I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on May 17, 2016
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Humorous, New Experience, Social & Family Issues, Young Adult
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Get well soon isn’t going to cut it in this quirky and poignant debut novel about a girl, her depression, an aggressive amount of baked goods, and the struggle to simply stay afloat in an unpredictable, bittersweet life.
There are only three things that can get seventeen-year-old Molly Byrne out of bed these days: her job at FishTopia, the promise of endless episodes of Golden Girls, and some delicious lo mien. You see, for the past two years, Molly’s been struggling with something more than your usual teenage angst. Her shrink, Dr. Brooks isn’t helping much, and neither is her mom who is convinced that baking the perfect cake will cure Molly of her depression—as if cake can magically make her rejoin the swim team, get along with her promiscuous sister, or care about the SATs.
Um, no. Never going to happen.
But Molly plays along, stomaching her mother’s failed culinary experiments, because, whatever—as long as it makes someone happy, right? Besides, as far as Molly’s concerned, hanging out with Alex at the rundown exotic fish store makes life tolerable enough. Even if he does ask her out every…single…day. But—sarcastic drum roll, please—nothing can stay the same forever. When Molly finds out FishTopia is turning into a bleak country diner, her whole life seems to fall apart at once. Soon she has to figure out what—if anything—is worth fighting for.
I have read one of Shari Goldhagen’s previous books, In Some Other World Maybe, and have her other, Family and Other Accidents, but have not gotten to it yet. I really liked the one I read and I was excited to see that she was coming out with her first YA, 100 Days of Cake. I was not sure what to expect from a story about a depressed teen girl who pretty much only leaves the house for therapy and to work in a fish store. I was afraid it would minimize her mental illness or make it a plot point, but not real. I was very happy while I was reading to discover that Goldhagen treated Molly with dignity and showcased her as real and did not use her depression as a way for a boy to fix her (as I have seen in some other YA reads).
I liked the plot of 100 Days of Cake. It was unique and really showcased what someone living with depression feels like. There was one plotline with Molly and her therapist that I did not care for, as it just seemed unnecessary to me and I felt like it threw off the heart of the story, but it was a minor dislike. Shari Goldhagen’s writing was on point. Full of unexpected depth and subtle and not so subtle humor, it was fun reading. The pacing has a few minor jumps that were not fully fleshed out, but it was not enough to hamper my enjoyment of the story as a whole. The world created was nice and detailed. Set in just a few locations, each was presented well and made sense in the story. There were plenty of emotions in this read. I particularity enjoyed the interplay of Molly and her sister as they were able to really pull the feelings into a scene. I enjoyed most of the characters. Molly and sister were great and their mom, while not a major player in the book as a whole, had some amazing moments and her quest to bake 100 cakes in 100 days fed into the entire story. I did not care for one character in particular as I found him morally gross, but that is just me
I enjoyed 100 Days of Cake. Shari Goldhagen presented depression in a realistic light. Molly was never fixed or cured, she continued in therapy right up to the end of the book and I loved that. I applaud Goldhagen for her way of treating the mental illness in this book, as it is not a fast fix issue and people do not just get over it. It was nice to see Molly treated as a realistic person with real issues. Now there were a few things I didn’t love as much, but as a whole this was a great read. I hope Goldhagen continues to write with such a true voice and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Favorite lines – We don’t say a word the entire ride home. Some dumb Taylor Swift song comes on the radio, but we don’t bother to change it. Fuck, I am a Taylor Swift song! There’s a guy who loves hanging out with me, and I love hanging out with him. I was too stupid and scared to take it to the next level. And now he’s dating the head cheerleader.
Biggest cliché – Sugar will make it all okay.
Have you read 100 Days of Cake, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Debut Author Challenge
- 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge