel like we could use more of the funny.

      I hope you like the author’s voice. It’s a love/hate thing, I think, as it is with all books/movies/whatever based on humor, since it’s such a subjective thing. I obviously loved her writing, though.

      And I have never heard of this Waffle book! 0.O I am going to look that up right now to see what that’s all about.

      • J. Oh

        I totally think the same thing. I love the serious stuff, but I also feel like I’ve gotten a lot of good, serious themes out of humorously written books–and it hurts a lot less going down. I still enjoy the more blatantly serious books, but I’d love to see more humor, for sure.

        It only belatedly occurred to me that a reason you may not have heard of Everything on a Waffle is that, while I still subscribe to the perhaps outdated practice of labeling books “children’s/YA” (mostly because of those books that really are tricky to pin down as one or the other), Everything on a Waffle could be fairly convincingly pegged as just “children’s”. I remember really loving it, though–so I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it at some point :)

  60. Kim

    Hee! This book looks sooo cute! I hadn’t even realized it was written the same author as Hex Hall (which I reallllly need to get around to)! I just read the line, “David’s mission in life seems to be to make her life absolutely miserable.” and I’m grinning. I just *love* that sort of dynamic. I think I’ll save this one for after I’ve been particularly destroyed by a book and am looking for something funny and sweet to help me get through rough book hangover period.

    The cake looks divine! I love fruity cakes so I am definitely intrigued to make it one day. I had a super delicious gluten-free cake from Whole Foods that was called a Shmoo Cake. It seemed to me like they made it from some sort of nut flour, with a whipped cream icing, caramel sauce and crushed pecans. I highly recommend seeking it out if it sounds like something you guys would like! Or I’m sure there are recipes floating around for it somewhere… ;)

    • Wendy Darling

      This book is ADORABLE and I love it. I think you need Hex Hall in your life, so I’ve just sent it to you–check your email for a present from Amazon! Rachel Hawkins seems like an author you’d like, I think, based on what you’ve said here and your enjoyment of POISON.

      And oo, thanks for the tip on Shmoo cake. I didn’t realize Whole Foods even made gluten-free baked goods, so we’ll have to look the next time we’re there! Let me know if you end up making this one sometime. Are you gf, too?

      • Kim

        I am not gluten free but my mom is so I end up eating gf fairly often. We just had the Shmoo cake for her birthday. Otherwise I probably never would’ve heard of it in a thousand years. It was really good though! Definitely seek it out!

        Thank you again for the book. I can’t wait to dive in. :)
        Kim recently posted…The Impossible Knife of Memory: review

  61. Larissa

    I’m definitely super excited for this book as I’ve read everything else Rachel has written and loved it(: her characterization is just wonderful. I also love the funny time in Rachel’s writing.This one seems full of potential and I’m so glad it worked out for you.

    Omg yay the giveaway is open to us Canadians (: I hope luck is on my side. I’d love to win this one.

    Lovely review Wendy! And the cake looks wonderful, makes me hungry just looking at it haha. I know I said this before but you’re great at capturing moments with photography. I’m going to Italy in 10 days and plan to take loads of pictures. I hope my pictures turn out great like yours (:
    Larissa recently posted…DNF Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, you’ll love this then! I can’t wait for you to read so I can dance around your review with you. :D I’m in the middle of GRIM, btw, and I liked her short story for that as well. I kind of liked that it was open-ended, and it was an interesting take on Bluebeard for sure.

      The cake really was a lot of fun to make and eat, too. No traumas at all, which isn’t always the case when you try out new methods and recipes. :)

      And aww, thanks so much, Larissa! I wish I’d been able to take photos during the day, because that would have helped so much with the quality because the lighting in our kitchen is terrible. But alas, Mr. Darling was impatient to eat the cake after dinner that night, and frankly, so was I.

      I am SO excited for you over this Italy trip, though–wow!! Please take tons and tons of photos, I can’t wait to see them. And let’s be honest, the crappiest photo in Italy is usually more rewarding than the most professional photo you could take at home, hah. Have a wonderful time!

  62. Heather King

    I loved the entire Hex Hall series and follow Rachel on Twitter. She has a fabulous sense of humor and I want to read ALL of her books! This one sounds fantastic and a nice change from the ones I have been reading lately. (And the cake looks soooo yummy! )Thanks for this great post and giveaway! This book is going on my TBR!;)

    • Wendy Darling

      She is kind of crazily funny, isn’t she? It’s pretty infectious, and her humor just pops off the page. I love YA books with humor because they’re such a nice change from all the grim stuff out there, and I always regret that we don’t see more.

      Glad you’re going to give this one a try! It’s a lot of fun.

  63. Vivien

    Oh the cake looks utterly delicious. Even if it is out of my comfort zone. I haven’t worked with gluten free at all. I wonder how much different the flavors are. This book sounds like a great read! I absolutely love reading this genre because it really breaks up the minutia of a lot of YA. Southern settings are one of my favorite. I think it has to do with the fact that I grew up on Gone with the Wind. So glad you really liked this one. One of my favorite humorous YA is Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford. I listened to it and it really gave me the giggles. Also, Will Grayson Will Grayson is another excellent audiobook.

    • Wendy Darling

      This cake is actually way out of my comfort zone too, Vivien–I was talking to Kate below about how I don’t often go for fruit-filled cakes, but something about this one intrigued me. And gluten-free baking is actually more different in texture than anything else–you really have to be careful about the flour you use, as many of them end up having a sandy, gritty texture, especially in cookies, and sometimes the cakes and muffins turn out too heavy. A denser cake like this one really lends itself well to gluten-free baking, though. I also swapped out for butter instead of oil (I think it works better with gf flour) and adjusted oven temperature, cooking time, and liquids to accommodate it.

      Sorry, that was more info than you probably needed or wanted, hah.

      I love southern settings, too! And I haven’t read either one of your recs, so I’ll have to look into those. Thank you!

  64. Tabitha the Pabkins

    Oh wow, this does sound so cutesy. I have only ever read School Spirits which I really enjoyed. So if you’re comparing it to that then I think I’ll definitely enjoy it. I seriously need to read her Hex Hall ones cause I’ve heard nothing but good things!

    And that cake…WHY MUST YOU TORMENT ME WITH SWWEETS! Don’t’ you know I Only just recently got down to prepregnancy weight!!! Luckily I’m not a fan of cake unless it’s cheese cake. But I love muffins and cookies – aren’t I a weirdo?
    Tabitha the Pabkins recently posted…Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

    • Wendy Darling

      If you liked SCHOOL SPIRITS, you’ll probably like this. :) HEX HALL is still my favorite, though, so definitely don’t miss those! Except for the last book, I kind of like to pretend that doesn’t exist, hah.

      Another person who doesn’t like cake! But would it make you feel better or worse to know that our own Kate doesn’t usually like cake either, but she likes this one? She told me before I made it that it was a heavier, muffin-like texture, so…you never know. This could be the cake you’ve been waiting for.

      • Tabitha the Pabkins

        Hmmm – sounds possible.

        I definitely do need to read the Hex Hall books. This one didn’t even hit my radar though so I’m surprised.

        Oh yes did I ever send you the pictures from my wedding? Here are just a few that ended up on pinterest. We were in a magazine!! “Real Weddings”.

        And P.S. My wedding cake was very tasty but I still would have preferred a cookie or cheese cake LOL
        Tabitha the Pabkins recently posted…Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

        • Wendy Darling

          Cheese cake or cookie wedding cake would be something to behold! Mine was chocolate with Baileys in the batter–almost 10 years later, people still talk about it, hah. And no, I’d love to see those photos!

        • Wendy Darling

          You’re so fast, I asked for it, and when I clicked it was already here.

          OH MY GOD, TABITHA. Those photos are gorgeous! I especially love the fun one with your husband picking up your skirt, and that crazily romantic one of you two kissing on the stair case. How awesome that your photos were in a magazine! I love your dress, too, I’m such a sucker for anything that is over the top romantic. It looked like you had a beautiful, beautiful wedding. Thank you for sharing that! I love it!

          • Tabitha the Pabkins

            It was a load of fun you would have loved it! I even have a photo of me coming out of a tiny door – you know like Alice since it was a Wonderland themed wedding. The magazine didn’t post up many of the themed photos on their pinterest and I just never got around to doing it lol. Thanks for your sweet words. It was definitely our fantasy wedding!
            Tabitha the Pabkins recently posted…Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

  65. kimbacaffeinate

    Fantastic review and there is something special about southern charm and tradition. Your Hummingbird Cake looks simply divine. I have enjoyed it with cream cheese icing and love that you made yours glutton free :) Gads, Wendy I am now craving CAKE!!!! Thanks for sharing Rebel Belle with us :)
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Cider Brook by Carla Neggers

    • Wendy Darling

      That famed hospitality and graciousness is pretty appealing, isn’t it? Plus so many small town settings (which you know I love!), which can be so charming.

      I’m tickled to hear you’ve tried hummingbird cake, I feel like I’ve been under a rock since I hadn’t even heard of it before reading this book.

  66. Jen

    I loved the Hex Hall series. Sophie is such a breath of fresh air in the YA department and I couldn’t get enough of the school and all the hi jinx that went with it. School Spirits is off to a good start, can’t wait to pick up the rest of them! This book looks like it will live up to Hex Hall and I’m super excited to get my hands on it! Thanks for the giveaway :)
    Jen recently posted…Review: Bright Before Sunrise

    • Wendy Darling

      Yesss. Sophie is full of such personality and snark, I just love her so much! Hi jinx is a great way to describe her antics, hah.

      You know, the last I heard, the SCHOOL SPIRITS series is on hold for now, which is pretty sad. It just means that people who love this author’s books will hopefully be supporting REBEL BELLE by buying it and telling other people about it if they can.

      • Jen

        That would be why I haven’t heard anything since School Spirits! Thanks for letting me know. Any new book by Rachel is a good one in my books ;)

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m not surprised to hear you’re not a Hex Hall fan, Keertana–I knew this author’s books would likely be too fluffy for your analytical brain! I hope you enjoy the cake if you get around to making it, though. I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was.

  67. Alise

    I haven’t read Hex Hall but all the books by this author seem really fun, including Rebel Belle. I saw you post this cake on Instagram in all its gloriousness and it looks so good! Even if it was bad (which it most definitely isnt’!) the cake is gorgeous. A+ job :) I’m not a huge fan of pecans but maybe they could be substituted for a different kind of nut? Great post!
    Alise recently posted…ARC Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah, I know what you mean–sometimes cakes taste great but don’t look pretty, or vice versa. This one turned out pretty well in both ways, though, so I’m glad my experiment didn’t go terribly wrong.

      And definitely, you can substitute walnuts or any other kind of nut you want for this recipe. I would just pick one that holds up to the thick sweetness of the cream cheese frosting.

  68. Carolsue

    I have not read any of Rachel’s books, but this sounds like a fun read. I like the “touch of magic.” Hope I win!

    • Wendy Darling

      You should read this one when you need a good pick-me-up. It definitely put me in a good mood–and in a cake-eating mood, too. Which also makes me happy, heh.

      I haven’t made that many cakes before, so I’m glad this one turned out well. I was pretty pleased it all ended up working out.

  69. Rashika

    I am so glad to hear how much you enjoyed this, Wendy!! :)
    I absolutely adored Archer the Hex Hall series but didn’t pick School Sprits up because I don’t enjoy spin offs. But when I heard she had a new book coming out I was ecstatic!! I am kind of looking forward to the romance *looks away in shame* (I feel so shallow :P)

    Also, that cake looks heavenly.. I keep reaching out to the screen hoping to get something on to my fingers.. *starts crying* (I have a sweet tooth.. you’re torturing me)
    Rashika recently posted…Guest Post: Our Favorite Thieves

    • Wendy Darling

      I didn’t know you were a fellow Hex Hall fan! Yay. I totally get it re: SCHOOL SPIRITS. I liked it, but there was a part of me that was yearning for Sophie the whole time too, if you know what I mean. And I don’t blame you for wanting the romance at all! After Archer + Sophie’s swoonworthy scenes, how could you not look forward to that?

      “Beg to differ, Mercer.”


      Awwww. This darned computer isn’t letting me push frosting through the screen, either. :( Stupid 21st century technology.

  70. Danielle D

    I’ve never read a Rachel Hawkins book, but I’m excited to check out this one – looks like fun! The other “funny” books I read tend to be funny romances, like Lola and the Boy Next Door or My Life with the Walter Boys – love both of those!!

    • Wendy Darling

      Ohh, I hope you enjoy this one! I bet if you like Stephanie Perkins, you’ll like Rachel Hawkins. They’re very sweet and funny reads, and a lot lighter on the paranormal stuff. The romance here is pretty cute, too–and as a romance fan, you should DEFINITELY check out Hex Hall. Archer Cross is pretty high up on my list of fictional crushes.

  71. Jessica R

    First of all, I’m so glad to hear that the book is lots of fun. It certainly sounds like it would be! But more importantly, cake. I’ve never heard of Hummingbird Cake before either, but it looks delicious! Mmmm, now I’m craving some cake.
    Jessica R recently posted…Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

    • Wendy Darling

      The book is so, so fun, Jessica. It’s one of those books that just puts you in a good mood, you know? And if you have cake to eat with it, your smile is going to get even bigger. :D

    • Wendy Darling

      I LOVE whipping you up into a frenzy! \o/ Hee hee hee.

      And thanks, the cake was fun to eat and make. Which doesn’t always happen, hah.

  72. Sarah C.

    I like reading fluffy, light-hearted books that make me laugh. The world is full of heavy things, so sometimes it’s nice to just curl up with a good, cake-y book!
    And the cake looks good. The recipe sounds like it’s a cross between a carrot-cake type and banana bread. Yum!

    • Wendy Darling

      Exactly! I like my grim post-apocalyptic books too, but man, do I loooove it when I find a book that tickles my sense of humor. Which seems to be so rare in YA–I had a conversation with Justine Larbalestier about this on Twitter, and she says that sadly, they just don’t seem to sell as well, so publishers aren’t as interested. I’m glad we’re seeing some, though, including this author’s.

      The cake IS very carrot cake-like in texture. I read a couple of recipes that referred to it that way and it took me awhile to understand there actually were no carrots in it, hah. The comparison is a good one, though–it’s similarly dense, and has some similar spices in it.

  73. Lucy

    I haven’t eaten yet today but that cake is looking pretty good! Yum! I’m impressed.

    The cover of Rebel Belle is so cute, and I’m glad to hear the pages are just as enjoyable as Hawkins’ other books. I better dig up my copy and get reading! The publisher should print your review on the book cover: “Rebel Belle goes down like a glass of cool, sweet tea on a hot summer’s day.” Sold me!
    Lucy recently posted…Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick Audiobook Review

    • Wendy Darling

      Isn’t that cover pretty? I want to wear pearls and drink tea in a salon that’s wallpapered in that shell-pink color. The dagger is just delightful.

      I’m glad to hear you will be reading this soon, Lucy, I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! And hah, publishers should feel free to quote me anytime. :P

  74. Kate Bond

    Oh, everything about this excites me. The photos of that cake remind me of picking pecans in my front yard back home. I can get kind of nostalgic for southern stuff, being a Georgia girl in LA.

    What was the verdict for your personal taste (and Mr. Darling’s) on the fruit content? I love cake with crushed pineapple in it (and I really like hummingbird cake, although your recipe is different and exciting), but my little sister HATES it.

    • Wendy Darling

      You are such a Georgia girl! The picking pecans thing is perfectly charming.

      I was nervous about the pineapple in the cake because I’ve never had that before, and had no idea how it was supposed to taste. We both ended up really liking it, though–the flavor really wasn’t all that strong, and it added the occasional “hmm, that’s nice” sort of subtle sweetness and texture.

      What is it that your sister doesn’t like about it? I normally prefer lighter, fluffier cakes as well, but this one was really tasty. And it held up well, especially since it took us like 10 days to eat half a cake between the two of us.

      • Kate Bond

        I think my sister (and this is funny to me because she’s a vegetarian) is just generally freaked out by fruits in baked goods. I wonder whether I mightn’t be partially to blame, because I HATE raisins, and won’t eat cookies or anything that contain them (although dried cranberries are fine).

        My mom’s carrot cake recipe has crushed pineapple in it, and it’s one of my absolute favorite cakes.

        Also: I’m sick, and while I was sleeping this afternoon I dreamed about this cake. I baked it, and it was delicious and beautiful, but there were more layers (7 or 8?), and they kept separating into their own little cakes whenever I looked away. And every time I re-stacked them, another slice was mysteriously missing.

        Wendy. Who ate my dream cake?

        • Wendy Darling

          I actually am sort of picky about fruit taint in my baked goods, too, which is why it was especially weird that I was intrigued enough by this cake to try it. Fortunately it all turned out well.

          And although I like raisins by themselves, I also hate raisins baked into anything, and I rarely enjoy them in any other dishes. There is a great curried cauliflower salad with almonds and golden raisins at Lemonade which I LOVE, though.

          I’m sorry you’re sick! And at first I was going to say that cake dreams might make it all worthwhile, but not if a cake bandit is stealing all your sweets. :-(

          • Kate Bond

            Yeah, it ended up being a kind of hilariously stressful dream. I’m not sure what… was going on there.

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, that’s nice to hear! From the RTs I’ve seen, she seems pretty funny on Twitter so it’s nice to hear that she’s personable face to face as well.

  75. jpetroroy

    I love how lighthearted her books are. They always make me laugh–and breeze through them!

    • Wendy Darling

      Same here! I’m always giggling throughout each one, and you’re right–they are such fast, entertaining reads, too. I’m glad you’re a fellow fan.

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear you weren’t as big a fan of the book. But if nothing else, the fact that it’s bringing some attention to hummingbird cake is a big plus. ;)

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you already have a copy of the book, Kate! I think you and I have had this conversation before, but I wish we saw more funny YA books. They’re like a breath of fresh air.

      I’m ready to forgive pretty much anyone who shows up at my door with cake right this very minute. :D

    • Wendy Darling

      I’ll tell you a secret, Carmel–I had a slice of this cake for breakfast one morning. Shhhhhh! Don’t tell Mr. Darling.

  76. Faye @ The Social Potato

    Man, Wendy, I love, love, LOVE your photos. You’re kind of inspiring me to take pretty pictures of my surroundings right now and incorporate them into my posts haha! Rebel Belle sounds like a pretty good story… for some reason, I get “Sailormoon” vibes from the gist, and I’m excited at the prospect of having been burdened all of a sudden to protect someone whose mission in life is to make life hell for you. Is there going to be a love triangle, though? >_<

    Too bad I can't join the giveaway! Sucks to be from outside the States. Best of luck to the participants, though! ^_^
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Review: Vitro by Jessica Khoury

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, thank you, Faye! I’m always fussing around afterwards thinking “why didn’t I do this or this?” but I do enjoy taking photographs, and I like seeing them when other bloggers post them as well.

      I don’t know about the Sailor Moon vibes, but it is very fun and light-hearted. Don’t expect a hugely complex story or detailed world-building, but if you enjoy this author’s brand of funny paranormal, you’ll probably fall for this book.

    • Wendy Darling

      I love sweet, light books that are cake-like, too. And you are totally right, an apology cake IS very southern. This realization makes me want to offend some southerners so they will bake me things. *plots*

    • Wendy Darling

      It was pretty yummy!

      And oh, really? I haven’t read the Percy books, although I have some friends who really enjoy them. I had no idea they were humorous, though. That’s great to hear, since I feel like a lot more YA/MG books could use a dose of the funnies.

  77. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I’ve already had my eye on this one for a while now. I liked the Hex Hall books, but I wasn’t crazy about them, but I’m from Charlotte, NC and have always lived in the south, so I thought I might enjoy this story more (I’ve always been a sucker for a belle). And it always surprises me when I find out that something that is perfectly normal to me is a strictly “southern” thing. Like Hummingbird Cake and sweet tea ;)

    Great review! I’m sure I’ll be reading this soon.
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

    • Wendy Darling

      Ah hah, maybe you will like this one better, since I liked the southern setting in this book very much! It makes for some extra hilarious scenes here and there, too, you’ll see what I mean when you get to it. It’s all done very affectionately, though, and yeah–my life was very sad indeed not knowing about hummingbird cake before this! You southerners have been holding out on us.

  78. Angie

    That cake looks amazing. I am envious of your baking skills. I may have to point my pastry chef bff in the direction of this recipe for my upcoming birthday.

    ALSO YAY FOR REBEL BELLE. This is one of my most highly anticipated books of the year and I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed it. It sounds like it was as delightfully entertaining as that gorgeous cover implies and I am going to count the days until my pre-order comes in.
    Angie recently posted…Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s actually a really easy cake to make, Angie–just a couple more steps than usual with this recipe, although really, you don’t have to roast the bananas or pecans if you’re in a hurry. It does add nice depth of flavor, though.

      I’m glad to hear this book is already on your radar! If you’re a Hawkins fan, I can’t imagine that you won’t enjoy it.

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m so picky about baked goods that eating out is always a dicey experience. It was really hard for me to get the hang of baking gluten-free, too–the flours and measurements and such are so tricky! But after reading a ton of blog posts and experimenting with different ingredients, I’ve come to rely on some very tasty favorites, and it’s nice to add this one to the list. :) And Rebel Belle is super fun!

  1. Discussion: Favorite Fictional Foods! - The Midnight Garden

    […] As an adult, I get terrible cravings in the middle of the night when I read cop dramas, because they’re often eating pizza or doughnuts and I never have any in my house. When I read Cat Hellisen’s When the Sea is Rising Red, I had to leave to buy cake before I could finish the book–and of course, I thought about the hummingbird cake in Rebel Belle so much that I had to make it! […]