A Piece of Cake

A Memoir
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
4.5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher's Summary

There are shelves of memoirs about overcoming the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, or homelessness.

Cupcake Brown survived all these things before she'd even turned 20.

And that's when things got interesting.

This is the strange, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating tale of a woman named Cupcake. It begins as the story of a girl orphaned twice over, once by the death of her mother and then again by a child welfare system that separated her from her stepfather and put her into the hands of an epically sadistic foster parent. But there comes a point in her preteen years, maybe it's the night she first tries to run away and is exposed to drugs, alcohol, and sex all at once, when Cupcake's story shifts from a tear-jerking tragedy to a dark comic blues opera. As Cupcake's troubles grow, so do her voice and spirit. Her gut-punch sense of humor and eye for the absurd, along with her outsized will, carry her through a fateful series of events that could easily have left her dead.

Young Cupcake learned to survive by turning tricks, downing hard liquor, partying like a rock star, and ingesting every drug she could find while hitchhiking up and down the California coast. She stumbled into gangbanging, drug dealing, hustling, prostitution, theft, and, eventually, the best scam of all: a series of 9-to-5 jobs. But Cupcake's unlikely tour through the cubicle world was paralleled by a quickening descent into the nightmare of crack cocaine use, till she eventually found herself living behind a dumpster.

Astonishingly, she turned it around. With the help of a cobbled together family of eccentric fellow addicts and "angels", a series of friends and strangers who came to her aid at pivotal moments, she slowly transformed her life from the inside out.

©2006 Cupcake Brown (P)2006 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"Cupcake's gonna sell like hotcakes." (Publishers Weekly)
"Her story of survival and triumph is incredible and often rough." (Booklist)

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What members say

Overall Ratings

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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By RaShaunda Allen on 10-19-09

Still Listening !!!!!!!!

I am an audio book addict. And I often, even after using my four credits a month because I have two accounts, run out of books. A Piece of Cake is my tried and true fill-in. I have listened to this book 4 times, and I still find myself laughing and crying just like I have never heard the book in the past. This book is a wonderful listen and a true classic. I have even purchased the book for several friends as gifts (only two other audio books have moved me to do this - The Teahouse Fire and Somebody Knows My Name). For me, this book feels like a good movie, and the time goes by so fast that you still want more. Not that it's unfulfilling; you will just want the sequel! Bahni Turpin is my absolute favorite narrator. The main character comes to life in your heart in the first 5 minutes of the book, and you feel the connection long after the book ends. You will not be disappointed with this audio; it is well worth the credit.

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30 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kim on 07-02-10

Amazing , Brutal, Inspiring

Let me start by saying the narrator is by far the best I've heard - it's hard to believe she isn't the author - it sounded like she was speaking from personal knowledge of each and every event of this gripping life story. Every bit of this amazing true account of the author's journey from happy child, to victim of abuse and circumstance, delinquency and drugs, crime and chaos, then rebirth and final triumph, overwhelmed me with emotion and awe. The writing is brutal and graphic at times - but the images the author paints ring so true that the shock of profanity or vulgarity are not even worth fixating on. The lowest of lows make the ascent to success and triumph that much more uplifting and inspiring for the reader. I loved this book - I love the message - I applaud Cupcake Brown for all that she has been become.

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23 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By mxoineqy on 07-10-06

The best book I've ever listened to

I can't say enough positive things about this book.

Cupcake Brown's story is one I'll never forget. It's hard-core honest. For me, the brutality was sometimes hard to listen to (I had to take a lot of breaks in the beginning). The things she went through, no child should ever have to endure.

I totally enjoyed her style of writing. Cupcake's sense of humor tickled me. As flawed and tragic as she was, many of her antics throughout the book made me scream with laughter. Redemption comes at the end, and I cried like a baby.

The narrator, Bahni Turpin, is very expressive and she did this story incredible justice. She performed it to a "T".

This book is well worth 2 credits and in fact, I'm going to purchase it in print.

If you like memoirs, and cussing doesn't offend you too much, this is a keeper.

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17 people found this helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Travis nToni on 09-24-12

Great Reader!

Would you try another book from Cupcake Brown and/or Bahni Turpin?

I love Bahni and look for books narrated by her

If you’ve listened to books by Cupcake Brown before, how does this one compare?


Any additional comments?

This was really just ok for me. Started out really interesting, but towards the middle became monotonous, and I struggled to finish. Bahni Turpin as always gave a wonderful performance and I am pretty sure what kept me from just hanging up halfway through. I do respect the author, and feel for what she went through- but there is no mention of what she did FOR others once she overcame her difficulties. THAT would have been more extraordinary for me to hear.

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11 people found this helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Richie on 07-13-16

How could she remember all this if she was always loaded??

Although this book gave a good insight into the life and recovery of an addict and someone who fell on hard times unfortunately this book didn't do much for me personally.
The only part I found inspiring was after Cupcake kicked the drugs and got clean and even then sometimes I found the parts where she used self deprecating humour to be unfunny and hard to believe.
As my header says I find it hard to believe someone who was constantly loaded and suffered blackouts would remember so much especially in instances when she was on her own.
Bahni Turpin did as a good a performance as could be expected give the lengthy book the content.

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6 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Dream on 08-29-12

Remarkable book

This book is such a greatly written book and so amazing. I loved the narrator for this read Bahni Turpin brought this book to life. I found myself upset, happy, sad and every emotion that you could have. While listening to this book I was like how can this girls life get any better and the ending amazed me. Wonders never cease. I never expected so much to go on in someones life but one thing I can say this young woman's story was by far one of the best that I have come across.

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6 people found this helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By J. Torres-Purifoy on 08-22-15


I luv this narrator, but not even she could help me to like the story. I just thought it took too long to get to the point.

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5 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jan on 06-03-06

I Wanted MORE!!!

This was one of those books that you don't want to end. Cupcake Brown is a remarkable woman with an AMAZING story! I had not heard her story before I read the book. Her story so intrigued me that I did additional research on the web to follow up on her success post the completion of the book. I would HIGHLY recommend all young women to read!

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5 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By gail on 06-12-12

engaging, amazing, turn your life around inspiring

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely would recommend this book to anyone. It speaks to the real human side of life. It gives you a peek into another's life that might be completely different than yours - BUT Cupcake is just like you. Everyone wants to be loved, supported & feel good about themselves.

What did you like best about this story?

The honesty.

Have you listened to any of Bahni Turpin???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes - I try to find anything she has narrated & listen to it. I love her voice!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

"Sometimes you CAN have your cake & eat it too"

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3 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Valerie on 04-30-12


This is an amazing story! I love how she didnt hold back on her past. If you went through any hard times in your life you could understand. Thanks Cupcake for writing this.

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2 people found this helpful