This was a contemporary Middle grade book about sisters. I loved it.
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan, published by Bloomsbury, 2014
Apple lives with her Nana. She is really upset when her father and stepmother announce that they are going to have a baby. With just one friend at school, she really wants her mother to come back. Apple wants to feel like she fits in and belongs. When her mother comes back and she has an interesting English teacher doing a poetry unit, everything seems perfect. But moving in with her mother, who has parties, is out all day and has another daughter- Rain- isn’t quite how she imagined it would be…
The plot of this book was fairly predictable- I knew that she would end up wanting to move back in with a more stable person, and that she would make friends with Rain. The reason that this book was special was because it had a beautiful voice and depictions of relationships. Rain and Apple’s characters are written with precision, tenderness and care.
I loved the way that poetry worked in this book. It was a quick read, but having read several of the poems, I loved the way that Crossan used poetry-based off the format of another poem-to express Apples’ feeling.
Apple was a really well written character. She was very English, and she felt quite out of place. She would do anything- skip school, look after Rain,drink wine, or wear a horrid dress- to earn her mothers approval. Her relationship with Rain was really well written. She was initially frustrated by Rain, then tried to be her friend, and care for her. Her patience amazed me. I liked her poetry, and I enjoyed seeing how she became more confident, assured, and certain of her place in the world as the book progressed.
Rain was also finely tuned character. She took out her fear of being unloved and abandoned by taking meticulous care of a doll. As Apple accepts the doll, she begins to understand Rain better. Rain is terrified of being alone and just wants to be loved. Her mum has never paid much attention to her- never even taken her to a library- and she doesn’t know where she belongs. As she gets to know her Nana and Apple, she feels better, but is still afraid.
The other thing I loved about this book is that all the side characters were also developed. (Except for one unnecessary character, Del), Crossan makes us, as readers, understand the nuances of behavior in Apple and Rain’s mum, Apples’ friend Pilar and her teacher mr. G
A beautifully and sensitively written book, with a mature voice of Apple and a story about sisters, I recommend this book to anyone who likes England, Poetry or quality MG reading.
A review copy was provided by the awesome Pt. Chev Books. Thank You!