When the kingdom discovers that their crown princess doesn’t like cake, chaos ensues. How will the royal line ever continue? Cake is essential to a good marriage! (Not to mention, the rejection of his cake was deeply insulting to the baker-prince who proposed with it.)
Why I picked it up: I was expecting a cute fairy tale, but mostly I was really excited for a book about demisexuality. Asexuality (as in the umbrella term) in general is very rare in fiction, and demisexuality is even rarer.
The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake is a fairytale written to explain demisexuality, and using cake as a metaphor for sex. The fairytale, however, is only about 40% of the ebook itself. Other contents include an essay by the author that explicitly explains demisexuality, with many popular culture examples – and there is also a series of recommendations with demisexual characters towards the end.
Overall, I am conflicted about The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake, and by that I mean both the fairytale, and the entire book itself. As a fairytale, I did not find it very enjoyable – the cake metaphor was just painfully obvious, and in some places, downright uncomfortable when you replaced cake with sex (that is, the parts the princess is continuously pressured or even forced to try cake by various friends and family members). The essay about demisexuality also seemed unnecessarily lengthy to me at places, though that might be because I am already familiar with demisexuality – I am not sure what it would have been like to read that explanation if I’ve never heard of demisexuality before.
That being said, I still believe that this is an incredibly important book, and a recommended read for everyone who wants to understand demisexuality. Some parts of the metaphor/book also work for explaining asexuality, but the book makes it clear that the two are not exactly the same – I especially appreciated the part the princess felt like she had trouble explaining her feelings both to her cake-loving parents and her cake-rejecting friends.
I am sorry to say that The Princess Who Didn’t Eat Cake is not a particulary great fairy tale – but that wasn’t really the point anyway. The book (the tale, the essay and the recommendations together) do a great job of explaining demisexuality, and the recommendations on the end are especially appreciated.
Recommend: Yes. To everyone, basically. Despite my problems with it, I strongly believe this book is worth reading and an important take on demisexuality.
My rating: ★★★★☆
~ Alexa 🐾