Young Adult Books for Grown Up Guys and Girls discussion

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

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message 1: by Erica (last edited Mar 01, 2012 05:15AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erica | 5 comments Mod
Okay, its a strange little book. Personally, I thought it was wicked cool, though I did take exception to a few things that the author did. Let's get this party started with some gut reactions to the Lemon Cake. Overall, I thought it was a brilliant book club pick because this is the kind of read that insights a pretty strong reactio from readers one way or another. I find that the best discussions take place when there are some strong contrasting opinions about the book. So, who loved it and who hated it? And, the million dolloar question, what did we think about the bit with the chair?

message 2: by Jen (new)

Jen (jen_maley) | 85 comments Mod
I enjoyed the book a great deal, but I was distracted by the absence of quotation marks! That's my BA in English coming out. I agree with the title of this post--Chair?! Really?? The knowledge Rose receives from her father about her grandfather's similar condition towards the end of the book shed some light on her ability to taste emotion. I felt a sense of relief knowing that her condition was hereditary, but I was saddened that she suffered alone throughout her childhood. Her father could have comforted her much earlier in her life.

MollyR | 57 comments Mod
It was a strange book, but I must say - I haven't plowed through something that quickly in a while. I was riveted - and was very sad when I reached the last page and had nothing left (I am sure it felt a little like eating lemon cake).

The chair was the dealbreaker for me. Sensing emotions or smelling them? I can buy that. They are senses after all; so what if they pick up a little extra. Coalescing with a chair, however? Too far. It brought the weirdness to a whole new level.

However, after having sat on it for a bit, I find that the chair isn't the part that sticks with me, so I can forgive it its trespass into my enjoyment of the book. The way the book is written, with Rose's hypersensitivity to the people in her life and how their own feelings affect her so deeply. I like that part, because as you read and experience the let-downs (for I think given her original sunny disposition, the people in her life become let-downs) you start to taste lemon-cake for yourself. They add up until you can almost adopt for yourself her melancholy. It was probably good the book ended when it did, because I was beginning to feel a little depressed myself. Nothing worked out for Rose, not the way you wanted it to. She just did what we all do, learned to deal. That's a bit of a let-down as well. It was rather anticlimactic.

message 4: by MollyR (last edited Mar 01, 2012 05:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

MollyR | 57 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "I enjoyed the book a great deal, but I was distracted by the absence of quotation marks! That's my BA in English coming out. I agree with the title of this post--Chair?! Really?? The knowledge Rose..."

I didn't think it was a bad thing she suffered alone. It was such a great moment when she and her dad talked. It was like climbing in the tub with a good book and letting your shoulder-tension just melt away.

message 5: by Tasha (last edited Mar 04, 2012 07:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tasha (tasha8) | 43 comments Mod
I too was extremely fasnicated by the cool strangeness of this book. I thought it did a great job of showing how a family really looks from the inside, despite how it might appear. I thought the idea of having "abilities" was a neat way to make Rose and her brother connected, however I wish they would have given a little more information earlier on, so I had some clue as to what was happening. It would have made Rose's suffering a little more to handle, knowing others in her family have dealt with the same sort of thing. And I agree, A CHAIR!!! I definitily wanted there to be a little bit more at the end, as I felt devastated for poor Rose. I agree with Molly as it was a let down. Her Mother is wacked out, her father well what can I say, and obviously her brother turns into a freakin' chair! I think they coululd have given her a little true love to say the least. But overall, i really did enjoy reading this and have passed it on to several of my kids already.

Hillary | 13 comments Mod
I enjoyed the read - for me, reading is like a journey - but I was glad when it was done. I think Rose's condition is a sort of synesthesia/esp and I found it to be very interesting. Her brother's condition, less so. I was really hoping that the first time she tasted her own home-cooked meals, she would find peace. But alas, nothing worked out for poor Rose. I'm not sure where the character growth was - isn't the main character supposed to go through some sort of redemptive change?

Tasha (tasha8) | 43 comments Mod
I agree. I too wanted Rose to find some peace with something. I think the lack of growth with Rose is what makes this book difficult for kids to get into. Nothing truly enlightening happens to anyone. Has anybody else had any luck recommending this to kids?

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