Review: Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Genres: YA | Contemporary
Published: September 1st 2014
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
My rating: 
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.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in  an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure. 

This is a beautiful story about family, love, the bitter sweet things life has to offer and the value of hope.

This being my first Sarah Crossan novel, I didn't have many ideas about what to expect. However, this one time, I let my expectations reach a higher peak, and needless to say, Apple and Rain did not disappoint.

I think we're all familiar with the concept that beauty is simplicity, and I certainly think that this book right here, fits the description perfectly. Apple and Rain does not have a complex premise full of twists, turns and unpredictable sequences. The writing was poetic, but not overly so. It was simple, but pleasant, seamless and fully capable of guiding the reader towards the core of the story.

What lies within are elements with much depth, and emotion. The characters, especially Apple, and the events unfolding were often a little too realistic, and I found myself relating to Apple much more than I expected to. At one point, I decided that if anyone has ever been thirteen, they will find it incredibly easy to connect with Apple. (But if you couldn't and you've ever been thirteen, please don't ruin the hogwash also known as my conclusions).

Apple is thirteen, but her narrative voice definitely did not sound thirteen. That didn't bother me as much as it should have, mainly because she learnt a lot of things along the way. She developed a lot as a character, and it was really an amazing thing to witness.

One of the key factors of the story is the family dynamic. Apple's family was messed up and even that is a bit of an understatement. I, for one, do not know how I would feel if one day I suddenly find out that I have a little sister I had not a single idea about. 

All of them made mistakes, but there's one other thing they had in common: what they wanted was love. Love that, in the end, they were giving each other, just in ways unique to their own self.

Apple was easy to connect to, and my admiration for her grew every time she crossed the line, to save the relationship between the mother who abandoned her, the sister she never knew of, and the Nana she believed despised her. It was clear all she wanted was for things to be okay, and I just wanted to give Apple a big hug because she had so many things to deal with. 

On her journey, Apple meets someone who could only be described as a ray of sunshine. A boy named Del, practically bursting with optimism. Their friendship and the bond that formed between the two was just as fantastic as everything else.

There's one thing that is always lingering in the far corner of this story, and that is hope, perhaps that one thing that can save us when it feels like life has shut down on all the choices. Apple and Rain will show you how a little bit of hope can get you a long way.

With realistic characters, a beautiful yet simple writing and bits of poetry, Apple and Rain is a book that was emotional and undeniably remarkable. One you must read to experience.

This will definitely not be the last of the author's books I read.

Have you read Apple and Rain? 
Is it on your TBR?
(If no: Hey, come on, look at that pretty cover).