Customer Reviews for

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Average Rating 3
( 630 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(135)

4 Star

(153)

3 Star

(145)

2 Star

(119)

1 Star

(78)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

A unique and gripping tale -- Certainly worth a read...

Very interesting plot -- I couldn't put the book down until I found some closure. Bender uses exceptionally elegant language and poetic devices. The story is enthralling, albeit a bit dark and (at times) depressing. This book is one of a kind. A very fast read. The fusi...
Very interesting plot -- I couldn't put the book down until I found some closure. Bender uses exceptionally elegant language and poetic devices. The story is enthralling, albeit a bit dark and (at times) depressing. This book is one of a kind. A very fast read. The fusion of a real-life scenario, whimsical characteristics, and complete fantasy is perhaps a bit overwhelming -- but once again, I couldn't put it down.

posted by TenorMan on June 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

This is very good book to take on vacation. I read it practically in one sitting.

This is an unusual little book which is told in the voice of a nine year old girl with a special talent. Rose can taste the mood and emotions of the people who have prepared the food she eats. It makes it very hard for her to eat food and enjoy it since she feels the em...
This is an unusual little book which is told in the voice of a nine year old girl with a special talent. Rose can taste the mood and emotions of the people who have prepared the food she eats. It makes it very hard for her to eat food and enjoy it since she feels the emotions almost as physical pain.
The book is hard to put it down. You, the reader, want to discover from where this strange gift comes and whether or not it can be controlled. The story takes you through parental relationships, sibling relationships and teenage relationships with all the drama these relationships encompass. It really holds your interest, but, in the end, there are a lot of questions left unanswered.
Although the characters are well developed, they have holes in their history and explanations for particular behaviors fall short of the mark. Also, the paranormal plays a large role in this book, but it is not given enough importance. It is treated almost as an afterthought and yet the book turns on the supernatural capabilities of the characters. Often there are scenes and major events occurring which seem to require deeper exploration but they are passed over as if they are simply commonplace and are largely ignored by the characters. The disappearance of a brother is dismissed casually, as if, this happens all the time and he will reappear. Yet, it is not a casual disappearance. A father's inability to enter a hospital is dismissed as quirkiness when it is far more than that.
Still, I would recommend the book. It is also a tender story about people who are unable to express their feelings in normal ways. They all harbor secrets. In the end, the nine year old child is a young woman who finds herself through trial and error as she works out her family issues and her personal ones. She seems the most well adjusted when the book concludes, as she makes use of her gift and learns to deal with her unusual life successfully. She, above all, seems to understand the people around her as well, and is accepting and forgiving of all their shortcomings.

posted by thewanderingjew on July 20, 2010

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Huh?

    I wanted to like this book BUT, it was so sad and the characters were detached from each other. The parents were self-absorbed and without real feeling. The mother was a trainwreck and an airhead. Father was clueless. The brother was a strange character and I really didn't understand what happened to him. The writing was such that, I just didn't get it. The main character, Rose, was a charming, tortured little girl, but when she grew up, she was depressed and lost. Just not a good read and yes, no punctuation was a real turn off. Buy a good vampire book (Sookie Stackhouse Series) if you want some escapism or fantasy!

    9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Lack of punctuation makes it difficult to read

    I found the book difficult to read and the storyline unimaginative and lacking. I forced myself to finish the book for our book club and thought the ending was disappointing.

    9 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    disliked

    Liked the idea and plot of story but did not enjoy writing style, or flow of book.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Interesting concept, then boom!

    I was enjoying this book, the voice is interesting and engaging and the concept really caught my attention. Then however, it got REALLY bizarre and she lost me. Not only does she introduce a bizarre thought, but then she doesn't really explain it. It's a shame.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing

    I was really excited to read this book. I love books with a dose of magical realism and the premise of this book seemed really interesting but the book didn't live up to the hype. It was dull at times and I found myself struggling to finish it. The only reason I continued to read it was because I hoped it would get better and further developed. Sadly, this did not happen and I finished the book with the same sort of emptiness I felt while reading it. Also, the author doesn't use ANY quotation marks which is both confusing and aggravating.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2010

    Flat

    I really wanted to like this but the author's refusal to use quotation marks in dialogue is really annoying me. It conveys a passivity that is distracting from the story. I keep trying to figure out if the characters are thinking rather than speaking. Way too much work for a summer read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Somewhat entertaining, but overall disappointment

    Good premise, but I didn't like the execution. The "twist" was upsetting and silly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    A book with an interesting premise that in the end become dull a

    A book with an interesting premise that in the end become dull and you lose interest and fail to care about the main character. With the transformation of the brother towards the end of the book i was just like this simple idea couldve been great and it become ridiculous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    Very disappointed

    I have been wanting to read this for so long! I love the cover, title and concept. Unfortunately, the story concept that had so much promise was never developed and so many weird things happened that it was highly disappointing. The writing was forced and the story was flat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Amylee to all

    H- hi

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    Sadness is the word...

    Very peculiar topics that keep you guessing. Not very uplifting if that's what you are looking for. I rated it a 2 on a scale of 1-5. Other members of my club were more generous with a 3. There were a couple of story lines I felt were left undone.

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  • Posted April 20, 2012

    I just finished this book and I am sitting here scratching my he

    I just finished this book and I am sitting here scratching my head, asking myself why I wasted my time reading it. The prose was often difficult to puzzle out. I found myself wondering what Rosie was talking about frequently during the reading of this book. I can't believe this was rated highly by any of the reviewers. It was just ridiculous!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Boring

    Kept waiting for something to happen but nothing really did.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    I wanted to like this book...

    I completely agree with Nooking-for-a-good-book. This book sounded intriguing, and it was not at all what I expected. I kept reading to see if it would get better, and I'm not at all sure I understood the end of the book and what happened to the brother. The thing is, I really didn't care enough to try and re-read.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    sappy and pathetic

    I did not object to the style of this book, but I found the whole concept of tasting middle American angst in a roast beef dinner to be overblown, bloated drama. Way too many symbols that added little or nothing to the story. It just didn't connect and if I hadn't been stuck in an airport for an extended delay, I probably never would have finished this book.

    On the other hand it is an easy read and entertaining enough on some level, so I gave it two stars rather than one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

    Ridiculous

    Liked the story right up until the ridiculous sub-plot about the brother. Really? What was the point of that? It added absolutely nothing to the story. It never got resolved. I was VERY disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    Had to make myself finish this book.

    I wanted to love this book..the concept seemed interesting and the possibilities endless. Boy was so disappointed. I didn't feel any kind of connection to any of the characters and the story with the brother was just too "out there". I love when you finish a book, close the cover and feel fulfilled for having read it. When I closed this book I just thought to myself, "Well, that was the most ridiculous waste of time I've had in a while."

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bland and Boring

    I found this read rather bland and boring. I didn't feel like the characters had much development, the plot wasn't very exciting, and the book lacked much for closure. This was part of a book club read by a group of secondary teachers, and no one walked away feeling "wowed."

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    The Particular Sadness of the Plot

    This book had so much potential but just didn't develop. It was depressing and confusing. My friend told me the end was bad but I was unprepared for just how poorly the story ended. The title and synopsis lured me in. The only emotion that I could feel in the book was the narrator's relationship with George (spoiler alert) but then after you think throughout the entire book they have a connection he abruptly marries someone else. Ugggh.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Bother!

    I was very unimpressed! The author wrote in a really abstract fashion that was difficult to follow. I finished the book mainly because I was hoping it would go somewhere. It fell flat. The characters were not well developed and the story at times was very difficult to follow. Honestly the book was particularly sad over all!

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