Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review: Donut Days

Donut Days
by Lara Zielin

Emma has a lot going on. Her best friend’s not speaking to her, a boy she’s known all her life is suddenly smokin’ hot and in love with her, and oh yes, her evangelical minister parents may lose their church, especially if her mother keeps giving sermons saying Adam was a hermaphrodite.

But this weekend Emma’s only focused on Crispy Dream, a hot new donut franchise opening in town, where Harley bikers and Frodo wannabes camp out waiting to be the first ones served. Writing the best feature story on the camp for the local paper might just win Emma a scholarship to attend a non- Christian college. But soon enough Emma finds the donut camp isn’t quite the perfect escape from all her troubles at Living Word Redeemer.

In a fresh, funny voice, newcomer Lara Zielin offers up a mesmerizing, fast-paced narrative full of wit and insight.

First Sentence:
I'm no biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure Adam - as in the guy who named all the animals in the Garden of Eden - wasn't a hermaphrodite.

I really enjoyed reading Donut Days, Lara's writing flowed easily and the characters were very life-like. Which is not an extremely easy thing to do when writing about such a touchy topic as religion, however Lara accomplished it with class because even though there were many corrupt things going on at the church it did not show religion in a bad light. Donut Days shows that being religious can mean many different things to different people, and however they chose to interpret religion is the right way because it is right for them.

I would have to say that my favorite character in Donut Days is Bear, the loveable biker with a gambling problem. I also loved the way that Lara displayed the relationship between Emma and her parents. Emma felt like her parents weren't letting her in the loop because she was too much of a child, when in reality they didn't want her to feel like they were weak and incapable of handling things. I believe that this is a common problem in realtionships especially between children and parents, and shows that communication is key.

I believe that this novel would be a perfect match for anyone who is, or ever has, questioned religion and the importance of belonging to a church. Or possibly anyone who has a soft spot for donuts. ;)

Favorite Quotes:
"Dad, I just - I'm not sure I want to go to a college that doesn't teach geology or evolution."
"But why not?" my dad asked.
"Because the faculty will think the earth is, like, five thousand years old," I said.
The conversation was like watching a turtle try to turn itself over after being flipped. I practically expected one of us to start flailing our limbs, that's how awful it was.
With me and Nat, the same thing happened - and now the decay was still working its way through our friendship like a cavity, and we could feel the ache of it even if we weren't brave enough to look at it.

Title: Donut Days
Author: Lara Zielin
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN 10: 0399250662
ISBN 13: 978-0399250668
Buy It: Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble
Review Number: 19
My Copy: ARC provided by Lara Zielin


Lit and Life said...

What an unusual story line. It's amazing that there are still so many different ways to write about life.

celi.a said...

It's refreshing to see a YA take on religious practice...I feel like it's not given a lot of space in the genre. I have a soft spot for donuts too, so this book sounds doubly interesting. Great review!

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I would never have looked into this novel without your contest. Now I am seriously considering purchasing it with my own hard earned cash. YA is the perfect place to address religion as it is when you begin to question. This reminds me of my struggle as a young adult with my religion and promised to be a touching read for me.

Erin McCamley said...

I really want to read this novel because as I was reading the "story behind donut days" in your email, I realized this woman and I have an extreme amount of beliefs/experiences in common. When she was describing her first glance into the behind-the-scenes hunger for power/control and lack of spirituality, I thought she had read my diary from when I left the Catholic church in 8th grade. Great review, and I can't wait to enjoy it myself!

Rachel said...

Even though this is not my usual type of book it does sound really good. My mom would probably love it she is crazy about donuts!!! (secretly me too) You did a great review I also like you quotes =)

coffeeeeeeeee said...

This seems like an interesting read. I'll definitely look into it.


katsrus said...

I have nto read a book like this before. It sounds very interesting. I like that it has so many differant trials about life. Thank you for the review.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...

This looks interesting! I have been writing many scholarships just like emma and I can kinda relate to her. I think i would like this book because i am looking into opening up my own bakery just like the new franchise in town. So i think this book would be a good match for me! Great review!!!!

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