Thursday, May 12, 2016
REVIEW for 100 Days of Cake
A huge thank you goes out to the people at Atheneum Books for Young Readers for sending me an electronic copy of this book.
TITLE: 100 Days of Cake
AUTHOR: Shari Goldhagen
RATING: 4 Stars
I pretty much read this book in a few sittings.
Reviewing this book is going to be difficult for me because I literally am of two minds.
Firstly, I admit that I HATED the main character Molly. She is selfish, self involved, bossy and completely out of tune with EVERYONE and EVERYBODY except the TV show Golden Girls.
While the book's central character can, arguably be said to be about depression, I found it hard to care about Molly's depression. The author does a good job of describing the "inner" feelings, thoughts and turmoil depression can elicit, but Molly was just so annoying that it really took away from the story for me.
Also, I question how everyone else interacted with her - specifically her mother who basically seemed to be constantly afraid for her daughter, yet, did very little to involve herself in her life, in fact, she did very little to involve herself in both her daughter's lives......the baby sister, at 15 having a steady boyfriend and dressing like she was auditioning for a Burlesque show!!! Fortunately, the mother figure is actually portrayed as nice in this story, which is a nice change of pace in YA.
Also, wow! the therapist.....that went off the rails completely and I worry that there seems to be no consequences from that.....
I would also question the whole title of this book - I actually did enjoy the incorporation and idea of baking a cake a day in order to (obviously) help the mother deal with her daughter's depression, but I would have liked to have more focus on the mother and how soothing and helpful the actual baking was to her - considering the title of the book, I would have liked more focus on the cakes, although towards the end of the book, we do get a better idea of WHY the mother is baking cakes.
What worked for me was the friendship between Elle and Molly. In fact, Elle was a stronger character in this book for me - she propelled things along better and was, in many ways, a stronger core. Alex was okay, but we could have used more fleshing out of the character, apart from him being in a band, we don't know much about him.
Having said all of this - I felt compelled to read this book and was interested right to the last word. For me, the story was highly engaging and the writing was spot on - with a pace that was perfect!
Let's face it, writing a book with a depressed character is tough and I give the author lots of points for this - its always a balancing act of reality and compassion vs entertaintment and since I found myself struggling to put this book down - I obviously loved many aspects of it - which is why I am STILL giving it 4 stars, despite hating Molly.