I have read one of Shari Goldhagen’s previous books, In Some Other World Maybe, and have her other, Family and Other Accidents, but have not gotten to it yet. I really liked the one I read and I was excited to see that she was coming out with her first YA, 100 Days of Cake. I was not sure what to expect from a story about a depressed teen girl who pretty much only leaves the house for therapy and to work in a fish store. I was afraid it would minimize her mental illness or make it a plot point, but not real. I was very happy while I was reading to discover that Goldhagen treated Molly with dignity and showcased her as real and did not use her depression as a way for a boy to fix her (as I have seen in some other YA reads).
I liked the plot of 100 Days of Cake. It was unique and really showcased what someone living with depression feels like. There was one plotline with Molly and her therapist that I did not care for, as it just seemed unnecessary to me and I felt like it threw off the heart of the story, but it was a minor dislike. Shari Goldhagen’s writing was on point. Full of unexpected depth and subtle and not so subtle humor, it was fun reading. The pacing has a few minor jumps that were not fully fleshed out, but it was not enough to hamper my enjoyment of the story as a whole. The world created was nice and detailed. Set in just a few locations, each was presented well and made sense in the story. There were plenty of emotions in this read. I particularity enjoyed the interplay of Molly and her sister as they were able to really pull the feelings into a scene. I enjoyed most of the characters. Molly and sister were great and their mom, while not a major player in the book as a whole, had some amazing moments and her quest to bake 100 cakes in 100 days fed into the entire story. I did not care for one character in particular as I found him morally gross, but that is just me
I enjoyed 100 Days of Cake. Shari Goldhagen presented depression in a realistic light. Molly was never fixed or cured, she continued in therapy right up to the end of the book and I loved that. I applaud Goldhagen for her way of treating the mental illness in this book, as it is not a fast fix issue and people do not just get over it. It was nice to see Molly treated as a realistic person with real issues. Now there were a few things I didn’t love as much, but as a whole this was a great read. I hope Goldhagen continues to write with such a true voice and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.