ARC Review: Apple And Rain by Sarah Crossan


Apple And Rain
Sarah Crossan
Published May 12th 2015 by Bloomsbury Publishing
MG >  Contemporary
330 pages 
eARC for Review

 

 3★★★

 

 Purchase links: 
Amazon | Nook  

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

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.

 

REVIEW:

Even though this book was the complete opposite of what I thought it would be when I picked it up—I found myself completely unsurprised. I thought Apple and Rain was a YA Romance about a girl with abandonment issues, thanks to her mother. Apparently, the physical ARCs came with tissues. And tissues from the publisher can totally mean sad, broken girl with mommy issues, who meets an even sadder boy/girl with double the mommy issues, right?

The story is quite simple. Appolinia Apostopoulou (Apple), has lived for eleven years with her strict Nana, (whom I loved, by the way) who often treats her like a child, much to Apple’s chagrin. When one day, Apple’s estranged mother who had left in hopes of becoming an actress turns up, Apple, wants to move in with the flighty woman.  

So when Apple, desperate for her mother’s approval actually does move in with her mother, and meets Rain, her sister, I was confused. And then I had my oh, okay moment when I realised that I wasn’t completely wrong in my initial assumption. Sad Apple does indeed meet sadder Rain with double mommy issues. I knew then that I’d found myself a MG coming-of-age read.  

Now remember, that my cold chest does indeed possess a cold heart. So while I wasn’t completely unaffected by this book, I also wouldn’t say that this book wrecked me. Which, after the uproar over this book, is what I had expected. The book is written from the POV of a fourteen year old who is struggling and confused. It was simple in its writing and precisely knew what chords to strike in its reader’s heart. That’s what made the book what it was. And while I am an occasional MG reader, the more I read of the genre, the more it seems to elude me. More of a it’s not you, it’s me kind of thing, getit? 

I love books entered around family and family issues. But this one, obviously, was the complete extreme. It had a flighty mother who cared about no one or nothing, two young girls who struggled to make their mother happy, and a grandmother who could do nothing but helplessly watch all the drama unfold. Name every bad thing for your fourteen/ten year old child and it’s in there—drinking, smoking, leering men, cutting school for weeks on end, even paranoia. And not to mention, Rain, who carries around her doll Jenny, thinking that she is a real baby. Like I said, this book has quite a lot of the sad. And while our world is absolutely filled with worse lives for children, I cannot say reading this book was easy. Lots of cringing and wincing and anger on my end. 

The entire story is set in Britain, and I loved that aspect. We hardly ever see books that are 100% British, and that was amazing to see! Chips instead of fries, sauce instead of ketchup—delightful! Plenty of food references for the food lovers and I think, overall, the British aspect was one of my favourite parts about the book! And poetry! If there’s one thing—only one—that made me teary-eyed it was the poetry. Brilliant and just amazing <3

I think I’d recommend this book to people who have the patience and the empathy to be able to stick with a character who slowly, but surely grows and learns and comes of age. Because truly, any learning and growing that Apple did was at the very end. It’s sad, it has a few clichés (see: understanding, fun English teacher), a quirky “love interest” and it’s hopeful. But more importantly, it’s beautifully written so if nothing else appeals to you, believe me, the writing surely will.

 

 

Rhea[1]

ARC REVIEW: Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills a.k.a the one that gutted me more than TFIOS did

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TITLE: Positively Beautiful
AUTHOR: Wendy Mills
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: March 3rd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
GENRE: YA > Contemporary
PAGES: 368pages 
SOURCE: arc via publisher
RATING:

 

4 ★★★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma – and the love story that springs from it.
16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.
Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?
As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.
Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair – but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

 

REVIEW:

 

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This gutted me more than TFIOS did. If you think this will be another cancer story, stop right there. This book truly mirrors its title because Beautiful is the one word I thought when I finished the book. This is Wendy Mills’ debut novel and I just want to hug and thank her for writing this incredible novel.

“Courage is not always big and bright and loud; sometimes it’s as silent and small as true words, a smile when you’d rather weep, or getting up every day and living with quiet dignity while all around you life rages.”

Erin’s mother have cancer and not only that, Erin might have one too in the future. This is where I first heard about the BRCA mutation and I instantly researched it. Luckily, I don’t have a relative that suffered with this but I still felt like I should know about it.

Positively Beautiful is just stunning. Wendy Mills’ really does her job into making her readers be invested to the story. Her writing is lyrical and emotional and it really pulls you in. Half of the book is highlighted because of all the beautiful lines and all the wisdom this book contains. And it’s not just all about love or boys… as a female reader, it inspired me to love my body even more and made me realize that our body is not the only thing that is love worthy. I already know that, of course, but this book just stresses it out and it’s just wonderful.

It’s also incredible that the story isn’t centered on a boy-girl relationship. Sure, this book contains a lovely romantic aspect but it’s more focused on the relationship of Erin and her mother. Which is truly the real brilliance of this book. Oh goodness, every time they talk I just cannot stop balling. The emotions in Positively Beautiful is so real and genuine. Even Erin’s best friend has her own story that make me sad but it was dealt with magnificently and I think a lot of teenage girls could relate with her.

This book contains so much and instead of being messy it was all woven in a very astounding way. The pacing is just perfect with all the stuff that is going on in Erin’s life and every issue is just dealt with accordingly.

There’s a slight twist that concerns the love interest and boy was I shocked. I honestly did not see it coming. I won’t be mentioning anything anymore but I will say this. I have mixed feeling about the guy. I love him. And I love them both them together. But the guy frustrated me and he has this belief or philosophy about love that I don’t like. But then again, there are people like that in real life. By the end, I was just plain happy for both of them. I liked how things ended and again, it was nothing but amazing.

Erin made some pretty stupid decisions. But who said Erin was perfect? She’s flawed but still strong and that’s why I adore her. She’s very matured and smart and I love being in her mind.

I know I didn’t made a rehash or a summary because I honestly on’t know how. I’m also afraid that I do the book justice so JUST READ IT. Because I really really recommend it. Positively Beautiful will break your heart… and mend it right back. You will laugh and cry and swoon and it will make you think. This book is just remarkable. It will totally speak to your heart and will stay in your mind for a very long time. What a marvelous debut!

“Which would you rather, to have a long miserable life, or a short, beautiful one?”
 

Paula

ARC REVIEW: Not In The Script by Amy Finnegan + Giveaway!

Not in the ScriptTITLE: Not In The Script (If Only #3)
AUTHOR: Amy Finnegan
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: October 7th 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens
GENRE: YA > Contemporary | Romance
PAGES: 272pages (paperback)
SOURCE: e-arc via publisher (netgalley)
RATING: 4 ★★★★
You can buy the Book here:
AMAZON | B&N | TBD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.

This novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

It is so adorable. SO ASDFGHJKL.

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We all need to read books like this often. Not In the Script made me all feel giggly (is that a word) swoony and definitely warmed my heart. Yes, LOVE is such a wonderful thing and yes, it doesn’t follow a script at all!

Emma Taylor is an artist and she’s one of the new stars of the TV show Coyote Hills! As a main protagonist and one of the point of view in this book, Emma is not really hard to like. She’s relatable and genuine. Being inside her head is like a walk in the park, there’s no struggles and I just glide through out the book because her voice is soothing and light. This novel worked out so much for me because the characters are well defined and absolutely likeable. It’s not just Emma, but the whole cast.. the whole crew. Jake is… yeah, I dare you to hate this guy! One chapter and I bet you will lose. This guy is decent and doesn’t have a stain of douchebag syndrome (Ha. Just made that up) Oh he’s not perfect! No one in this book is. But there’s where the character development came in. I love how the two characters fight for their feelings for each other and grow as a character at the same time.

You know those romance that is so grin worthy because it’s just so darn cute and makes you feel like there are butterflies in your stomach? The way the two characters ended up together is indeed slow.. But it was fun to read. In here, no one is aggressive and no one is forcing anything to each other. They had their share of stupid and idiotic things to do as a book character and I love how the author constructed the whole thing towards the end. YES, I am absolutely satisfied.

I have nothings to say about Amy Finnegan’s writing except that it’s excellent. Her words seeps right into me immediately that’s why I didn’t have a hard time reading it when I was 2 to 3 chapters in.

And how cool is that we’re reading how actors do their job and how it all works behind the camera? Yeah, I love that aspect too! I learned new things and it was fun.

Overall, Not In The Script has become a 2014 favorite. It’s fun, it’s sweet and absolutely heartfelt. Its like my grandmother always says, ‘Isn’t it great to be young and in love?
 

THE AUTHOR:

 

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WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Amy Finnegan writes her own stories because she enjoys falling in love over and over again, and thinks everyone deserves a happy ending. She likes to travel the world—usually to locations where her favorite books take place—and owes her unquenchable thirst for reading to Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT (Bloomsbury, Oct 2014), came about after hearing several years of behind-the-scenes stories from her industry veteran brother. She’s also been lucky enough to visit dozens of film sets and sit in on major productions such as Parks and Recreation, and Parenthood.

 

 

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