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I received an ARC from the author for an honest review So I want to start off by saying my review of this book has nothing to do with the fact that the author said it s like a retelling of Hamlet because I can t recall all of the details from that book and i read this one just as I would any other novel and didn t compare it to Hamlet.That being said I was really feeling this book The way the author writes with so much detail and thought, you really get a sense for your characters and it makes I received an ARC from the author for an honest review So I want to start off by saying my review of this book has nothing to do with the fact that the author said it s like a retelling of Hamlet because I can t recall all of the details from that book and i read this one just as I would any other novel and didn t compare it to Hamlet.That being said I was really feeling this book The way the author writes with so much detail and thought, you really get a sense for your characters and it makes the story so much better The book flowed great and I didn t feel the pace was too fast or too slow The story was great, it was different and kept you interested every second of the story I felt really invested in this book and i wanted so badly for it to end in a certain way which it didn t but none the less it still had a decent ending I do feel the ending was a bit too fast as far as how quickly everything went down at the end I would LOVE a sequel to this book with the story taking place a few years later where Rosie and Alex reunite..I felt robbed of the romance I wished the two had had But I can t blame the author for that one not all stories can go how I want then to I do recommend that you give this book a chance, it will not leave you disappointed It was one of those books I just couldn t put down I read it till 6 this morning. This novel had a lot of potential for me Part mystery, part coming of age story, part ghost story, part dysfunctional family dynamics it has many elements of stuff I love in books Ultimately I didn t really connect with it and I think that s because there was just TOO much going on here.Initially, I was intrigued by Rosie and wanted to get to know her better She behaves in some bizarre ways sleeping for days, bicycling around her neighborhood naked, trying to get together with Alex s frie This novel had a lot of potential for me Part mystery, part coming of age story, part ghost story, part dysfunctional family dynamics it has many elements of stuff I love in books Ultimately I didn t really connect with it and I think that s because there was just TOO much going on here.Initially, I was intrigued by Rosie and wanted to get to know her better She behaves in some bizarre ways sleeping for days, bicycling around her neighborhood naked, trying to get together with Alex s friend, then actually getting together with Alex her new stepbrother I guess but then again, her life has been turned upside down I suppose that gives a person license to do some crazy things At times she seemed very smart and perceptive, but other times she seemed incredibly naive for fourteen I guess what I m trying to say is her character felt inconsistent for me and as a result, I never really connected to her.The ghost thing was an interesting twist but it never fully integrated into the story for me What the ghost seemed to be doing was warning Rosie to keep her distance from Claude, but the ghost was MEAN And I never fully understood if her dad was mean when he was alive so it didn t make sense to me Also I kind of hated the Rosie and Alex dynamic basically he was using her as teen boys who think with their hormones are prone to do but she was too young and in too emotional of a place to understand that s what was happening It felt sloppy and sad and just out of place in the overall story But that could just be me.I didn t hate the book I liked Salom s writing I kept reading because of that and because I was genuinely interested in finding out what was the deal with Claude Salom gave just enough clues throughout the book to keep the reader engaged in that story and for me at least, I raced through the end to get to the truth.I think The Cake House could have improved with somecohesion and tightening up of the many, many elements of the novel I didn t enjoy the book much but as I said, I didn t hate it either I d be open to reading Latifah Salom s future novels as this one did show promise This book was down right bizarre at times, though I do appreciate the new, modern take on Hamlet As a sucker for retellings, I had to read it I was totally expecting a murder and I got view spoiler pyramid schemes, step sibling sex, random drug addictions, and late 80s early 90s pop culture references Madonna, Violent Femmes, Portland, etc hide spoiler I also wasn t really a fan of Rosaura, who is the equivalent of the Prince of Denmark She was a freaking weirdo, riding her bike nake This book was down right bizarre at times, though I do appreciate the new, modern take on Hamlet As a sucker for retellings, I had to read it I was totally expecting a murder and I got view spoiler pyramid schemes, step sibling sex, random drug addictions, and late 80s early 90s pop culture references Madonna, Violent Femmes, Portland, etc hide spoiler I also wasn t really a fan of Rosaura, who is the equivalent of the Prince of Denmark She was a freaking weirdo, riding her bike naked down the street, sleeping in the closet, stacking her clothes on the floor and her books in the dresser drawers, taking pictures of people almost in a stalkerish way , etc And the freaky relationship between her and Alex was sick She was barely fourteen and he was I think like seventeen or eighteen it was just creepy The whole thing with the photography and the ghosts didn t really go anywhere and got annoying after awhile If it s just the house that s haunted, why is she seeing her Dad s ghost in the dressing room at the mall I liked that Dahlia, the mother, was actually a somewhat sympathetic character in this one though, without the whole view spoiler murder plotline of the original Hamlet hide spoiler hanging over her, it was easier to fee l sorry for her Overall though, this one was a little too artsy, contemporary adult angst blowhard professor for me personally Maybe other people will like it I will say one thing, it kept my attention and it was very readable, it just wasn t for me personally.VERDICT 2.5 5 Stars I received this book from Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, on NetGalley No favors or money were exchanged for this review This book was published on March 3rd, 2015 This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I received this from a Goodreads giveaway If I could give this 3.5 stars I would have To me, it s not quite to what I consider 4 stars, but it s better than most of what I give 3 stars to.It took me a bit to get in to the plot line, but once I was in about 4 chapters, it was hard to put down and became a quick read I think the challenge was getting to figure out the characters and their relationships, which was also what the protagonist Rosie was also trying to do, so that s probably what the I received this from a Goodreads giveaway If I could give this 3.5 stars I would have To me, it s not quite to what I consider 4 stars, but it s better than most of what I give 3 stars to.It took me a bit to get in to the plot line, but once I was in about 4 chapters, it was hard to put down and became a quick read I think the challenge was getting to figure out the characters and their relationships, which was also what the protagonist Rosie was also trying to do, so that s probably what the author intended The plot was mysterious trying to figure out what was going on with the step father s line of work crime and what the stepbrother s involvement was kept the pace of the book going for me Overall, I found the ending a bit of a let down I would have likedclosure between Rosie and Alex, and also between Alex and his father , but I did like how the reader is left wondering if Rosie and her mother kept any of the money for themselves I think Rosie is a survivor and will come out ok in the end, I also hope that her mother develops into a stronger woman I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book starts out with a literal bang Rosaura and her mom are on the run from her dad, who finds them and commits suicide in front of her mom After these shocking events, the story takes on a surreal quality as Rosaura processes the events and her new situation with her stepfather and stepbrother.The jacket copy says this is a reimaging of Hamlet, but I have to admit, I ve never actually read Hamlet, so I do I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book starts out with a literal bang Rosaura and her mom are on the run from her dad, who finds them and commits suicide in front of her mom After these shocking events, the story takes on a surreal quality as Rosaura processes the events and her new situation with her stepfather and stepbrother.The jacket copy says this is a reimaging of Hamlet, but I have to admit, I ve never actually read Hamlet, so I don t have a basis for comparison I know the gist of the story and The Cake House roughly tracks with that Overall, I liked this book The beginning draws you in with the shocking death of Rosaura s father, and the surreal life she lives afterward keeps you interested I liked that Rosaura isn t a shrinking violet, even though she s a teenage girl who s been traumatized She still manages to be smart and tough while her mom falls completely apart I d definitely recommend this book to people who have read Hamlet which I should now probably do and mystery thriller fans .E-PUB ♓ The Cake House ⚖ Part mystery, part compelling coming of age tale, The Cake House is a riveting debut novel that re imagines the classic story of Hamlet amidst the hills of suburban Los Angeles Rosaura Douglas s father shot himself when her mother left him or at least that s the story everyone is telling Now her mother has remarried and Rosie is trapped in a new home she calls The Cake House, a garish pink edifice that s a far cry from the cramped apartment where she grew up It s also the house where her father died a fact that everyone else who lives there, including her mother, Dahlia, and her mysteriously wealthy stepfather, Claude, want to forget Soon, however, her father s ghost begins to appear first as a momentary reflection in a window, then in the dark of night, and finally, in the lush garden behind the house where Rosie spends most of her days After he warns her that Claude is not to be trusted, Rosie begins to notice cracks in her new family s carefully constructed facade Dahlia is clearly uncomfortable in her marriage her stepbrother, Alex, is friendly one second, distant the next, and haunted by troubles of his own and Claude s business is drawing questions from the police And as the ghost becomes increasingly violent and the secrets of The Cake House and her family s past come to light Rosie must finally face the truth behind the losses and lies that have torn her life apart This book is really well written Despite having multiple elements that I dislike, I kept reading it What did I dislike One mile spoiler here The mother who is so messed up she can t doesn t look out for her own child the cliche of teen step siblings sleeping together high school kids drinking too much and doing drugs.The beginning of the book was so disturbing to me in so many ways primarily because of the messed up mother The reader knows from the beginning that SOMETHING is not right This book is really well written Despite having multiple elements that I dislike, I kept reading it What did I dislike One mile spoiler here The mother who is so messed up she can t doesn t look out for her own child the cliche of teen step siblings sleeping together high school kids drinking too much and doing drugs.The beginning of the book was so disturbing to me in so many ways primarily because of the messed up mother The reader knows from the beginning that SOMETHING is not right with Claude but it does take the whole book to figure out exactly what it is and how the pieces all fit together But I got caught up in the what will go wrong next and what is Claude really up to anyway All in all, my summary is not a great book, but well written and easy to read after the first few chapters I got this book from a friend of mine, who also couldn t finish THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN This book was a perfect example of flawed, unreliable narrator that you didn t hate from the very outset A really great book, one that I literally couldn t put down and finished over the course of just a few hours. After reading the first chapter, I wasn t sure I wanted to continue reading this book The author takes her reader and slams them right into the story line It took me a bit of reading to regain my equilibrium but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel in all it s glorious confusion.