A 17-year-old girl grapples with depression, insecurity, and unresolved trauma from her father's death in a car accident 14 years earlier.
Molly spends her summer working at FishTopia, a business that lacks customers but doesn't want for grunge. But Molly loves the job; it usually entails watching reruns of Golden Girls while sitting on the countertop, sharing takeout food with her co-worker Alex, a cute, funny guy she loves hanging with but whom she's decidedly undecided about. Meanwhile, she's crushing on her 30-something therapist, who is trying to ease her depression and her ginormous self-esteem issues and to work out her feelings about her dead father. What's more, Molly suspects her younger sister, who looks like a Victoria's Secret model, is dating Alex. And, her mother has latched onto a crazy idea—that baking her daughter a different cake each day for 100 days might cheer her up. Many readers will identify with Molly as she struggles with debilitating self-doubt and flaccid interest in making college plans amid friends who seem positively sugar-highed when discussing SATs and university prospects. The cast is largely white. Teen humor abounds, as do topics of Hot Topic–loving girls, local boy-bands, hemp handbags, and annoying younger brothers. Some readers may be troubled by plausibility issues—a cake a day? Really?—and a case of sexual abuse is disturbingly left unresolved.
Still, for a book about depression, this is a pretty enjoyable one. (Fiction. 14-18)