Thursday, September 18, 2008

Madapple by Christina Meldrum - review

Madapple by Christina Meldrum
If I were to booktalk Madapple to a bored-looking teen, I might do it like this:

There's this girl, Aslaug, and she's been raised by her mother, in, like, total isolation. Her mother's part crazy and part witchy and part smart. Then the mother dies. And since the mother and the daughter had this weird hermitty life, curtains nailed over the windows and using leaves for soap and stuff, at first the cops think the daughter killed her. But she didn't. And it kind of gets weirder from there, especially when she meets this completely hot cousin she never knew she had, who falls in love with her. Also there's lots of drugs.

I don't know. I guess that's how I'd do it. I'd probably leave out the rape that isn't really a rape, and all the information about the medicinal and spiritual uses of native plants (which is pretty interesting), and the courtroom testimony that is interspersed with Aslaug's first-person account (which is larded with more objections than an old Perry Mason), and the mystery of Aslaug's conception that, I swear, is a mystery to everyone in the book but which the reader will figure out literally in the first five pages.

My colleague Eerily Similar Paula (who I used to call Other Paula, but I didn't like that, and besides now I can abbreviate her to ESP) passed this book to me. I get most of my weird YA fiction from her nowadays. Typically, she'll hand me the book, and wearing a skeptical squint, will say, "See what you think."

Back at ya, babe: try The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs.

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