Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ARC Tour & Review: God is in the Pancakes by Robin Epstein

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.

A reader can only hope to find a best friend in the pages of a book they're reading.  Most die hard readers aren't understood, my family and friends can't seem to grasp how I can read so fast, let alone why I would have more fun sometimes reading rather than watching a television show.  I'm just weird I guess?  My point (and yes I do have one) is that when you spend so much of your time reading, you feel lucky to find a character or two that you not only like and can relate to but also one that in the end you've grown attached to like you would a best friend.  You come to care about them and what ultimately happens to them.  They are hard to find but after reading Robin Epstein's story I think I owe her a thank you card for introducing me to Grace.

She was not the only good character in the story, but she was by far my favorite.  Watching her journey with Mr. Sands and the difficult situations she had to deal with was intense and very memorable.  On a side note...I think more elderly men should start rocking a faux-hawk and begin a new trend!

Epstein will sober readers up who are not expecting the very real and very heavy issues that Grace is confronted with.  No one wants to lose a loved one but it's unfortunately a part of life and Epstein uses Grace and Mr. Sands to try and walk readers through the reality of it all.  The decisions we're faced with, the pain one goes through, the affect it has on others, and everything else. 

I was surprised it was Epstein's debut YA novel and am impressed with the quality of it overall.  I'm looking forward to reading more of her work in the future, and I know this one is sure to stay with me for a long time to come.

I gave God is in the Pancakes 3 shamrocks!!!

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