Saturday, May 7, 2011

BR: God is in the Pancakes

by Robin Epstein

I picked this one up solely based on this review at one of my favourite Aussie blogs, Inkcrush. How could I resist?

Summary (goodreads)

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 praying for a miracle, stuffing herself with pancakes, and running away from all feelings, including the new ones she has for her best friend Eric. But Mr. Sands is getting worse, and she can’t avoid him forever.

**
My Expectations: Having never heard of this book before the review, I was just hoping Nomes would be right.
Delivery: I was surprised by how enjoyable it was, I guess my expectations weren't too high ;)
Put-down-ablity: This is one of those books where the story flows so smoothly it's basically impossible to put down. 2.5/10
**

My Thoughts

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, it is beautiful in its simplicity and conversational tone that made the reading experience feel like a dream. I never realized I was flipping pages because Grace’s voice flows incredibly well, not to mention she’s an extremely relatable character. I was surprised by how true that statement was; I empathized with her high school experiences, but more importantly, to her teenage feelings of self-doubt, identity, insecurity, and slightly (but not too much) rebellious attitude.

The plot was what I would think as “perfectly structured”. It’s not predictable by any means, but I felt that everything had its own place in the story—a good thing! There’s no WTF moments, or those “Why is that even relevant” scenes, everything played some sort of role, whether it was Grace’s family, love interest, or Frank Sands. The questions and moralities raised with Mr. Sands’ request for euthanasia had me thinking, but thank goodness, it never felt preachy.

Sometimes books are only as good as their secondary characters and may I say the supporting cast is excellent. My favourite parts of the book involved Grace and her family, they feel so alive. Her sister… gah, she is exactly how I would picture my sister: stubborn, self-righteous, annoying, but still at the end of the day, lovable. An amazing portrayal of family and effects divorce in my mind. I also highly enjoyed the fact that this is Grace's story, not some love story or some family story, and the author never lost sight of that.

God is in the Pancakes is a charming, witty, and still emotionally sincere read that definitely deserves more attention.


Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: ALL YA contemporary fans, those looking for one of those milder (but still wonderful), coming-of-age reads
Acknowledgements: 3/5

8.3/10 - because it's the type of book that reminds me why I read Young Adult. It doesn't have the oppressing dystopian government, but it does have the realistic portrayal of those nuanced teenage emotions that I could relate to all too well. It both witty and heartwarming, Grace's voice feels authentic, and the plot is commendable. I find writing this review a few days later, it's not the most memorable book; but I can still remember how I felt when I was reading it-- I was just happy to be immersed. If you got the chance, try this one :)







source: library
author blog

9 comments:

  1. Interesting! I haven't heard of this one but I do think it might be something I would enjoy.

    Love the blog!

    Jules

    I'm your newest follower :D

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  2. This sounds like a really touching, beautiful read. Thanks for reviewing it.

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  3. !! I just found inkcrush yesterday and it is AWESOME; I love the reviews. This definitely isn't one I would usually pick up either, so I'm glad you reviewed and enjoyed it -- I'll have to look into it now. And that's EXACTLY how my sister and I are, lol. Annoying, stubborn, but no one understands me better than she does. :)

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  4. Like Jenn I can imagine never picking this up but being completely blown away by it if I ever do. I would love to give this a go now!

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  5. I read Nomes review too and added it to my TBR list, you have made me want to read it even more. Sounds exactly my kind of book :)

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  6. awesome review and THANK GOODNESS you loved it.

    I absolutely agree it just flows so effortlessly. i was really affected by the sisters relationship. it was just depicted so brilliantly and with awesome subtlety...

    xx Nomes

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  7. This sounds really cute and... satisfying. Definitely like the sort of book that's perfect for a flight or long car ride! I'll have to check it out this summer when I travel.

    Of course, I knew I had to read it when I saw the title. BRILLIANT. How can you resist reading the synopsis?

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  8. Jules- I hope you get a chance to read it :) Thank you!!

    Willa- np :)

    Juju- it does, eh? =)

    Jenn- I know! She reviews books I don't usually read, but she has such great taste, and when she absolutely raves about something, I know I have to read it. Ahhh sisters. I'm so glad I don't have one, hehe

    Aly- hope you get a chance to read it :D

    Alexa- hehe I think you will like it!

    Nomes- You have great taste!! I love the books you recommend, I agree, the sisters relationship was just fantastic. Thanks for the comment and awesome recommendation!

    Madeleine- oh, for plane/car ride it is PERFECT. I agree, such a fantastic title! =D

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