Book: Baking for Dave | Author: Melissa Palmer | Future Horizons-Sensory World | Release Date: 11th November, 2016 | Pages: 200 (Paperback) | Genre: contemporary | features MC with Sensory Processing Disorder and bipolar disorder | Rating: ★★★★★
I saw this book and picked it up because it’s about baking. Or at least, that’s what I thought. Of course, baking plays a part in this book, but there is so much more to this story. I was hooked from page one, I devoured it in a matter of hours. It was absolutely beautiful and in the following, I shall tell you why.
What is it about?
Iris Heller is 15 years old and has Sensory Processing Disorder. She wants to participate in a bake-off for her favourite musician, Dave Matthews. To get there, she steals her mother’s car and makes her way down south. On her way she meets Christopher, a teacher with bipolar disorder, who ran away from his life. Meanwhile, her mother Maisy and her friend Eric are on their way to find them.
What did I think?
I’ve said it before, I think, but this is one of those books I find it hard to write a review for. It was just that good. Probably one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life. There was a tiny thing putting me off, but it really was tiny tiny tiny.
The characters were what kept this story going. Iris is such an interesting, wonderful character. She is described beautifully and wasn’t only reduced to her disorder. She is intelligent and has the ability to take in people with her whole being, she rambles and loves music, sees through it, communicates with it and uses it to cope with life. Iris also loves baking, which sets her mind free, she just knows her way around a kitchen and improvises fantastic creations.
While Iris is the main character and the story is mostly told from her PoV, Chris is a major secondary character. He ran away from his life, from his wife and his job because he feels like he is a burden to everyone and thinks his wife deserves better. He is such a nice, sweet and caring man. Chris helps Iris as much as she helps him. They show each other so many new facettes to life, they give each other advice while always being mindful. The two of them develop such an unlikely, but beautiful friendship. On their way, they meet so many different people, make new friends and try new things.
Maisy is the third important character. Like Chris, I would call her a major secondary character. She is Iris‘ mother and best friend. They are a deeply bonded unit, knowing each other incredibly well. Maisy and her daughter have a caring, deeply loving relationship.
The writing style was another thing that carried the story. Each character had a very unique PoV. Because there were changes of PoV in the middle of some chapters, it was sometimes confusing who was talking or telling this story. But Iris‘ voice was all short sentences, sometimes frantic, sometimes full of passion. Chris had a slower, slightly sad voice that mixed very well with Iris. Maisy’s PoV was especially loud and detailed, from time to time hectic and full of swear words, depending on her mood. I absolutely loved the writing, it was amazing and fitting and distinguishing the characters from each other.
The plot was okay. It was a fun story about unlikely friends on a roadtrip, made serious by the characters. I loved how the characters were the most important thing in this book, while the plot was more of a general theme that helped the characters grow and develop. The mix of lighthearted roadtrip and deep, thoughtful and unique characters was just perfect. This book shows how good people can be, how wonderful humans are. This book is definitely a new favourite and I think everyone should read it. No matter if you have Sensory Processing Disorder or not or know someone with it, this book is really important and tells a beautiful story.