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God Is in the Pancakes

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  569 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Grace Manning is a candy striper in a nursing home, and Mr. Sands is the one patient who makes the job bearable. He keeps up with her sarcasm, teaches her to play poker . . . and one day cheerfully asks her to help him die. At first Grace says no way, but as Mr. Sands's disease progresses, she's not so sure. Grace tries to avoid the wrenching decision by p ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 13th 2010 by Dial Books
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  569 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Sara Zarr
Recommended to Nomes by: oliviasbooks
4.5 stars.

I am continually drawn to Young Adult fiction that feels like the truth> Books such as Kirsty Eagar's Raw Blue and Laura Buzo's GOOD OIL and Sara Zarr's ONCE WAS LOST all resound with me so strongly because their stories are subtle yet complicated, quiet yet resounding and GOD IS IN THE PANCAKES is of the same calibre.

God is in the Pancakes is a stand out read for me due to Grace, such a spunky protagonist who I couldn't help but ache for. Reading about her felt like reading about my o
*** Re-read in June 2017 ***
*** Read and reviewed in November 2010***
*** Contains some smaller spoilers ***

What a brave and beautiful little book. Sarcastic Grace Manning is fifteen and has been living with her mom, who is manager in a branch of "You Say Potato" and her only slightly older sister Lolly in a women-only household since her religious father, who took his daughters out for church and pancakes each Sunday, left the family to move in with a Sunday School teacher. Grace and Lolly have
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Street Corner TBR Reduction Challenge
April #2 per Nic.

Well, it was heart-warming and bittersweet, but something about the writing style was just a little bit off for me. I think it was the pacing, it was too slow. It's one of those that feels like it's dragging.... don't get me wrong though the story was beautiful, serious and moving.

Grace is a high-school student working at a Nursing Home as a candy-striper. She falls in love (not goo-goo eyed, let me have your baby love) with one of the old
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book ended up being more intense than I was expecting. The quandary that Grace faces is one I can imagine being extremely gut-wrenching, with no easy answers. It brought home to me how important it is that in Canada physician-assisted dying is now legal (with strict criteria that must be met).

I really liked the main character Grace; she was a thoughtful, independent teen girl who strove to (usually) do the right thing – and yet she wasn't perfect. Her reflections on everything going on in
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
full review on my blog, holes In My brain

I’m so glad I found out about book blogs, because I think this is the biggest, most obvious reason why I love it. I discover books. Plain and simple, because this seems like one of those books I would never think to pick up, but after seeing a glowing review at Inkcrush, I borrowed it and ended up loving it!

Easily the most enjoyable aspect of God is in the Pancakes (man, what a title!) is the beautiful narration. It’s not beautiful in that poetic style, i
Jan 10, 2011 rated it liked it
What would you do if a dear friend asked you for a little help...dying? For Grace, the 15 year old protagonist in this book, that is exactly the decision she must struggle with. Working part-time in a retirement home, Grace strikes up a strong friendship with Mr. Sands. But Mr. Sands is slowly dying from ALS, and he would like to speed the process along. Grace needs some serious advice but doesn't have much support on the home-front since her dad just left (This was a storyline that seemed undev ...more
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
God is in the Pancakes looks at an intergenerational friendship and a girl who's asked to do something that is both far beyond her years and the ultimate ethical dilemma: help an old man with Lou Gehrig's disease die peacefully. Epstein presents all her characters as fully realized people and most especially highlights the lessons Grace learns from Frank and his wife, as well as vice versa.

She also doesn't make Grace's decision an easy one, and while her choice surprised me, so did the conclusio
Tracy Michelle
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
My school library had this on display and the cover caught my eye and the title caught my curiousity. Then when I read the blurb I was sold and the book gained a high spot on my to read list.
Some of the books I've been reading for the past week have let me down so I was beginning to doubt that I would be able to find a book anytime soon that was amazing for every reason. Epstein has creating a story that is straight general ficion with a dash of humor and a sprinkle of romance, that is both ligh
Andrea Mullarkey
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I’m still on a YA fiction kick and the latest read was Robin Epstein’s God is in the Pancakes. It was a fine book, though didn’t blow my mind the way some YA lit has recently. The protagonist, 15-year-old Grace, is a candy striper at a nursing home and faces some pretty typical YA lit situations. Her parents are recently divorced, her best friend might be her dream date, her older sister suddenly ignores her in favor of the bad-boy boyfriend, and Grace is struggling with whether she should pay m ...more
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
A gripping story about a teenage girl who finds herself facing some very difficult decisions. Grace Manning works at a local nursing home as a candy striper. Working in such a dismal environment is difficult but one particular patient makes this job not only only bearable but actually enjoyable. Mr. Sands has an amazing sense of humor which helps Grace deal with the divorce of her parents and the loss it has created in her life. This novel touches on many aspects and difficulties that many of th ...more
Mar 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Wow. Judging by the title of this book, you'd never be able to tell just how serious the subject matter of the story is. I've never read anything quite like this before. In a nutshell, it's about a girl named Grace who has a job as a candy striper in a local nursing home. She befriends an old man named Mr. Sands and he asks her to do something for him as a favor that is illegal and to some people, immoral. I read through this book in about two hours, it had me that hooked. The cover of the book ...more
Cass -  Words on Paper

LOVE!!! I cried. More importantly, I laughed. A lot.

So I threw this book up to the top of my wishlist, thanks to Nomes' review, and it stayed there for the longest time. And then christmas 2011 rolled along and it made it on my wishlist so hooray I got to finally read this book! And what a piece of work it is.

Plot-wise there's nothing too complicated to it. You won't be banging your head trying to make heads or tails of the situation, you won't have to figure out the ins and outs of the soc
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
15-year-old Grace Manning is struggling to make sense of her life after her father has left and she realizes she might be having feelings for her best friend. Surprisingly, her job as a candy striper at a local nursing home has become the highlight of her day. Which is primarily due to her friendship with one of the ailing patients, but when he asks an impossible favour of her, Grace’s world is shaken even further.

Grace, the main character of God is in the Pancakes is a smart, funny, and insight
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Final Verdict First:

Pancakes takes one of the most intriguing premises of 2010’s YA debuts and mixes the serious and delicate subject matter with wit and humor; character introspection on par with E. Lockhart and John Green; and an extraordinary heroine that you will root for from the moment you meet her turning Mr. Sands’ hair into a faux hawk-inspired gelled updo. This remarkable story will suck you in and keep your eyes riveted to the page, trying to read as fast as you can to find out what G
Despite the cover picture, which in my opinion, isn't in line with the main character, I liked this book a lot. The reference to pancakes is kind of hokey, but is at least party of the story. The characters are believable, show emotions and have believable problems, despite the outrageous request asked of our heroine. A solid 3.5
ALSO, is you are looking for another book about "assisted suicide" I recommend "The Universe vs. Alex Woods" . It's deeper and explores this topic very well within a fic
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Grace Manning isn’t having the best year. In a wholly ironic twist of hypocrisy, her father did not practice what he preached and left the family for a woman he met at bible group. Six months have passed and Grace’s mother swings between blistering hatred for Grace’s deserting father, and constant complaining about her thankless job.

Grace’s older sister, Lolly, continues to date a boneheaded boy called Jake, even though all signs point to heartbreak. And Grace’s best friend, Eric, is rising in
Aimee M.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
To me, this book would have been better, and I would have finished it before now, if the storyline about Grace's personal life just didn't keep dragging on and on. When I read the synopsis of this book, before I checked it out at my library, I thought that it was going to be more about Grace's friendship with Mr. Sands, who is a resident at the rest home Grace is a candy striper at. Instead Mr. Sands was only mentioned every once in a while at the end of the chapters.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
At the first, I was put off by the sassy, teenage protagonist, Grace Manning. However, her true character emerges as she faces the challenges of work in long term care and, more particularly, in her special friendship with Mr. Sands. Sandwich generation adults will appreciate the unique perspectives revealed in the upheaval of youth, the onslaught of challenges for adults and the inevitable process of aging, which rarely takes place gracefully. Engaging, gut-wrenching and thought-provoking.
Madeline Traylor
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was an inspiration to some problems other have a this might help them understand it's ok.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not at all what the description had me expecting (and not in a good way). Shied away from the complex, difficult stuff and focused on a semi developed romance. Super simplistic, too easy finish.
Melanie Goodman
Camus said, “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.” Do we have a right to die? Do people suffering from terminal illnesses have a right to end their suffering? If so, should they be able to enlist help in the form of an assisted suicide? Would you help someone end their life if you were asked?

I worked in a veterinary office very briefly and was required to help with euthanasia almost every day. I watched people choose to put down their beloved cats, dogs, guin
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Why I read this: The title was very intriguing as well as the write-up about what the book was about. It seemed more serious than a lot of books I've been reading lately and I wanted to read it.

How is the novel driven: Character. This is about Grace and decisions she has to make and how she learns more about life as a 15-year-old.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Ms. Epstein took an interesting premise and way able to pull off centering the book around that premise while adding more layer
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Grace Manning is a fifteen year old candy-striper at a nursing home. There, she befriends Mr. Sands, an elderly gentleman who is suffering from ALS. Their friendship is one of teasing and fun, until one day when Mr. Sands asks Grace to help him die. Suddenly, Grace is caught between helping a friend in need and obeying the law. While grappling with this decision, Grace also has to deal with the everyday teenage issues—the separation of her parents, her evolving relationship with her male best fr ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Kira M for

15-year-old Grace is having a hard time pulling her life together. Her sister's boyfriend is two-timing her and she wants to have sex with him; Grace's parents' divorce is taking a toll on the family; her father is trying to get in contact with her; and Grace's guy friend is kind of becoming a boyfriend.

It's no wonder that her job as a Candy Striper at Hanover House is something she enjoys so much. While there, she meets an older gentleman named Mr. Sands w
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a refreshing new take on people & life! ...more
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, young-adult
Grace works at the local nursing home, which may be surprising, but what's an even bigger surprise is the fact that she actually likes it. This is mostly due to Mr. Sands, an ex-marine with Lou Gehrig's disease whom she befriends. He and Grace constantly try to out-wit one another with their playful and often hilarious banter. Despite Grace's family and best-friend-who-is-a-boy issues, she spends her time at Hanover House learning about life and how to play cards until one day when Mr. Sands ask ...more
Dec 22, 2010 rated it liked it
The dust jacket of this book actually compares it (or perhaps the main character Grace Manning) to the movie Juno. "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." "Robin Epstein, you're no Diablo Cody." Come on: can we really compare the wisecracks of this girl struggling with her parents' divorce and the fairly predictable friend-turning-into-more-than-friend boy trouble with the chugging the Sunny D so she can pee on a preggers stick in the convenience store bathroom icon Juno? Nope.

In fact, while I did fi
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Find this review and more on my website, Through a Seattle Looking Glass,

What I See: This book challenges it’s characters in a rarely seen contemporary way. I appreciated that, but there was still something missing. Grace Manning is a strong female teen character, and perhaps that’s why I’m not entirely on board. She acts a bit too adult. She’s a bit too mature.

It’s a different kind of story, with beautiful passages and thoughts through Grace. I don’t want to hate on Grace,
Apr 27, 2010 rated it liked it
On one hand, this book has all the makings of a cliche - girl and her family abandoned by their father, tenuous relationships with that family but on the mend, best friend becoming something more...really it could have been quite predictable. And in many ways, it was. But what I love about Grace is that she is 15. Things don't just fall into place and overnight she doesn't just know what to do. She suffers through high school like many of us did - in the shadows - and secretly enjoys that her mo ...more
Robin Epstein
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Here's the review from Publisher's Weekly:

In Epstein's (the Groovy Girls series) powerful and poignant novel, her first for teenage readers, 10th-grader Grace narrates her exploration of life's conundrums as she faces difficult choices in every close relationship, some of which are literally a matter of life and death. Reeling from her father's sudden departure from their family and adulterous relationship with a church friend, Grace feels abandoned by him and by God, left to confront complex is
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Robin Epstein is a writer, runner, professor and astronaut* (*in her own mind). Beginning her career as a comic and television writer. Her last young adult novel, God Is In the Pancakes, was an official selection of the 2012 New York State Reading Association (NYSRA) Charlotte Award Master List. She's written for the New York Times, Marie Claire, Glamour, as well as other publications. A contribut ...more

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