Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

Posted August 15, 2017 by Ely in Reviews / 0 Comments

Apple and Rain Book Cover Apple and Rain
Sarah Crossan
YA Contemporary
Bloomsbury
September 1st 2014
Paperback
329
ARC

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? And she will have someone who understands what it means to be a teenager – unlike Nana. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet, and Apple wonders who is really looking after whom. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are.

Like a brilliant hybrid of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson, Sarah Crossan entices you into her world, then tells a moving, perceptive and beautifully crafted story which has the power to make you laugh and cry.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a full-length review but I think this book deserves one.

I’ve owned an ARC of Apple and Rain since 2014 and it has sat on my shelf unread ever since. In fact, I’ve almost unhauled it so many times, but stopped because of Michelle’s recommendations. For those of you who don’t know, Michelle’s love for Sarah Crossan is great. She’s been begging me to read her books for ages, to the point that she bought me One for Christmas. I’m sorry Mich—I’ll never doubt you again.

The other day I was just overcome by the desire to read Apple and Rain. It was one of my #MakeMeRead poll, but it was losing and I didn’t know if I could wait for the read-a-thon to end so I could start it. I decided to read a few chapters one night, and then put it down, not feeling super convinced. Then the next night, the internet went down and I thought I’d read a bit. Flash forward just over an hour and I’d read the entire thing. I’m a fast reader, but that should still speak volumes for this book.

The reason I originally wasn’t sure was because the writing is quite juvenile and after reading a bit of adult fiction lately, that was jarring. Of course, it’s meant to be like that. Apple is only thirteen, and so the voice is actually perfect. There were parts in this book I struggled with—there’s a lot of intense stuff going on. In fact, there were parts that made me really uncomfortable. Apple goes through things no thirteen should. In fact, there’s stuff I couldn’t handle as an almost twenty two year old! Some of the stuff I did appreciate, but one thing that always gets me is books where thirteen year olds have romances. Maybe it’s just me, but at thirteen I couldn’t have cared less about real boys. I was thinking about movies and shopping and that stuff.

There is a lot happening in this book. There’s discussion of family and friendship and being true to yourself. There’s also some super dark stuff in there. However, my favourite aspect was the inclusion of poetry. This isn’t written in verse like Crossan’s other books, but there are poems spread throughout it. What I loved even more that there was a discussion of poetry. Honestly, I wish we’d had a class like that in school. In particular, there was a discussion about how poetry can transform us. Throughout the book this is definitely something we get to see in Apple’s character. It was really beautiful. It got me thinking about how poetry has transformed my friends and I. I hope that one day I can be as fearless with my poetry as Apple learns to be.

There’s so much more to this book that I wish I could talk about it but it would spoil everything. I just want to say that Rain is a beautifully written character. For those of you who’ve read it, you can probably guess what I’m talking about here.

I think this is one of those books that has slipped under the radar a bit. I hope this review might inspire a few of you to pick this up and give it a go. Now, I’m off to make my way through every book of Sarah Crossan’s.

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