Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Review: "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" by Aimee Bender

I loved this beautiful little cover and after reading the blurb, I was intrigued. Turns out you can judge a book by it's cover...

The Scoop: (Goodreads)

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

My Take:

The basic premise of the book is and interesting one: little nine-year-old Rose can taste emotions in food. Not just the emotions, but every aspect of every ingredient in a dish. This would be all well and good, but her mother is, unfortunately, secretly depressed. Now Rose has to be very careful where she gets her next meal from or she just might starve. Over-processed food seems to work best for her. So a steady junk food diet it is...

I knew I liked this stuff for a reason. I can taste sadness too...yeah, that must be it...

What I liked about The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake was this unique concept of watching a little girl grow up and come into her own with her special skill. The character of George was a sweet and incredible friend for Rose. Also, Bender's descriptions and prose were beautiful to read.

I don't care if it reeks of despair. I'm havin' a slice!

What I didn't care for so much was the sub-plot of the character of her brother. Bender made him a dark and mysterious character whose secrets you long to discover throughout the entire novel. However, once the answers are revealed, I found it a little disappointing.


Also, her father's character could have been more developed and at the end, I felt he potentially had an interesting story that could have been told.

Hmmmm....hospitals aren't as scary as wasted potential.

Overall, I really liked The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. It was a nice break from my steady diet of paranormal YA. Bender has put together a beautiful tale of love and loss.

Final Verdict: Beef Stew

Good, old-fashioned comfort food. It sticks to your ribs and is good for you.

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