Monday, March 22, 2010

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley~★★★

Author: Alan Bradley
Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Release Date: April 28th, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Fiction

Book Cover: "In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950---and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. 'I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.'
An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told tale of deceptions---and a rich literary delight."

Taryn's Review: This was book I was really looking forward to reading due to so many great reviews people had given me. Unfortunately, the book didn't grab me the way it had others, which was a big disappointment; I really wanted to be captivated by the book, but something just wasn't there for me.

Flavia de Luce was a brilliant, witty girl. She loved chemistry and apparently had been studying it since birth. Flavia was something of a prodigy when it came to everything else as well. She also loved to sass and torture her two older sisters. While I enjoyed Flavia's retorts and knowledge, at times I felt Bradley took her a touch too far, especially since she was only supposed to be 11 years old. Many times I couldn't be convinced of Flavia as a real character; she was still a child, but in the book, she perfectly solved a complex murder and not once did she do anything, well, childish.

I'd say I didn't really become interested in the book until around page 140 maybe? I encourage myself to keep pushing through, hoping it would get better. The beginning didn't make we want to continue at all.

I'm glad I finished the book, but I most likely will not be picking up Bradley's second book, which I believe just came out. Bradley is a strong writer and used a beautiful array of words in his story. While Flavia de Luce was certainly interesting, I would love to have seen elements of a child in her rather than a little chemist/genius who seems too big for her britches.A few more flaws would have made her much more human.

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