Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan: not actually about apples or rain

apple and rain 2Title: Apple and Rain

Author: Sarah Crossan

Genre: MG contemporary

Length: 330 pages

Published by: Bloomsbury

Source: received for review (thanks, Bloomsbury!)


When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.

A story about sad endings.
A story about happy beginnings.
A story to make you realise who is special

This is how I received a copy of Apple and Rain:

apple and rain edited

If you can’t read that label it says WARNING: may result in tears of sadness and joy.

I don’t cry in books. Except for…a few books. Like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Fault in Our Stars and Harry Potter. So I didn’t cry at this. And also, my sister finagled the tissues because she had run out, apparently. But it was sad. And it was also lovely.


Awesome things about this book include:

1) The characters.

We have Apple, our main character, short for Apollinia Apostopoulou (say it out loud, you won’t regret it). She’s awesome. She’s flawed. She often does the wrong thing. But she’s such a REAL character.

Also, she writes poetry. It made me sad that she wrote two different sets of poetry for her homework: the first was honest, and beautiful, but she deleted it because she thought people would make fun of her, and wrote a boring one instead. I was like noooo, Apple, keep the beautiful poetry!! And seriously, her best friend was so awful. Poor Apple. She reminded me of Bea from Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan, actually.

Then we have Rain, her sister, who thinks her doll is real, and that was something I was not expecting. I loved seeing her relationship with Apple developing.

We also have Nana, who Apple lives with before her mother turns up. She was strict but she really, really loved Apple, and Rain eventually as well.

The Mum, though. Goodness she made me angry. She’s an “actress,” or trying to be one, but she puts this above the wellbeing of both her children. She doesn’t come back when she says she’s going to be, and she leaves Apple in charge of Rain.


She feels sorry for herself and you get the feeling that the Mum wishes she had never had children.

Yeah, Mum, I think Fantine has got waaaay more to complain about than you.


2) It doesn’t shy away from the sad/messy/complicated parts of life.

There is a lot in this book that DOES suck. But it’s also a really hopeful story, and it shows the power of forgiveness, and how people can change. I loved that – just because it’s MG, doesn’t mean the situations have to be all rainbows and butterflies. Because the fact is, kids do go through stuff like this – it would be amazing if they didn’t, but they do, and I think it’s a good thing that MG reflects that.

3) Poetry

I’ve mentioned this a little bit, but I really did love the poetry in this book, and how Apple was a writer. It almost made me cry when Mr Gayden told Apple she was a good writer, because of how much it meant to Apple – she’d never had someone say that to her. It reminded me of when someone first told ME I was a good writer, and how stunned and proud I was.


4) Sisters

The relationship between Apple and Rain develops throughout the book and it was one of my favourite parts. I love love loved it.


Namely where Del was concerned. Del is the next-door neighbour and he is HILARIOUS. He’s also really caring, too. But parts with him made me actually laugh out loud.

So that’s five reasons to read Apple and Rain. What are you waiting for?

It’s one of the most complex, beautiful middle grade books I’ve read. I think fans of Bird by Crystal Chan will enjoy it. Fans of Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan will also enjoy it, because the protagonists in both are awesome female leads who learn to stand up for themselves.

Rating: 4.5/5 Wonderkitties





32 thoughts on “Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan: not actually about apples or rain

  1. I was mildly disappointed it wasn’t about eating apples in the rain (omg, that would definitely be an interesting Loony Blurb), but there were a lot of chip and roasts and custard so the entire book made me very unfairly hungry more than once. I didn’t need the tissues either. But I AM glad that’s not just me and my cold heart. πŸ˜‰ The mother was a bit of a dead loss though, right?! The characters were more forgiving then me. XD

    • Oh my gosh yes, that’s definitely going on a future Loony Blurbs post πŸ˜› yesss, there was so much British food! Seriously, though, it’s got to be the weirdest combination of food on the planet. Yeah, I don’t really cry at books – definitely not just you πŸ˜› oh my gosh, I would not have been as nice as Apple towards the mum. She was…ugh. Just ugh. Although I suppose there was the whole message about being forgiving and stuff πŸ˜›

  2. This sounds absolutely amazing Emily! I’ve heard quite a lot about it from fellow bloggers, and each of them has given it glowing reviews, so I am so glad that you enjoyed it too! It sounds like such a sad story, but I suppose that sad stories are necessary because they really help remind us about everything we take for granted. Definitely going to pick up a copy of this because I LOVE beautiful writing and strong character development! Thanks for sharing Emily, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! ❀

  3. Glad to see you liked this one too Emily πŸ™‚ It explored some pretty deep issues for a novel that could be aimed at a MG audience, and the bond that Apple and Rain developed was so sweet. I didn’t end up crying either, but it was definitely still a beautiful story. Fabulous review!

  4. This looks so awesome! Adding it to my TBR, although it might be a while before I get to it. The cover might convince me to bump it up a notch though. πŸ™‚

  5. Your comparison between this and Bird excites me – that one was such an awesome, emotional book! I’ve heard really heart wrenching things about this book, and I love how Apple is a writer as well which I haven’t heard before. The sister relationship emphasised sounds lovely too.

    • Bird was amazing, wasn’t it? I liked both of these because even though they’re both MG, they’re kind of…ageless? I guess? Like you get MG that’s older, or something. I don’t even know what I’m saying right now πŸ˜› and yeah, I didn’t know that Apple was a writer either until I saw…I don’t know, someone’s review. They all kind of muddle together into a pile of awesomeness.

  6. Yay! I’ve been thinking about this one for a while (I have complicated feelings about the other Sarah Crossan books I’ve read, so I wasn’t sure if this one would be for me) but this review *miiiiiiigh* just push me over the edge into purchasing. Thanks – as usual it was great, the gifs were great, the whole *thing* was great.

  7. Wait, what? This is not about apples or rain. CONSIDER ME DISAPPOINTED. πŸ˜‰

    Ha ha, only kidding. I really want to read this novel, it sounds awesome! And lately I’ve stumbled across heaps of positive reviews for this one, so that helps. The only thing that’s keeping me from reading this is that I read one of her other series before (Breathe and Resist) which I liked . . . but they were pretty “meh” overall, you know? But I really do want to try this one; I think I’ll end up borrowing it from the library some time. I’m also interested in reading The Weight of Water, because oh my, I love that title. Anyway, enough rambling from me. Great review! πŸ™‚

    • You’ve been misled, Kara!! πŸ˜›

      Yep, I’ve seen heaps of positive reviews as well. I had heard of her dystopian series but it doesn’t really appeal to me, so I’ve stayed away from it. But since I love contemporary, The Weight of Water sounds great. And it’s in verse, I think…that slightly scares me since I don’t often like verse, but I’ll give it a go πŸ™‚

  8. Mmm I want to read this! I read The Weight of Water – a novel written in verse, have you read it? – and I just loved it a crazy amount so I’d love to read Apple and Rain ❀

  9. Wonderful review, Em! ❀ I also received this for review, (although not with tissues, unfortunately. 😦 ) and I realy need to get on it and read it very, very soon! I'm glad you enjoyed this and to hear that it doesn't shy away from the sad/messy/complicated parts of life and also that there are funny bits. πŸ™‚

  10. It was simply amazing wasn’t it Em, and so incredibly emotional, sad and joyful. I loved the developing relationship between Apple and Rain as well, but felt so incredibly sad for Rain. Growing up with no stability, exposed to loud parties, alcohol and a flighty mother. It’s no wonder she used the doll as a substitute for the lack of mothering her own mother couldn’t provide. And poor Nanna! My heart truly broke for her. I’m so glad you loved this one too Em, it really is something special. Absolutely brilliant review ❀

  11. I really loved Apple and Rain! πŸ™‚ If you haven’t read The Weight of Water you should definitely check it out, it is written all in verse. Great review, your cat rating always makes me smile! πŸ™‚

  12. This is on my to-read list and I’m looking forward to it, because it sounds like a touching and family-centric contemporary read. Plus, I love bittersweet books. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. YAY! Happy to hear such wonderful things about this one. I bought a copy in July at YALC and had it signed by the author while I was there, haven’t got to it yet though. Your review has convinced me to bump it up my TBR list.

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