Monday, August 23, 2010

The Sadness, In Particular

Since we started the book blog, we have a lot of suggestions for books to read from friends and acquaintances.  Rarely, someone will actually bring a book to me and say, please read this and let me know what you think.  Since this is so rare, I often take up the person on the offer.  It seems rude to do otherwise. 

I think I might start to be rude!  Here's the story:

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A NovelI am into cooking.  I am currently taking a professional baking course at a local cooking class.  One of my classmates asked me if I had read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  I told her I had heard of it but I have not read it.  The next week, she brought the book and asked me to read and let her know what I thought of it.  Since the class is winding down, I put it on the top of my to read list. 

So, now that you have background on the reason for the read, here's what I think:

I didn't like it!  I thought the beginning was compelling enough, but then it just died on the vine.  It was all idea and no substance.  The premise suits foodies well enough (I guess): a girl who can taste a person's feelings by eating the food they prepare.  Yeah, imagine what that would be like, think about it for a good 4 minutes.  Now you can skip reading this book.  Apparently, that is how long Aimee Bender thought through the plot lines of this book. 

I kept comparing it to "Heroes" (without the really interesting superpowers) and The Lovely Bones (without all the murder and stuff).  I can't tell you very much else about the plot of this book, because, although, things happen, they happen without direction.  The story just meanders on, without any resolution, without any real point.  Does she use her superpower for good or for evil, or is it just a burden she lives with forever?  You will never know because the author really didn't care enough to tell you. 

I would skip this one.  I think Ms. Bender should have thought of a direction for the protagonist and then shortened the novel to a short story.  It would have made for a much more exciting 20 pages. 

Rating: 2 out of 7



  1. haha! I really do want you to read Me Talk Pretty One Day and tell me what you think- be honest. You might not like it, but I'll be darned if he doesn't get you to laugh out loud at least five times.

    sidenote: have you heard of John Mark Mcmillan?????? You NEED to hear him. spencer just bought the cd today and I am already IN LOVE with it! I thought you might like him because he's southern, and bluesy and a really amazing writer (read the lyrics to Death in his grave). We need a coffee date soon. or a trip to san diego to visit morgan.

  2. or you and drew can come to san diego in november with us to see ingrid!!!!

  3. I've heard really bad things about this one as well amongst all the rave reviews for it. I think you have convinced me to skip it for sure! I really don't think I would enjoy it.

  4. Leah,
    Regarding Tara's comment about Me Talk Pretty One Day. She read that while we were camping with the Butler's at Palomar. Every five seconds, we would hear Tara in her camping chair, "ha ha ha ha ha." "ha ha ha ha ha." "Jenny I have to read this to you."
    I haven't read it but I know it must be funny since Tara seriously laughed through the whole thing.

  5. I love David Sedaris so I think you would enjoy Me Talk Pretty One Day. My favorite of his is When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

    I have not read this book, but will skip it now...thanks for the honesty!!