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The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel | Aimee Bender
The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse. On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents attention, bites into her mothers homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mothers emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her motherher cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mothertastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hiddenher mothers life outside the home, her fathers detachment, her brothers clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Benders place as a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language (San Francisco Chronicle). BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Aimee Bender's The Color Master.
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merelybookish
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Okay! Here are my #Top10oftheDecade #fictionedition. This was actually easier than I expected. It helped that I stuck to books published since 2010. I like lots of books but these are ones I LOVED! They wowed me in some way. Also, this is a very white woman list! A reminder that in the next decade I need to read more novels by POC!
@cinfhen

vivastory I've only read 3 of these, but I loved them & the other 7 are on my TBR as well. Great list! 21h
merelybookish @vivastory Thanks! My wheelhouse seems to be quirky, somewhat experimental, character-driven novels. So if you like 3 on this list, you'll probably like the others. 🙂 20h
Cinfhen I love that your list is a little different from everyone else‘s 💚I MUST get to some of these tittles 🙌🏻thanks for sharing 19h
See All 17 Comments
BarbaraBB Great list! I love that Idaho is on it. And I am surprised you liked The Story of my Teeth better than Lost Children Archive! Interesting! 💕 19h
merelybookish @Cinfhen Thanks for starting this. It's been fun to do and see others picks! 19h
merelybookish @BarbaraBB Hmm..When I read Teeth, I didn't know anything about her as an author so it blew me away. It was so smart and bizarre. Maybe I went into Archive with higher expectations. 19h
BarbaraBB Sounds plausible! ❤️ 19h
RachelO Great list! I think Outline changed my reading- I expected to hate it, but it‘s made me much braver about less plot-y novels. (*rewrites own list - AGAIN!) 16h
TrishB More for the pile! 15h
CarolynM I liked Outline and Normal People a lot as well as the 2 of yours I have on my list🙂 14h
mklong Awesome list! At least 5 of these would be on mine too. 13h
Cathythoughts Great list ! I loved Normal People & Milkman too 12h
merelybookish @RachelO Thanks! I love less plot-y novels. 🙂 9h
merelybookish @mklong Are you going to make one? I'd love to see your list! 9h
merelybookish @Cathythoughts Two amazing books! ♥️ 9h
merelybookish @CarolynM I like your taste! I took a screenshot of yours! 9h
60 likes17 comments
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Purrfectpages
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Reading-in-LallahLand
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Panpan
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kricheal
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Pickpick

I really loved this. For the the first quarter of the book I thought I was going to hate it because it was told from the perspective of child and then a preteen. Please give this book a chance, this is a complex family and emotional coming of age story. This needs a much higher rating on litsy. #36 #2019

Soubhiville This was a really strange but somehow satisfying little book. 5mo
84 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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kricheal
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Starting this next on #overdrive #currentlylistening

zezeki I love this one, though I noticed Littens have mixed feelings about it. 5mo
kricheal @zezeki I just finished it. I loved this so much more than I thought I would. I'm bummed that there was never a reveal of what the Dad's "power" was. 5mo
69 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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thegreatmjd
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Pickpick

This was an arbitrary pick off the library shelf, based on the idea I would be taking home a book with a blue cover that day. So by the cover‘s shade of blue, combined with a love of lemons and the swell of my own recent sadness, my choice was made. It felt right for me (and it was.) When I finished reading, I held the book close to my chest - satisfied and moved by what I had read, but weighted with the particular sadness it ended at all. 🍋

Liatrek Beautiful review ❤️ I love when you feel the need to hug the book when it‘s finished 😍 5mo
Chelleo Welcome to Litsy! Hope these #Litsytips by @RaimeyGallant http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU are helpful. #LitsyWelcomeWagon
5mo
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 5mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🌼 5mo
6 likes1 stack add4 comments
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LoverofLit
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Mehso-so

I really liked the premise of this novel, on Rose's ninth birthday she receives the ability to taste people's feelings through the food they cook, but the execution and writing and plot development ranged from bizarre to non-existent. Not my least favorite book ever, a small amount of memorable lines, but I was confused and dissatisfied after it was over.
#Booked2019 @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft
Food or Beverage on the Cover

Cinfhen Interesting premise....not sure I could read an entire book though 😳 5mo
30 likes1 comment
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The.Intentional.Reader
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Pickpick

Wasn‘t to sure what to think about this book but it looked interesting. So glad I gave it a try. Such a story of family and finding ones way in the world. Also, full of magical realism as the main character, Rose, can actually taste a person‘s emotions and know what is happening in their life simply by tasting a food they have made or prepared. Really enjoyed this one and stayed up late last night to finish it.

Nute I always wanted to read this book just so that I could understand the title. Does it tie into the story? 1mo
The.Intentional.Reader @Nute yes, she is able to taste a person's feeling when they make a food. The title comes from a particularly strong feeling she gets from something her mother makes for her. 1mo
15 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Canndor
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Mehso-so

I picked this one based on the cover on Overdrive to finish up the spring subjects of #booked2019, so I went in with no knowledge of what it was about. Definitely an odd read. There were some things I liked about it, but the subject matter was pretty unusual.
Spoiler in comments with my thoughts.
@Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage

Canndor I didn't like that after YEARS of her outbursts that her dad never thought to mention that his father could smell people in the same way or to tell her about why he stays out of hospitals. The ending was too far out there for me too, the tasting people's emotions in their food and smelling it is one thing, but her brother turning into furniture? I don't get it. 7mo
Cinfhen Say what??????? 7mo
Cinfhen Congrats on finishing Spring 🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊 7mo
Canndor @Cinfhen ha! Yes it was a weird ride. 7mo
13 likes4 comments
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abbielistenstobooks
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Pickpick

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I am absolutely GUTTED by this book, and by the fact that there isn't more of this book.

merelybookish I loved this book when I read it! 9mo
merelybookish @abbielistenstobooks I don't even remember it that well now, but I remember how it blew me away. And how she balances the magical with the realistic so well! 9mo
37 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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mcipher
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My alphabetical super old TBR reading fest continues with this one - on the list since 2010, you guys. Insane. I‘m not loving the lack of quotes when people speak but other than that, it‘s solid so far. I can‘t imagine how awful it would be to taste people‘s secret feelings in food, unless you knew some really happy good cooks. #Edie is resigned to my poor attempts to get a decent picture of her in the dim light. #catsoflitsy

Weaponxgirl Her expression is great 😆 10mo
zezeki I just started rereading this one. I loved it the first time, will see how I'll feel this time around. 10mo
mcipher @Weaponxgirl She‘s a lady with a LOT of opinions that she isn‘t afraid to share! 10mo
mcipher @zezeki 👍 10mo
102 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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sophierayton
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Pickpick

This book is so clever! The writing is spare and descriptive at the same time (Don't believe me just [read]).
For me it is a look at how people handle life, family and emotions and the different coping mechanisms people have. It's unique, bizarre and fantastic. I think it would be a good book club pick as there's lots to discuss and would likely get a range of reviews.

Redwritinghood I read this a while ago. I loved her short stories but was more so-so on this. Maybe it was the comparison with Girl in the Flammable Skirt, which I think was better, that made me so-so. May have to reread. 10mo
45 likes9 stack adds1 comment
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tdrosebud
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📚 The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
🎬 Matilda
🎤 Cake by the Ocean
#manicmonday @JoScho

JoScho 😊❤️🍰 10mo
8 likes1 comment
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SW-T
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Book: Tagged
Movie: Apple Mortgage Cake
Song: Cups and Cupcakes

#ManicMonday @JoScho

JoScho 😊❤️🍰 10mo
11 likes1 comment
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alisonrose
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BOOK: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake 🍋🍰
MOVIE: Eddie Izzard‘s stand-up special Dressed to Kill (because of the “cake or death” bit 🤣🤣🤣)
SONG: Sugar, Sugar
#manicmonday

JoScho 😊❤️🍰 10mo
Clare-Dragonfly 🍰🔪❓ 10mo
alisonrose @Clare-Dragonfly 😆👍🏻💯 10mo
44 likes3 comments
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diovival
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📚 The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

🎥 Life of Pi

🎵 Girls Just Want to Have Fun

#manicmonday @JoScho

merelybookish I really liked that book and it's a perfect answer! 10mo
JoScho 😊❤️🍰 10mo
19 likes2 comments
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umbrellagirl
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Book: there were two titles that I mangled together, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. 🍰🥥🍋
In my version, the coconut cake was sad.
Film: nothing comes to mind.
Song: Short Skirt Long Jacket
#manicmonday @JoScho #🍰

JoScho 😊❤️🍰 10mo
TheBookAddict 🤣 awww, poor coconut cake. I hope it‘s feeling better now. 10mo
umbrellagirl @TheBookAddict it was 😋 yummy! 10mo
TheBookAddict @umbrellagirl I bet! 🙂👍🏽 10mo
61 likes4 comments
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gradcat
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1. Tagged book by Aimee Bender 📖
2. Cake (2014) starring Jennifer Aniston 🎥
3. Cake by the Ocean by DNCE 🎶

I‘m just too literal, I think...
#manicmonday
#🍰

umbrellagirl That was my book thought too. 10mo
JoScho 😊❤️🍰 10mo
78 likes2 comments
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Beachesnbooks
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September reading wrap-up! 8 books total, all SFF and nonfiction except one magical realism (I was in a very specific reading mood 😂). My favorite was The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (4.5⭐️) but loved the new releases from favorite authors Ilona Andrews and Charlaine Harris.
#readingresolutions @Jess7

GrilledCheeseSamurai Love the mug! 🤩 1y
44 likes1 comment
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Beachesnbooks
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Pickpick

This is not a high-rated book on Litsy or GR, but for me it was a 4.5⭐️ read that got better and better over the course of the story. It‘s not a light read, like the cover might suggest, and it was very different than I expected. It‘s a magical realism story about a girl in an unhappy family who has the ability to taste the emotions of whoever prepared her food. It‘s also about learning about the hidden parts of ourselves and our families.

zezeki I love this book! So glad to finally see someone else on Litsy who likes it too. 😁 1y
36 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Loric
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Mehso-so

The particular sadness of lemon cake was, well, bland is the best I can come up with to describe it. The story is told through the voice of Rose, who on her 9th birthday is cursed with the ability to taste what people feel through the food they prepare. The premise was great but this one didn't deliver for me. I guess I was looking for more whimsy but instead found myself tuning in and out and disengaged. The story was overall very depressing

AileenRR Agree! I was fascinated by the premise, but what a sad story 😕 11mo
14 likes1 comment
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PaperbackPirate
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Mehso-so

The title is appropriate - this was a sad book. I was hoping it would be more whimsical but I still liked the original concepts.
The #monthlykeywordreadingchallenge2018 got this off of my tbr after 6 years! A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title 🍋
⭐️⭐️⭐️

JennyM I felt very much the same. Great premise, but the book just didn‘t quite hit the mark 1y
PaperbackPirate @JennyM Have you read An Invisible Sign of My Own? It‘s been on my wishlist but now I‘m not sure. 1y
18 likes2 comments
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JennyM
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Mehso-so

22 | #HeatOfJuly

#HowDoYouWantIt to taste, because it depends on how I feel when making it.

@Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

Cathythoughts Well done ! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻it‘s a tricky one. It‘s still Saturday night here , so I‘ll sleep on it ... 😬 1y
CarolynM 👏👏👏 1y
Cinfhen I 💛 lemon cake 1y
Tashreads Well done. My mind drew a blank with this prompt. 1y
51 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Sarah93

I don‘t know if any of this make any sense to anyone 😄😅 but this is what I do and I liked it and it worked perfectly with me until I had those financial issues and I couldn‘t buy any book 💔
Also another thing with me is that I can not stand eBook I just can‘t read if the book isn‘t between my hands 😕
Hopefully those issues well end soon but until then I borrowed 2 books from my friend 😌

ju.ca.no Hopefully your issues will resolve soon! Maybe a library could also help you out in the meanwhile :) 1y
Sarah93 @ju.ca.no thank you 😊 1y
6 likes2 comments
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Sarah93

Hello guys 👋🏻
Its been a while..
for the last couple weeks I‘ve had some financial problems 😅
And I couldn‘t buy any new books so the last book that I had read wad Together..

The thing that I do is that every once in awhile I go and buy bunch of books and I don‘t buy anymore books until I finish the ones I have. This worked with me as a motivator to finish early and have another visit to the store #1

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Gnora
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#riotgrams Day 7! Ice Cream/Sweet Treats. I'm more of a baker myself, and books featuring food as a primary component are my favorite unusual genre of all time. I've never had the heart to tell this cover designer that you don't put chocolate icing on lemon cake. @bookriot

thebluestocking Good one! 2y
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
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IamIamIam
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🍰 LOVED the tagged book!
🦐 Love me some shrimp scampi, preferrably from Bubba Gump's!
🌿Cilantro and lima beans 😝
🎅 Christmas but it's all about dessert with me
🐀 A local French restaurant called Cassis that makes the BEST duck!

Thanks, @JoScho!! 😄🤗
#manicmonday

monalyisha Just had duck poutine this weekend. Ugh. So good. 🤤 2y
IamIamIam @monalyisha Ooooh, that sounds delicious!! 2y
JoScho Thanks for playing ❤️ 2y
Wife #TeamNoCilantro 🌱🤢 2y
IamIamIam @Wife 😂😂😂😂 #highfive 2y
41 likes5 comments
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MommyOfTwo
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Here you go @maich
I was making cupcakes today. These are triple lemon! Lemon cupcakes with lemon curd filling and lemon frosting. 🍋😍 #MarchInBooks

howjessreads WHAT!‽ ? 🍋 😍 2y
EKonrad Love the book and the cupcakes!!! 2y
julesG Can I just apparate right into your kitchen? Or should I use floopowder? 2y
See All 9 Comments
laurenbescoby Eeeeer, I'll have 100 please. 😱😋😋😋😋 They look delicious! 2y
ReviewsbytheMrs These look AMAZING 🍋 2y
MommyOfTwo @ReviewsbytheMrs @EKonrad @miralunasbooknook @jesshowbooks thanks everyone. These are one of my favorites. 2y
MommyOfTwo @julesG either way works 😀 2y
Christine11 These look delicious! 🤤 2y
maich I'm hungry now🤣 look delicious👍😍 2y
48 likes1 stack add9 comments
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LaLecture
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Mehso-so

This one reminded me of a modern fairytale with its magically gifted protagonist: Rose can taste the cook‘s feelings and many more things out of food she eats. I really liked this idea and how it‘s described. The story is tender, sweet and sometimes bitter, but often drags a lot and I wasn‘t sure what to make out if it in the end. Also I personally don‘t like books without “”.

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LaLecture
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1️⃣ Nope. I‘m not into sports and this one isn‘t such a big thing over here in 🇩🇪
2️⃣ 3C (37,4F) Typical winter weather over here. Too warm for snow but too cold for anything else.
3️⃣ The tagged book. I‘m already 2/3 through and I like the idea but I don‘t really know what story the book is meant to tell.
4️⃣ Next trip is to Florence. Definitely wanna visit Venice, New York, Amsterdam and Morocco one day.
#friyayintro

MelAnn 🖐🏻 2y
GripLitGrl 2y
IheartYA 2y
12 likes3 comments
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MissAimz_55
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Bailedbailed

I just couldn't get into it this time. I may give it another go in a couple of months but with so many books on my TBR , I just didn't have the patience for a mediocre boring read... first bailed book this year tho, so that's good.

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Giabow
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Pickpick

So so good!
(Also, a book with a fruit or vegetable in the title for those of you doing the Advanced part of the #popsugar2018 challenge.)

10 likes2 stack adds
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marywag08
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Mehso-so

This is a light read with an interesting protagonist— a girl who can taste feelings through food. As you might expect, this gift comes with several downfalls, such as tasting her mother‘s sadness for years only to discover her affair through the happy exuberance she tasted in a meatloaf dinner. The pace of the book is very slow, but it‘s an enjoyable story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Lcsmcat
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The only non-cookbooks on my shelves with #cake in the title. 🎂 #emojinov @RealLifeReading

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ptkpepe98
Mehso-so

This was a book I both liked and disliked. The story was an interesting one, but the reader (I listened the audiobook) was a distraction because she just was blah about it. That really made it hard to stay focused, because it made it seem uninteresting. I'm learning that a good book needs a good reader. So if you want to read a good work of drama, read this one, don't listen to it.📚

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Caroline2
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Some more book fairying in the Barbican Cafe! Our waitress was run off her feet so I hope she picked it up! 😉 👍🏻 📚

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juliannebenford
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Mehso-so

I just finished listening to this. I found the beginning chapters slow-going - it seemed like she was nine years old for hours and hours. It picked up a bit once she became a teenager, and I really started to enjoy the concept, but I think I would have liked it more if it were a short story rather than a novel. The story felt too dragged out at this length.

RaimeyGallant Nice review! 2y
Kat_Ang Nice review! I read this book years ago and it gave me some peculiar yet satisfied feeling. Aimee Bender now becomes one of my favourite writers. Have you read Willful Creature? It's very good one also. 2y
juliannebenford @Kat_Ang Yeah I have to say I did find the ending satisfying and I didn't mind what happened to the brother - which is a massive issue for many readers! I haven't read any of her other books, thanks for the recommendation 😊 2y
14 likes4 comments
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AllenTStClair
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Pickpick

The worst part about posting a review of this book is that 450 characters isn't enough to fully describe the emotions felt while reading it. While the book had plot elements that at first seemed odd, and plot resolutions I didn't want, I'm glad Aimee Bender made the writing choices she made. Her writing, and this story, moved me like Alice Hoffman or Khaled Hosseini. Highly recommend! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cinfhen High praise!! Stacked!!! 2y
AllenTStClair @Cinfhen I hope it lives up to it! 2y
ReadingSusan I loved it! So unusual. I love books like that. 2y
See All 8 Comments
AllenTStClair @ReadingSusan I was surprised by how moved I was. But that's never a bad thing. 2y
minkyb Great review! 2y
EKonrad Check out her short story collections too! They're awesome! 😊 2y
AllenTStClair @Ekonrad First thing after finishing this book, I added all her other books to my TBR. 😂 2y
67 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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AllenTStClair
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Picking books from a jar has the added bonus of providing a bookmark for every book chosen.

Suet624 😁 2y
Bambolina_81 I really need to start doing this! 2y
Smashlee I bought this one my last trip to the used bookstore. Sounded intriguing. 2y
80 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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AllenTStClair
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The choosing jar has spoken again!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼

Suet624 I read this years ago and still think of it on occasion. 2y
AllenTStClair @Suet624 I hope I like it enough that it sticks with me, too! 2y
Suet624 What I connected to was the sensory experiences she has. I have a somewhat similar experience. 2y
See All 7 Comments
AllenTStClair @Suet624 I'll be sure to let you know what I think when I get into it. 2y
Louise How on earth can lemon cake be sad? It's so bright and full of sun! You must enlighten us once you've read it! 🍋 2y
AllenTStClair @Louise Well, I hate to admit it, but I don't enjoy lemon cake. But the very thought of it still makes me happy. I mean....it's still CAKE. 2y
Louise Well, there is THAT! 😂 2y
74 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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Caroline2
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I've heard a few of you recommend this book so when I saw it for 25p in the secondhand shop I thought I'd give it a go! I'm enjoying it so far! 😊 🍋 (back to day zero on the book buying ban! 🙄)

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ruthemmielang
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Today's prompt of the #BeastsGiveawayChallenge is Magical Realism (aka a book that takes place in a realistic setting with a splash of fantasy). Tag your Magical Realist book with #BeastsGiveawayChallenge and be entered to win one of 10 ARCs of my book, "Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance." If you can't find a MR book, sub in speculative fiction, urban or light fantasy. ?For a complete list of prompts, go to www.campfirereads.com

80 likes5 stack adds
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MrBook
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#TBRtemptation post 6! On the cusp of turning 9, the unassuming & peripheral Rose bites in her mom's homemade cake and discovers that she can taste her mom's emotions in the cake! Her happy mother is n despair on the inside. Food becomes a peril & a threat for Rose. Through her ability, she learns about her family's kept secrets. Growing, she learns to harness her ability & realizes she still can't know all in the end. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

jpmcwisemorgan I have this one on my TBR! 2y
mrsmarch An excellent book 2y
bedandabook I've heard good things about this one. 2y
See All 6 Comments
Foragingfantasy Loved this one. 2y
Hooked_on_books I take issue with the cover. Lemon cake should not have chocolate frosting. 2y
CKtheLibrarian @Hooked_on_books yes!!! That was my first thought! 2y
82 likes12 stack adds6 comments
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ReadingSusan
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Pickpick

Oh my goodness this was such a fascinating, unusual book. I couldn't put it down.
The thing I disliked was the lack of quotation marks. JUST STOP WITH THAT NONSENSE. I hate it so much.

zezeki I love this book so much 😁😍 2y
merelybookish This book is brilliant. The premise is so weird but she pulls it off! 2y
GirlMeetsBook Sounds like a potentially good audiobook? I hate non-punctuated dialogue!! 2y
See All 9 Comments
Reggie Omg don't read Cormac McCarthy. It took several reread of a page to get, oh yeah, I guess he isn't using quotation marks. Lol His books are gold though. 2y
Lcsmcat I really enjoyed this book! 2y
ReadingSusan @zeljka I really enjoyed it! 2y
ReadingSusan @merelybookish yes she really does! I think very few authors could but she does! 2y
ReadingSusan @GirlMeetsBook yes probably so. It drove me crazy. 2y
SilversReviews Cute book. 2y
117 likes11 stack adds9 comments
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Smashlee
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Someone went to the used bookstore today 🙋🏼

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Darcy-Bennett
Pickpick

This book does something to my heart. I love it so very much. I wish I could adequately explain how good it makes me feel. I wish I could inhale it like smoke. Or have every word of it tattooed on my body. It's so special.

Liatrek Love your description😊I'm adding to my book pile. 2y
5 likes1 stack add2 comments
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katedensen
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For Day 15 of #MayBookFlowers: #fruit ???

This is such a weird (but truly great) book. I actually included it in a list of ten contemporary titles about dysfunctional families on my weekly "Kate Curates the Internet" blog post yesterday. The list is called "Unhappy In Its Own Way." ?

To see the list (and the rest of the post--there's actually a bunch of bookish stuff on there this week including some funny HP jokes): http://bit.ly/2qjEk6u

KarenUK I loved this weird little book 💕👍 3y
40 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Victoriahoperose
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Pickpick

I loved this book so much! It was such an odd read, but the writing was so well done that even the strangest things in the book seemed ordinary. This book is beautifully written and just so unexpected. I definitely recommend it and will always remember this one!

19 likes2 stack adds
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mrsmarch
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I have taught my three year old how to say "easy peasy lemon squeezy." BEHOLD! Another generation to troll my husband. ???

33 likes1 stack add