BOOK BIRTHDAY: Spellhacker by M.K. England

A cake with shiny purple frosting and spun sugar decorations sits on a table next to the book Spellhacker.

First, happy one-year birthday to Spellhacker by M.K. England, a book I convinced my sister to listen to last week by saying "it's super gay—you'll love it!" (I don't usually like boiling all a novel's high points down to its representation, but since my sister and I are also both super gay, it's a strong selling point for us.) Spellhacker also features a squabbling found family, sci-fi mixed with magic, and a main character who grapples with anger issues, so obviously I adored it!

This book released at the beginning of 2020, before the pandemic hit and before my tidy, organized-by-month TBR flew out the window. I used to do "birthday" (aka release-day) cakes for some of my most anticipated books, and I especially wanted to make one for Spellhacker because the author also made a cake inspired by their book before release and it was really cool. Unfortunately, my Spellhacker cake was the first of many I didn't get around to last year, for reasons ranging from my executive dysfunction to not getting ARCS to ingredient shortages during the early-COVID run on the grocery stores.

In 2021, I'm reviving my book birthday features—how could I not, when they combine my two favorite hobbies: reading and baking! Instead of always using the series to feature new releases as before, I'm going to focus on backlist reads I either never got around to reviewing or that I think deserve more love from fellow readers. (Spellhacker is one I did manage to review, so I'll link to that that here.) Hopefully, not relying on access to advance copies and release-day shipping will streamline my process a bit, helping me keep a more or less monthly schedule. It'll also be nice not to have these features always fall on Tuesdays, where the release-day buzz tends to be overwhelming without me adding to the fray.

So: happy re-birthday to my book cake features, and happy release anniversary to Spellhacker! I hope my purple frosting isn't too heinous an attempt at reproducing the color on the cover (I initially tried for the blue, but I definitely didn't have enough food coloring for that). I'm pretty pleased with my spun sugar decoration, although I definitely need more practice not cutting my fingertips on the sugar shards! If you read this, MK/Remi, thank you for this wonderful book! It holds a special place in my heart and I enjoy sharing it with others.

A slice of three-layer chocolate cake with purple and blue-gray frosting sits on a wooden table next to a copy of the book Spellhacker.