Review: Rotten Apple by Rebecca Eckler

8 Sep

Publisher: Random House Canada
Release year: 2010
Genre: YA contemp
One sentence summary: Sometimes all isn’t fair in love and war.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Review copy from publisher

Apple is the opposite of her outspoken mother and gossipy, chatty best friends; she’s always been the cool, calm, and collected one. But her life is about to spiral out of control. Apple’s super-sized, secret crush on her friend Zen leads her into major trouble. And she’s realizing it might not have been such a good idea to pose as her mother–the famous talk show host and self-help guru, Dr. Bee Berg–and send out fake advice emails to keep her (devastatingly beautiful) friend Happy away from Zen. Before she knows it, her best friend hates her, the whole school knows about her crush, and she is humiliated on national TV. How much more will it take for Apple to learn that taking advice is just as important as giving it?

From Random House Canada website.

CHARACTERS: I don’t know, I really wanted to like Apple, but there was just something about her that I didn’t click with.  She does some things that I couldn’t believe, the least being pretending to be her mother. I could kinda understand her motivations, but could never in a million years picture me handling things the way she did.  I found some of the other characters, particularly her friends, to be rather, well, bland. I did enjoy her crazy aunt quite a bit. Not sure what that says about me.

*Slight rant*

Okay, I REALLY need to talk about names. Apple, Happy, Brooklyn, Sailor, Zen, Bee Bee, Hopper, Cooper, Clover, North. These are all characters that appear in Rotten Apple. I had a really hard time believing that there would be this many weird-assed names in one social group. I dunno, maybe it is a possibility out there somewhere. All I know is that I think I would have enjoyed this book a heck of a lot more if there had been a Jane or John. There were some normal names, like Apple’s Crazy Aunt Hazel, but they were few far and far between.

*end rant*

PLOT: The back of the book blurb really doesn’t do justice to the book. Most of what it tells us happens in the last 1/4 of the book. There is a whole lot of stuff leading up to “the big moment”, important stuff about Apple, her secret crush and what she does to try to get his undivided attention. Buuuut …. since it isn’t blurbed I don’t to dish and spoil the book.

WRITING: Rotten Apple is written in third person and I’m thinking that maybe if it had been written in first person I would have had better luck connecting with Apple. With that being said, Eckler certainly has a way with words and her writing drew me into the story. And, despite what Apple was going through, Eckler didn’t write her whinny. You know, she wasn’t constantly “Why me?-ing”. There was some “poor me” stuff but it was just a sprinkle.

WHO I WOULD RECOMMEND ROTTEN APPLE TO: The blurb on the back cover from Quill and Quire says “Eckler’s breezy teen drama may appeal to kids who live for Gossip Girl, Laguna Beach and The Hills.” I’m not a fan of any of these shows (I don’t even know what Laguna Beach is), so maybe that’s why I was lukewarm over Rotten Apple. But that’s not to say you won’t like it, especially if you enjoy lighter teen fare.


5 Responses to “Review: Rotten Apple by Rebecca Eckler”

  1. amymckie September 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Oh yeah, I definitely don’t like those shows so will avoid this book! And the names, oh gosh. hah

    • lavenderlines September 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

      Yeah, while I think this book will be a great fit for some, I def don’t think it’s for you. 🙂

  2. slpmartin September 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Doesn’t quite sound like my type of book…but enjoyed your comments.

  3. Pam September 11, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    I feel the need to point out that Laguna Beach was the show Lauren Conrad and company were on before The Hills. It’s where they started, and it was all set when they were still in high school.

    In other news, I don’t know if I could read this book because of the names. It probably would have driven me crazy. Sailor? Really? It makes me think of Sailor Moon…

    • lavenderlines September 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

      Ah, so Laguna Beach is a reality show? Okay, gotcha!

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