"If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am."Review:
High-school junior Tola Riley 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?
Bad Apple is bizarre and eccentric, yet I simply adored it.
Bad Apple tells the tale of Tola, a slightly weird and cynical girl dealing with a boatload of problems. For one, everyone in her small town is convinced she had an affair with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer; for two, Mr. Mymer is now suspended because of it; for three, Tola never had an affair with Mymer and that's what she's says, but no one believes her; and lastly, her dad's acting like a jerk, her sister's having a mental breakdown, her step dad's obsessed with his car, and her mom seems to hate her. Leaving Bad Apple to turn into one bad apple of situation almost as soon as possible, but also leave room for some comic relief and interesting events that would manage to have any reader hooked.
Even though I would be one the first to admit Tola was a bit strange, I still really liked her and found her story to be addictive. I liked the fact that she was brave when it came to standing up to the "mean girl" in this, and I also feel that most could relate to her feeling that she's never really listened too. One of my favorite parts of her character was her love of art, because it lead to a lot of interesting moments, thoughts, and situations in the book, ones that sometimes even included Grim fairy tales. I also liked her friendship with Seven, who seemed adorable, and June, a control freak obsessed with all things school.
The plot of this was attention-grabbing and fast paced. I always find the whole 'teacher/student' relationship scandals to be interesting because of seeing the motivations and reasons behind their actions, and thankfully that was present in Bad Apple. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the fact that it always kept me guessing about what really happened between Mymer and Tola, if anything all because it provided for tension, tension, and more tension. Also, I thought the add-on of the "comments" section was cleaver because it allowed for the reader to see more than one person's reaction to the situation.
Lastly, Ruby's writing always provided to have the plot developments and characters fully fleshed out and kept the story moving at a rapid pace.
In all, Bad Apple is an addicting, witty, and cleaver story of one girl's decision to tell the truth no matter what. I can't wait to read more by Ruby!
Bad Apple is now out!
Source: Author. Thanks, Laura!