The story itself is bittersweet and deals mainly with very ordinary adolescent problems: best friends, boys, wanting more independence. The fact that Apple was only thirteen meant I didn’t connect with her as much as I wanted to, but it did make the situations she got into and her helplessness very believable. I kind of wanted to give the poor girl a hug at times!
What really comes through in this book is the author’s love of poetry. Apple’s favourite class is English and her teacher encourages her reading and writing of poetry, which helps her deal with the things she is going through. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Sarah Crossan’s One a little while ago, which is written in free verse, so poetry is obviously a passion of hers. To be honest, poetry isn’t really a passion of mine, but the author doesn’t use loads of up-its-own-bum references; she keeps everything relevant and accessible, so it wasn’t offputting, even for a poetry-avoider like me.
Apple is a very sweet, slightly naive girl. Like I said, her age meant I didn’t connect with her as much as I wanted to, but I still liked her well enough and wanted her to see what she needed to do to get out of the horrible situation she was in! Del was a lovely character - I loved how devoted he was to Apple and I’d have liked to have known more about his background. Apple’s mum is absolutely appalling in her fecklessness, and although her behaviour was dreaful, the author managed to keep it just this side of believeable.
All in all, I did enjoy this book. I don’t think it was as good as One, but it was still a very touching tale of growing up, friendships, love and being careful what you wish for.