Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
TITLE: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
AUTHOR: Aimee Bender
PREMISE: Rose discovers at age nine that she can taste feelings in homeade food.
MY REVIEW: This is the first book of this author's that I've read and I have to say, I'm not impressed. First off, I HATE the author's writing style. For some dumb reason she decided it would be cool if she had no quotation marks whatsoever so any conversation that takes place looks like this:
Hello? I said
What are you doing? he said.
No, really. I hope this is not some new trend that is going to pop up like that annoying present tense stuff. Seriously, quotations are used for a REASON. Not having them is not stylistic, it's confusing and makes it look like you didn't take English class. Future authors, I beg of you to work on actual writing skills before you try and mess with english writing rules that have been around for hundreds of years.
Now I can forgive lousy writing style if the story is good. Unfortunately in this case the story wasn't really. It was mildly interesting for maybe the first five chapters or so but quickly became boring when the author just didn't do anything with this great magic gift idea she came up with. Seriously! Tasting people's feelings in food is a awesome thing and all the author does is have the kid discover it, test it out with her friends and then she moves on with her life. Okay, she discovers a secret or two but those secrets never really effect her. She never tries learning why she has this gift, she never tests the limits of it or even uses it in real life situations. It's like it's a hobby or something "oh, I taste people's feelings in their food, no big, pass the rolls?". Are you kidding me? It doesn't help that the gift is basically the only thing remotely interesting in this book. A vast majority of it is devoted to family problems and melodrama that involve selfish and uninteresting characters.
This is supposingly part of a new sort of genre that is apparently getting started called "magical realism". If this is an example of what magical realism is then I'll pass. Why have this awesome magical gift idea and then ignore it in favor of a boring storyline and boring characters? It makes no sense to me. Now I will say there was some beautiful writing in it (the part that wasn't the messed up dialogue) and as I said, the idea of the magic gift was awesome. But that doesn't make up for the fact that this book is just...dull. Which is sad, because there was no reason for it to be so dull. I mean, the author didn't even have the decency to add in a sweet and cheesy romance! That's how boring it is. If you like melodrama a la Lifetime Movie channel of the week, then maybe you'll like this. I however just think it's a really dull book. I will probably not be reading any of the author's other books either, especially if this quotation thing is her trademark.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that like family drama books
MY RATING: Two out of Five cakes
FOR THE FOLLOWING CHALLENGES:
12 by 12 in December
One Hundred Plus Books
Support Your Local Library