Apple has spent her life being raised by her strict Grandma, since her mum left to chase her dreams in America when she was young. She can’t help wondering how different her life would be if her mum was in it, but when she returns out of the blue – is it going to be the perfect situation she’s been dreaming of?
And then her mum actually unexpectedly comes home. Apple’s grandma and dad aren’t overjoyed with this, which annoys her. Apple chooses to move into her mum’s flat and soon realises it’s not quite the bliss she’s been wanting her whole life, especially after finding out she has a younger sister (Rain) and will have to be sharing a room with her.
Red flags start popping up; her mum drinking often, leaving the pair on their own for too long, having parties and wanting Apple to wear certain things to look nicer. Apple doesn’t want to believe that things aren’t actually all that good being reunited with her mum. So she keeps it to herself. Her mums absence means she starts missing a lot of school, and has to care for Rain (who she starts to bond with). She doesn’t want to tell her nana in fear of judgement.
Apple loves poetry, and with the encouragement of English teacher Mr. Gaydon can get her feelings out through that. Though she does keep those to herself initially and hands in fake answers to assignments instead. Throughout this story Apple befriends a boy named Del, who isn’t worried about not fitting in. He’s cheerful and wants to help Apple.
There’s also the fact that 10 year old Rain carries a toy baby around, convinced that it’s a real baby. Likely the result of her mum being so absent. There’s a lot of family issues in this book. Apple’s nana definitely could’ve been more relaxed however upon finding out what Apple’s mum is like, I can see why she wasn’t. I felt bad for her as this story progressed as she must’ve got so lonely since her grandchild was pretty much not bothering to see her and spend time with her anymore.
There’s so much going on in Apple and Rain but it’s set out quite simply and wasn’t hard to follow. It resolved a little too well after such a big issue involving Rain near the end which did bug me, though it is meant for younger readers so I’m rather conflicted on my opinion there. I quite liked this book.