1. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Plot: The novel is split between 1985 and 1945. It starts in 1985 with Henry, a Chinese American, who is reflecting on his life during the war and on his relationship with a Japanese American girl.
Review: I loved it. I got really wrapped up in the story and the characters. So wrapped up that I got upset over particular events and was sad when the book was over. It was well-written, the characters were good and believable, and it is an interesting period of time.
Recommend: Absolutely. To everyone.
2. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Plot: An 11 year old girl, Flavia de Luce, solves a mystery.
Review: I really liked this one. It is young adult fiction, mostly because the protagonist is very young. But it is very smart. Flavia uses huge words and in general is very smart. She runs off solving mysteries entirely on her own, but even that is explained in a believable way. It's a clever story and a fun read.
Recommend: Yes, for a fun, young adult read.
3. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Plot: A young girl discovers that she can taste people's emotions in the food they cook and she grows up trying to deal with this "ability."
Review: I found the premise fascinating. I was reading recently that there is a branch of Indian belief that we are affected by the emotions of the people who prepare the food we eat, so they don't want people cooking when they are upset and putting anything other than love into the food. So I thought the idea was really interesting. However, the book didn't go quite where I had expected it to go with the idea. The author seemed to get lost with the narrator's brother. And then I was really disappointed with the end.
Recommend: Eh. No not really.