“Poetry can teach us about ourselves. It can comfort us when we are in despair. It can bring joy. But not only that…it can open us up. It can make our worlds bigger and brighter and clearer. It can *transform* us.”
I read Sarah Crossan‘s One not that long ago and I was really impressed by both the prose (the whole book is written in verse) and the story itself. So when I was looking for something good after a few disappointing reads, I remembered I had a copy of Apple And Rain waiting for me on my shelves. I started reading it expecting it to be similar to One, and that is probably part of the reason why I didn’t enjoy it that much. Rather than a full story written in verse, Apple And Rain is a story about poetry with only a few poems incorporated in the text. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wasn’t particularly impressed by the story itself. I did like the poems, but the plot, prose and characters are not exactly inspiring. I understand the main character Apple is quite young and that explains part of the ‘childish feel’ of the book, but I can’t say I liked her and most of the plot is a bit farfetched. Rain with her doll, Apple’s mother, Apple herself… I just didn’t feel it. I know other people seemed to enjoy Apple And Rain though, so don’t let this review discourage you if you think you would enjoy it.
When Apple was still a little girl, her mother decided to leave her on a stormy Christmas Eve because she just couldn’t take it anymore. Apple has been living with her grandmother ever since, always secretly hoping her mother would return one day. Her grandmother is quite strict and doesn’t stop treating her as a child even as Apple grows up, somehow afraid Apple will turn out as her mother… Only pushing Apple right back into her mother’s arms when she suddenly returns after eleven years away without a word. Apple’s love for her mother makes her blind and she doesn’t see the signs for trouble… And soon she will meet someone who is even more lost than she is.
The general idea behind Apple And Rain is interesting even though it’s not that original, and I really liked the poetry bits. Those parts would have gotten 4 stars, but unfortunately I wasn’t blown away by the rest of it. The plot, prose and characters didn’t manage to convince me and most of it just didn’t feel credible. It is a really fast read though and has some interesting insights on poetry, so don’t discard it if you think you might like it. Still, I would definitely recommend reading One first if you haven’t already.