Title: 100 Days Of Cake
Author: Sheri Goldhagen
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published Date: May 17th 2016 by
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mental Health, Depression, Realistic Fiction
Page Count: 352
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★.5
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.
"Honestly, there's a part of me that wants so much-maybe more than she does for her to be right about this. All those self-help books and empowering websites worked for her- they helped her get series about the hair salon and find a dweeby boyfriend with a good job, and live in a house that outwardly reflects the inner success- so maybe this could work for me too? Maybe there is some combination of sugar, eggs, and flour that can make me care about school dances and four-hundred meter relay times and college applications. If there is, I will gladly eat piece after piece every day for the rest of my short type-2-diabetic life."
This is only my second book dealing with depression so I’m still learning about it and how it is written in books. Having said that I think Goldhagen did an amazing job of not only making you see how much depression had changed Bryne’s life, but how it had also changed her family and friends lives as well. How they had to watch her go from this super good at everything girl to one that dropped all her AP classes and stopped doing in extracurricular activities.
The person that we see this has the worst effect on is her sister. Not only does it make her angry but it also shows how she had to grow up fast because of certain things that she found and then had to keep a secret.
I loved how close of a friendship Bryne had with Elle and how even though Elle was really into being vegan, and saving the world she would change her opinion for a little while if she thought she could make Bryne happy or keep her from freaking out. Elle never lost patience with Bryne when she could have multiple times. She was a fantastic plan and even went along with Bryne’s plan to save fishtopia because she knew how much it meant to her. Everyone needs a friend like Elle in their lives.
Then there is Alex who Bryne works with at Fishtopia except instead of working they spend most of their time together watching Golden Girls (an amazing show if I do say so myself) and eating takeout from the place across the street. That is until the owner comes in one day and tells them that Fishtopia is closing causing Bryne to have a freak out and start trying to find a way to save it.
This was really nice to see happen because we see Bryne really put her all into saving it and she gets everyone around her to pitch in and we see her as what I assume she was like before she got depression.
"Maybe Alex was right. My need for everything to stay exactly the same was what screwed things up. If things never change they decay."
I know I probably should have seen the part about her dad coming, but I didn’t probably because I was trying to figure out how her mom had all this time to run her own business and bake complicated cakes all the time. Granted she wasn’t doing much else besides those two things because she was terrified her daughter might do something extreme so it was understandable.
For me the only reason I didn't give this book five stars was the fact that it had an inappropriate sort of relationship with an adult. I just wasn't comfortable with that part of the book personally.
This book does contain slut shaming quite a bit which got to be annoying after a while, considering they weren’t doing anything to stop the person they were shaming from wearing/doing what she was doing when they could have. There is also some crude language at times, but I think this made the novel seem more realistic.
Thank you to Netgalley and Athenum Books (Simon & Schuster) for giving me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.