by Aimee Bender

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Review

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake centers on Rose Edelstein, a 9-year-old girl who discovers as the book opens that she can taste the emotions of the people preparing her food.  A lonely mother, sad lunch ladies, harried bakers at cookie shops -- it's all there.  The book delves into the unusual ways that Rose handles this special skill alone, since no one really understands her talent except for her older brother's friend, George, on whom she has a massive crush.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one, which seemed to get a lot of bad press when it was first published (and doesn't fare much better as far as Amazon reviews go).  In particular, Rose's discovery that her brother has his own "special skill" seemed to irritate a lot of people, but made for one of my favorite parts, and certainly one of the weirder passages I've read in a long time.  Lemon Cake won an Alex Award in 2011, an award given to books written for adults but which would also appeal to young adults; I think both teen and adult readers interested in an unusual story with tinges of magical realism/general weirdness might want to check this one out.

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Comments

I totally loved this book! I loved the melancholy feel to the prose, and the creative plot elements.

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