Tag Archives: depression

100 Days of Cake

100 days of cake cover

Title:    100 Days of Cake
Author:   Shari Goldhagen
Series:  —
Recommended for:  teen girls who like sad books and aren’t picky readers
Pages:   339 p.
Call Number/Link:   Teen Fiction Goldhagen, S.

Rating:  *






“Molly suffers from depression, and when she finds out that the exotic fish store she works at is closing down, her whole life, which is already hanging on a thread, starts to crumble”– Provided by publisher.


The title immediately grabbed me.  100 days of cake?  What a wondrous idea!!!!

Spoiler alert:  it’s not really about cake.  deep sigh.

It is the summer before her senior year of high school, and Molly is battling a severe case of depression.  It is not a new development in her life.  Molly is on antidepressant medication and sees a counselor once a week, but she continues to struggle.  It doesn’t help that she has a crush on her counselor, or that he makes a pass at her.

Molly’s mother was feeling a bit desperate when she heard the idea that baking a cake per day for 100 days could lead to happiness.  She decided it was worth a try.

Molly’s best bud at work (another high school student) is interested in Molly, but she is too scared to date him.  She thinks he’ll be disappointed when he finds out that she’s not super cheerful and fun.  (He already knows, but likes her anyway.)

Had to force myself to finish the book.  I can usually read quickly, but plodded through this one.


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Posted by on July 6, 2016 in Realistic, Teen


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Playlist for the Dead

17838490Title: Playlist for the Dead
Author: Michelle Falkoff
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 288
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Falkoff, M

Synopsis: Here’s what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you’ll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it’s only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Okay, let me start off with saying that the playlist left behind plays very little into the actual book. It triggers memories, but no answers are offered by what songs are chosen. However, that’s not so say if someone when and listened to the songs/looked the lyrics they wouldn’t get a deeper meaner. I didn’t take the time to do that, but I could totally see that being a possibility.

That being said, the heart of this book is about dealing with a friend’s suicide and the aftermath. It’s about unraveling the questions that are left behind and realizing sometimes there is just no clear cut answer. It’s about learning no matter how close you are to someone there are still secrets left to discover. It’s about how personal perspectives shade what we think happened and how we choose to deal with that. It’s about how revenge and how getting even isn’t always the answer. There’s a lot about bullying, the aftermath of said bullying, and how (or how not) to deal with that knowledge.

There some strange parts where it makes it seem like Sam is communicating with Hayden’s ghost. There are some things that are explained, like the IMs, but the rest is kind of left up to interpretation. Was Sam simply hallucinating from lack of sleep/grief or could there have really been a bit of supernatural help going on? The uncertainty of these parts was my least favorite part, but it wasn’t anything that left me ranting.


The blurbs have been pairing this book with Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I dont’ see at all. Instead, I would pair this one with 13 Reasons Why. I think that one person can make a difference message is very strong in both books. I say 7th & grade and up, but I think 6th graders could handle it. While it’s about the suicide, it’s more about unraveling the mystery of why he did it and how bullying can affect people.

How to sell/quick spiel: Sam is left is the wake of he’s best friends death, trying to figure out what happened. A party, a fight, and the next morning Hayden was dead. Sam must now unravel the mystery and secrets that Hayden left behind to figure out what really happened. Can he discover what truly caused his friend to step off the edge, a person to point the blame at or will the truth stay buried with Hayden?

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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Realistic, Teen


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Silhouetted by the Blue

19668526Title: Silhouetted by the Blue
Author: Traci Jones
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th grade & up
Pages: 208
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Jones, T. or J Jon

Synopsis: Seventh-grader Serena Shaw is trying to keep up at school while rehearsing for the lead role in the spring musical and dealing with a father so “blue” he is nearly catatonic. With the aid of a not-so-secret admirer as well as a growing sense of self-confidence, she faces the challenges of caring for herself and her ball-of-charm younger brother, all while attempting to lead the life of a normal pre-teen. .

I picked this book up thinking it was a new title, but in reality it was once that had been reprinted/repackaged for YA. However, I’m glad it was otherwise I may not have discovered it. It’s a fast read and would be PERFECT for those tweens/younger teens looking for something that edgier/issue novels, but not ready for the YA edgy stuff. Serena has a lot on her plate. She’s trying to deal with her mother’s death & taking care of her brother as her dad falls deeper and deeper into depression. This book handles mental illness so well. It shows how medication doesn’t “numb/kill the spirit” but can help a person function as normal. There is no shame in being depressed or needing the medication. In fact, Serena begs him several times to go to the doctor so that he could return to his old self. This is a stark difference how many YA books have been handling mental illness lately (thank goodness!)

How to sell/quick spiel: Serena Shaw just wants to be a normal 7th grader. She wants her biggest worry to be about starring in her schools musical and flirting with cute boys. Instead, she has to deal with all the normal teen worries and taking care of her brother as their father feels deeper and deeper into depression over their mother’s death. Serena may be pretending that everything is okay, but she knows that the blue is desperately taking over their lives. Can she find help in time before it’s too late or will the blue destroy what little normalcy is left of her life.

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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Juv, Realistic, Realistic, Teen


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