114. Apple and Rain- Sarah Crossan

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Title: Apple and Rain

Author: Sarah Crossan

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Young Adult Fiction> Contemporary

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.

A story about sad endings.
A story about happy beginnings.
A story to make you realise who is special

(Goodreads 2014)

As usual, I need to thank the author and the publishers at Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (UK & AUZ), for allowing me access to this book via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

I saw a lot of good reviews surrounding this book when it came out, so I thought I would request it and it would be something different to what I usually read. That is what I figured, anyway. The synopsis which is given is a little bit vague. But after reading this book, I can see why it is vague. It needs to be. I went into this book blind, which very much puts you into the shoes of the protagonist, Apple, which means that you experience everything she experiences throughout the novel as well.

The story begins with Apple, who is living with her grandma, as she always has.Apple has only ever lived with her nan- her mum left on Christmas Eve when she was a toddler and they haven’t seen her since. They’ve been doing just fine without her, but Apple always wonders why she never came back, and what caused her to leave in the first place. That is, until her mum shows up on day and Apple thinks all her dreams have come true…unfortunately, that isn’t quite the case….

This is my first time reading Crossan, and I am seriously impressed. I don’t mean that in any sort of patronising way, I mean I always go into a book hoping I will be blown away and impressed. But this is one of the few cases where it actually worked and I was dragged into the emotional ups and downs of the book. I grew really attached to Apple and her nan as characters and really wanted everything to work out alright in the end. May I also just say how nice it is to read books set in the UK? You don’t seem to get many Young Adult novels set outside of America lately, and it just makes a nice change to see familiar language (or slang words) on the page now and then.

Throughout this book, Apple grows up in a very short amount of time, mainly out of necessity. But it doesn’t feel rushed or forced. The topics are well handled and while I do feel there could have been a stronger resolution at the end of the novel in terms of their mother, it probably is more realistic that it isn’t all wrapped up into a neat little package by the end- because when does that ever happen in real life?

This is a brilliant contemporary young adult, which doesn’t hide away from the gritty issues that some families may face throughout their lives. I smiled, I gasped, I shouted- this book really got some of the most dramatic reactions from me, which is strange because I’m normally a very quiet reader. I really enjoyed it and I will be looking into more of Crossan’s work!

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