Teenfunked reviewer Mair Kelly is back for 2016 with a review of Apple and Rain by popular Irish author, Sarah Crossan. Let’s see what she made of this YA book that has been met with stellar reviews and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, CBI Book of the Year Award and the senior children’s category of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, all in 2015.
I expected Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan to be a romantic YA book about young love which I’d have to prepare for with tissues and chocolate. But I was pleasantly surprised by a beautifully bittersweet book about the importance of family and with just a touch of romance.
This is a sweet but sad story of Apple, a young girl who lives with her grandmother. She longs to meet her birth mother who she remembers leaving her one Christmas to pursue a career on Broadway. This has ruined Christmas every year since for Apple who hopes that one Christmas her mother will contact or visit her. She wants freedom from her strict grandmother who just wants what’s best for her.
When her mother does finally reappear, Apple is whisked away by her seemingly ‘cool’ and vibrant lifestyle and leaves her Nan to move in with her mother to live a life she has always hoped and dreamed for, but everything isn’t perfect, there’s Rain.
I found it easy to sympathise with Apple as she goes through the book trying to cope with the trials and tribulations of teenage life with an added side of family trouble. Her constant hope is admirable. Even though her mother, Annie disappoints her over and over again she still perseveres in building a relationship with her. Apple’s father had also left his daughter to live with her grandmother and built a new family without Apple. Apple’s grandmother loves her, but her old-fashioned ways often cause her and Apple to clash. So I think when Apple’s mother returned home at that particular moment it was exactly what Apple felt she needed, someone in her eyes who should love her the most.
I loved the use of poetry throughout the story and the way Apple herself used it to cope with being left by her best friend, being embarrassed by her crush and with her mother’s return, it was a lovely touch to the book and a brilliant way to describe Apple’s feeling and thoughts.
This is a refreshing addition to YA literature. It was a look at at love in a completely different light to how YA books normally address it and I think its blurb is a perfect description of the story:
A story of sad endings
A story about happy beginnings
A story to make you realise
who is special.
This was the first time I had come across Sarah Crossan and after reading Apple and Rain, I will most certainly read her other books. I really liked the simplistic writing style and her characters. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family although I feel it is more directed at girls than boys.
Like the sound of Apple and Rain? Check out our review of Sarah Crossan’s previous book The Weight of Water.