Apple and Pain.

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This is a review of Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan. I have to disclose that I did not read her first work entitled The Weight of Water, but I swear that it is now on my TBR list now that I have finished Apple and Rain. What a little gem!
We meet Apple, a girl on the cusp of her own self-discovery, ever so slightly smothered by her adoring, pecking grandmother, under whose rule she lives.
Apple’s mother is not on the scene, and hasn’t been for some time. There are some wrenching scenes of I-wish-my-mother-was-around” though they are written as though these are new thoughts, they ring old and true, which I liked.
As the plot moves gently along, you become as resigned as Apple does in her mundane, yet adorned life, thinking that nothing will ever change until it, quite explicably, does.

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Apple’s mother shows up, looking like a two day old cigarette and Apple is in raptures. The grandmother, needless to say is not.
There are some delicious characteristics written here but I don’t want to ruin anything on future readers, this is a moving book and sweeter to read than eating a bowl of sugar. I recommend it to readers of any age really,  as there isn’t much in it that is too unsuitable for younger readers.
Peace!
Lisa C

Review Time! Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

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Ok so I know that this blog has been a bit quiet of late, but for me at least, having two jobs and dancing too gives me precisely six hours per twenty four to sleep and eat. I had to make survival choices….dammit!

However, I am currently fed and (kinda) well-rested, so I thought that I would write a quick review of my most recently read book. As you all know, I predominantly read in the YA realism genre but have been known to stray off the beaten track once in a while.

I finished Anatomy of a Misfit in about two days, which surprised me because I spent most of the first few chapters frowning at the tone and voice of the main character Anika. It irked me that she was referring to (rather) grown up stuff (like the fact that one of her best friends is a slut and sleeps around) yet her tone and her voice were seemingly at odds with her age.

It felt like I was reading t18340210he voice of a 12 or 13 year old girl, when in reality, Anika is more like 15. So I was intrigued-annoyed-irked by the author’s seemingly blatant disloyalty to the character’s age and interests.

BUT WAIT.

The plot thickens. See, Andrea Portes is one smart mo-fo. Not only did she trick me into believing that all was sweetness and light, selling her character as an innocent and almost Judy-Blume-esque kinda flower girl something something, she did it very well.

Which is why the ending literally made me do a double..nay, triple-take. Andrea, WHY???

Turns out she was dealing with dark and VERY real teenage and family issues the WHOLE TIME and I was sleepily reading a lovely character much akin in tone to Lauren Child’s Ruby Redfort or Clarice bean with extra sass, until the shizzle hit the fan.

I literally felt like standing up and applauding because it is such a clever writing device to use. She lures the reader in with the safety of an almost predictable character and then BOOM, you’re dead.

Anika, the main character often describes herself as being a bit candy covered and popular in school, but on the inside she is spider-stew. Well, Andrea Portes, YOU are the spider, and I was indeed lured in, so I guess I’ve been eaten by this book. Kudos!

I would definitely read anything this author publishes. If I can survive the heart-wrenching content of Anatomy of a Misfit, I’d like to think I can survive some more…

Lisa C….. out!

Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

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So I got a proof copy of this book to review, and though it took me a while to get through it, I ended up really enjoying it. It was a bit slow-moving to begin with. There are a lot of authors trying to jump on the dystopian/post-apImageocalyptic bandwagon, and this one is no different. Yet, it is different.

The basic plot is about a girl called Marina, who stumbled out of a world of darkness to the Arclight, the last outpost of human survivors. Because the Fade is seemingly infectious, Marina is put into quarantine. Then she is released into the population to live among the other survivors. It’s a pretty interesting concept McQuein has got going here- the Fade and the Grey refer to the borders that divide from light and dark. The Fade also refers to the creatures that continually attack the Arclight, in an attempt to assimilate the compound into their darkness. The Fade things are really scary, they can hide in any small shadow cast in any corner…so when they manage to break into the Arclight, that’s when things get a bit out of hand…

It is definitely worth the read, and has some great plot twists and creepy scenes that will literally raise the hairs on your arms and neck. I read this mostly at night, which was a pretty bad decision, but it was worth it! And what’s more, there is going to be a sequel, which I will definitely read.

Many thanks to Stella Paskins at Egmont UK Ltd. for sending this proof to us  🙂