Publisher: Bloomsbury Australia
Release Date: August 1st, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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A story about sad endings
A story about happy beginnings
A story to make you realise who is special
When Apple's mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But jut like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bitter sweet. It's only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are. Apple discovers something which can help her to feel whole from the inside out, not just the outside in.
I’ve read all of Sarah Crossan’s novels now, and in my opinion, Apple and Rain is her best work so far. This book is filled with emotions, and is bound to make anyone feel. A tale of coming of age, learning what real love is and different forms of love, Apple and Rain transcended my high expectations.
On Christmas Eve eleven years ago, Apple’s mother left Apple. Apple has always hoped that one day, she would come back to save her from her overbearing Nan that still picks her up from school, despite the fact that she’s 13. And so one day during school, Apple’s wish is granted. Her actress mother has come back from America for her and now, wants her to live with her. Apple ignores her Nan’s protests and happily obliges, but what Apple doesn’t know is that she isn’t her mother’s only child. When they get to her mother’s flat, she meets Rain, her half-sister; a ten year old girl who deems that her doll, Jenny, is a real baby that never leaves her side. Rain is lost, but Apple’s mother just thinks it’s a phase Rain is going through. Soon, Apple begins to realise that what she thought was the best thing ever, might not truly be what it seems.
I want to give Apple a long long hug. Personally, I found it very easy to click with this girl, perhaps it’s because we are about the same age. She’s very perceptive and witty, but also someone who is longing for her mother and trying to fit in with her peers at school. She has one friend, Pilar, but the distance between them begins to widen, and Apple is no longer sure about their friendship. At her Nan’s house, Apple felt like she was being babied, but when she enter’s her mother’s life, Apple finds herself looking after Rain and her mother. She buys the food, keeps and eye out on Rain because her mother is rarely home and has to manage the meals. She’s missing out on school now, too. She then finds out that her crush that kissed her, doesn’t even like her. Apple has a tough life, and when she met her mum, it only became tougher. I love Apple because of her bravery and how she dealt with her situation. She was falling apart, but she wasn’t being melodramatic about it. Apple is also pretty sassy. At her step-mother and father’s wedding, she pulled funny faces in every one of the wedding photos, taken by an expensively paid photographer. Way to ruin a wedding!
This story is a very bleak one. It does have it’s happy moments, especially those with Del, Apple’s next door neighbour. But, don’t let the bleakness make you run away. What I mean by this book being bleak, is how truthfully Crossan tells Apple’s story. It does no sugar-coating and is very up front–it just made me just want to cry for Apple and her sister, Rain. Apple’s mother isn’t as wonderful and invincible as Apple had forethought, her mother has parties weekly and gets drunk, smokes and runs after dreams that are clearly never going to become reality. Most days, Apple has to fend for herself. And she starts to wonder whether her mother truly loves her, or if it’s all just an illusion.
If you loved The Weight of Water for it’s beautiful verse, then you must pick this one up. The only thing Apple can find comfort in throughout this book, is her English class; they’re writing poetry. Poetry about love, about fear, about solitude. Poetry is where Apple can feel like she isn’t falling into a dark hole, falling into a hole for the lost. This book isn’t told in verse, but there’s a lot of verse in this book. It’s absolutely beautiful, and while I didn’t cry reading it, I was so very close. The language is simple and direct, but Crossan chooses the perfect words to make the perfect sentences; therefore making this near to perfect novel.
I haven’t give a book 5 stars in a long time, and I rarely do. So to give this a full 5 stars, this is saying a lot. This book was written, brimming with palpable emotions and wonderful and relatable characters. Everyone needs to give this book a go. I mean it. Everyone.
~Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy!~
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