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Friday, April 2, 2010

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby

Genre: YA Fantasy

Copyright: 2009

Pages: 256

Rating: 3.5 Crowns

Synopsis: For Tola Riley, life is not a fairy tale, it only feels like one. She's got evil classmates, a runaway dad, a wicked stepmother, a possible Prince Charming, and her very own troll. But it's only when someone accuses her of having an affair with her art teacher that her whole world turns into something out of Grimm's. Because the person accusing her is her own mother.

"If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am."

High-school junior Tola has green hair, a nose ring, an attitude problem, and a fondness for fairy tales, which are a great escape from real life. Everyone thinks she's crazy; everyone says so. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He gets her paintings and lets her hang out in the art room during lonely lunch periods.
But then rumors start flying and Tola is suddenly the center of a scandal. The whole town is judging her—even her family. When Mr. Mymer is suspended for what everyone thinks is an affair, she has no choice but to break her silence. Fairy tales won't help her this time . . . so how can she tell the truth? And, more importantly, will anyone believe her?

Review: For young Tola life is about to get a whole lot harder. A budding art student with a terrible crush on her art teacher Mr. Mymer turns into much more as they are accused of having an affair and are caught out together at an art museum. Thing is we really don't know if that is the truth quite yet. The school is forced to suspend the teacher and Tola is pretty much on lock down by her mom. A woman who thinks she is a liar and is watching her every move.

Tola is adorable and quirky really, green hair, nose ring and with her head in the clouds she is a talented artist who just wants to go on with her day. Unfortunately her ex-best Friend Chelsea has it out for her. Told is convinced that Chelsea is the one who is spreading the rumors of the alleged "affair" as she is continually making her life a living hell. Chelsea is a vindictive and jealous little creature, blogging nasty things about Tola on-line, tormenting her in the hallways at school, a truly disturbed individual Chelsea is.

Charming Tola has a little reprieve with her budding relationship with a boy at school, Seven and her best friend who tries to pull her through this entire mess.

Although predictable at times, the author really keeps the story going with an intriguing cast of characters who you will either love or hate. Chelsea did if for me, but her character was all too real. Bulling, cyber bulling is a very real and disturbing epidemic we have that starts in elementary school and highly ignored. Just this January a young girl was so tormented in school, blogs, facebook, etc that he felt she had no out and killed herself. So the subject is serious and the story of Tola at times was frustrating and heartbreaking watching Tola take the brunt of Chelsea's vicious attacks. At times the author gave the reader a reprieve with Chelsea and Seven which I found very sweet and charming, but just wanted a little more of.

Poignant yet sometimes a little slow I found Bad Apple to be a very real, very delightful story of a young girl and her struggles, internally and within her microcosm.

Lady in Waiting

Thanks to Brande
from Book Junkie for this great review!


✖Mizz Yasmin✖ said...

I've heard of this book 2 months ago.
Totally love the cover.
And I love the synopsis too.
And I love your review!

librarypat said...

Good review, Brande. Sounds like another YA book that should on library shelves. Bullying and rumors are a major problem today that needs to be addressed. Being different can be dangerous. We encouraged our children to be themselves and embrace their individuality. Unfortunately, there always seems to be someone who can't accept that and decided to make their lives difficult. Luckily they were strong enough to get through it, but not without a lot of hurt.