I also posted this review on my weblog here: http://moonplanet.dreamwidth.org/85080.html
(I took care to give no obvious spoilers about the story)
Title: Kitchen Princess - Search for the Angel Cake
Original title: キッチンのお姫様〜天使のケーキを探せ！〜
Author: Miyuki Kobayashi
Language: English (original = Japanese)
Series: Kitchen Princess
Publisher: Del Rey
Year published: original 2008, my edition 2009
ISBN number: 9780345516282
Topic of the book: Cake, life and death, friendship.
Reason for reading: It's also a part of the Kitchen Princess series.
Recommended: Yes. Probably mostly for people who've read the manga series, as it takes place after book 10, but it's probably also possible to read it separately.
Back cover text:
Najika faces a new challenge, and it may
be her toughest one yet. Before their tragic accident, her parents, both famous pastry chefs, made a promise to the grandmother of a classmate of Najika's: to duplicate a white cake the elderly woman once tasted abroad as a teenager. Now Najika hopes to re-create the cake herself.
With so few clues (it's fluffy and heavenly) and so many possibilities, the trial and error might just go on forever. But Najika refuses to give up - for one reason: She knows that all great masterpieces contain a distinct magic: a secret ingredient called love.
Najika will need lots of it to make the wishes of Anju's grandmother - and certain other classmates - come true. And who knows? With so much amour in the air, Najika might just find a little left over for herself!
Comments on the back cover text:
It gives a general overview of the story, but it's a lot more detailed.
"Kazami-san? I have a favor to ask."
It was after class, in April.
I had just left my classroom and was walking down the hall when I suddenly heard her voice.
When I turned around, there she was: A girl as adorable as a cream puff covered in snow-white powdered sugar.
Petite and fair-skinned, she had long, flowing hair.
"Umm, you're Takanashi-san from the Special Class, right?" I asked.
"Yes. Anju Takanashi," she replied. She had a sweet voice like a tinkling bell.
Comments on the first paragraph:
As you can see, it's a first-person writing style (from Najika's viewpoint). Anju is a character that doesn't appear in the main manga series, but on the next page there's a drawing of what she looks like.
I liked the story, though it was a bit predictable. The way the story progresses is very similar to the stories in the manga, which accounts for the predictability. Still, it's not entirely predictable and has some very nice moments, which makes it still interesting to read.
The sentences are of the same shortness as in the manga, very similar. I do think it's quite clear that it has been translated from Japanese, but mostly it reads like the text from an English manga...
There are several illustrations inbetween, which illustrate some nice moments in the story. The drawings are made by the woman who also drew the manga, so the characters look consistent.
I liked the manga better, but it's nice that they have translated a novel as well! I would recommend it if you've read the manga series.
Yes, after a manga-series-reread.