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100 Days of Cake Hardcover – May 17, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Molly, a senior, grapples with love and life changes in this contemporary YA title. Molly adores her job at FishTopia—she gets to watch reruns of Golden Girls episodes and hang out with her crush, Alex. Veronica, Molly's sister, is younger and seems to be hanging out with the wrong crowd, while their mother embarks on a new obsession, which is to make one cake a day for 100 days. The protagonist struggles to balance a slew of abrupt changes: FishTopia is set to close its doors for good, Veronica and Alex appear to be dating, and Dr. B., Molly's therapist, becomes too close for comfort. Molly, endearingly likable, strives to save her sister, her workplace, and her relationships in this angsty novel. The cake motif, forced into the narrative at random, feels out of place until the very end, when everything coalesces into an "aha!" moment. This book's mature themes—cursing, sexual situations, and an underage relationship—make this a good fit for older teens. VERDICT Recommended for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Jodi Lynn Anderson.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX
"Readers will identify with Molly as she struggles with debilitating self-doubt and flaccid interest in making college plans amid friends who seem positively sugar-highed when discussing SATs and university prospects. . . For a book about depression, this is a pretty enjoyable one" –Kirkus Reviews.
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Top Customer Reviews
Molly's best friend Elle, is an environmentalist. She's trying to improve the world by eating green and telling everyone they have to recycle. Meanwhile she's extremely loyal and she keeps an eye on Molly. She tries to make sure Molly keeps having a social life and she loves going to Molly's house for a chat and some cake. Molly's mother bakes a different cake every day as part of a project. Molly's younger sister is miss perfect and starts keeping secrets from her sister. Molly desperately wants their old relationship back, she longs for things to always stay the same, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be possible in real life...
Molly is depressed and sometimes it's hard for her to even get out of bed in the morning. Working at FishTopia is something she can manage, but everything else in her life is difficult. She's seeing a therapist and she likes him very much, she might even have a bit of a crush on him. He's cool and introduces her to good bands and movies as part of her therapy. When Molly's safe little world is threatening to fall apart she needs her therapist, her friends and her family more than ever. Will she be all right or will things go really wrong again just like before?
100 Days of Cake is a story about a serious topic. Molly is a teenager who is depressed. It's often hard for her to get through her normal routine and she has a lot of issues she has to deal with on a daily basis. Nothing is easy for her and that's frustrating. She has a crush on her therapist, but she also likes Alex a lot. They're having fun at work and that they watch episodes of Golden Girls together is a fabulous detail. Even though this story is about depression it isn't a heavy read. There are enough funny elements to bring some lightness. 100 Days of Cake is strange and chaotic at times. I love how Shari Goldhagen's writing matches what's going on in her main character's head. Some of those things are dark, but not all of them and I often had to smile while reading this book.
Shari Goldhagen has done a great job writing about mental health issues. It's a difficult topic and she handles it well. I liked Molly from the start, she's got a great sense of humor, has a distinctive personality and she isn't afraid to do some soul searching. Molly is an interesting character with a layered personality. I'm impressed by the way her story turned out. Shari Goldhagen describes many sensitive topics in a realistic and sympathetic way while the story still stays genuine and enjoyable to read, which is a fascinating combination. I loved 100 Days of Cake and highly recommend it, it's a fantastic book.
When one thing after another starts changing, like the place she is working at shutting down, her friend Alex now possibly no longer interested in her, her shrink not really being helpful with her therapy, she feels at a loss. The things she tries to do, like caring for a hermit crab or saving Fishtopia show that she feels motivated about some things. But things don’t always work out and she then feels worse after it. And then comes the final nail in her coffin when she learns about her father. Eventually, I guess it takes a change of pace for her to get comfortable and move ahead. Not that there weren’t problematic things with the ending (that doctor should have been fired) and some throughout the book (the blatant slut-shaming of young teens), but this book was overall entertaining enough. 3.5 stars.
100 Days of Cake challenges readers to consider the way in which mental health impacts not only the survivor but those around them, especially their family and friends. The fallout and the effort to face each day effects everyone. It's a team effort, and this is slowly revealed to both the reader and to Molly as she learns to reach out to others and to let the people around her reach out to her.
Molly is in therapy for her depression, though she doesn't want to advertise this fact to the world. She spends her summer holidays working at FishTopia with the handsome and comfortable Alex, avoiding her sister, and tasting the copious amounts of cake her mother is baking. If she can just continue to avoid thinking about anything college related, she just might survive the summer.
Molly is a likeable heroine. She is honest about her depression and reflective about how this is impacting her life. And yes, sometimes it feels like Molly needs saving from herself. I can understand her hanging onto familiar things and hiding behind others, but she could really work on her communication skills!! Of course, that's something she learns over the course of the summer through a series of mixups.
Her's is not the best therapy relationship to be portrayed in YA fiction (in fact it's more like an example situation for when things are going really, really bad), but it feels realistic and considers some common pitfalls in therapy relationships. Instead, the real saviour of this book is Molly herself, with the support of her best friend Elle, her mother and her sister.
I enjoyed this book. It is a frank, honest and often humorous insight into depression, love, family and cake.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Honestly, there's a part of me that wants so much-maybe more than she does for her to be right about this.Read more
Author: Shari Goldhagen
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars
I'm going to agree with most people on this one and give it a three star rating.Read more
Molly, is depressed. She falls into these inexplicable bouts of funk and there's no pulling her out.Read more
"Maybe there is some combination of sugar, eggs, and flour that can make me...Read more