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.
Mental health, cake, a sprinkling of love, and The Golden Girls. What else can you ask for in a book? Shari covered a lot a topics in 100 Days of Cake and she covered them well. I'll be honest this wasn't really the book I expected from the synopsis but overall I enjoyed the story.
I really liked how Shari handled Molly's depression. She told the story of what depression is really like for many people. How families deal with a depressed person, on the person deals with life, and trying to get friends to understand. Having friends that want you to go and do all the time is hard for depressed people but I love that Molly had Elle as a friend. Elle might not completely understand how depression affects Molly but she gets enough to know when Molly just needs to stay home. Having friends like Elle is really important to people fighting depression.
Shari also showed that it is OKAY to see a therapist and even be medicated. These things are very beneficial with overcoming depression, but many people are afraid to seek them out. i think that Molly's experience shows that if you are truthful with yourself and whatever help you seek things can get better. There is nothing to be ashamed of for getting the help you need.
Many people; myself included, go through stages in mental illness where we don't know how he can be loved. The interactions between Molly and her work partner Alex is proof that our minds can lie to us. Molly doesn't believe that Alex could really like someone as "messed up" as she is, but Alex fights his way in time and time again.
I will say that some people won't like this book. It isn't for everyone. I do say that if you have any mental issues, know someone that has a mental illness, or just like books that fall into this genre then you should definitely read this book. I learned things and was inspired in my own mental journey from this book. So glad I was chosen to be a part of this tour, and had the chance to read 100 Days of Cake.
Now for the fun stuff.
About Shari Goldhagen:
After serious pursuits of literature at Northwestern (BSJ) and Ohio State (MFA), Shari Goldhagen discovered she had a knack for sifting through celebrity trash and worked as a gossip writer for publications including The National Enquirer, Us Weekly, and Life & Style Weekly. And her articles on pop culture, travel and relationships have appeared everywhere from Cosmopolitan to Penthouse
You can check out more about Shari on her website and follow her on Twitter.
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5/24: YA Indulgences - Q&A