Thursday, July 31, 2014
REVIEW: Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
The two titular characters, Apple and Rain, are very different characters. Apple, who is the sole narrator of the story, is a 13 year old girl who has been raised by her strict grandmother after her mother left her 11 years ago. In those 11 years despite having this wonderful and strong relationship with her Nan, Apple has pined away for her mother. She's daydreamed about what it would be like to have her mother in her life, she'd love to have her questions answered about why her mum left and what she's been doing. And it becomes a real shock when Apple's mother does return and wants to be more involved in Apple's life and have Apple come to live with her. And while Apple initially loves the freedom that being around her mother brings her, this excitement soon fizzles when Apple comes to meet Rain, her half-sister, and starts to see that freedom and chaos is not all that it's cracked up to be.
I thought Apple's story was really believable right from the start. I could sense her heart-break over her mother's abandonment years ago and I can see and understand why Apple would want to live with her mother and give her this chance to prove that things can be different. I also found Rain to be a wonderful character as well. Clearly projecting some of her own issues with her relationship with her mother onto a fictional baby that she fusses over and uses in order to gain much-needed attention.
And while this story explores the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters and the ways in which decisions that have been made have affected each other, it also touches on some other really interesting things as well, such as Apple's crumbling friendship with her former-best friend, Pilar, and also her unrequited feelings for an older boy. There's also a really cute friendship with the quirky boy next door and my favourite aspect of the book: Apple's growing interest in poetry and how she uses reading and writing her own poetry in order to organise her thoughts and feelings about her mother and about love and friendship and fear.
I thought Apple and Rain was a really beautiful and heart-warming book. It felt truthful and emotional and I really recommend that you read this book! It is published the 14th August by Bloomsbury.