Title:  Madapple

Author:  Christina Meldrum

Published:  May 13, 2008

Page Count:  416

Genre:  Young Adult Fiction

My Rating:  3/5

Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language—but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.

When Aslaug’s mother dies unexpectedly, everything changes. For Aslaug is a suspect in her mother’s death. And the more her story unravels, the more questions unfold. About the nature of Aslaug’s birth. About what she should do next.

About whether divine miracles have truly happened. And whether, when all other explanations are impossible, they might still happen this very day.

Madapple was another book about which I asked my readers to ask questions that I could answer in my review.  Here goes…

Guatami Tripathy asked, “I like the title Madapple. Why is titled so? What genre? Do you recommend it? To what age group?” The title refers to a slang term for the jimson weed, which despite being an all-natural plant that grows in the ground is a very poisonous substance that has the potential to kill if taken in large enough doses.  Jimson weed/madapple plays a pretty big role in the story, but telling you what that role is would give a lot away so I won’t!  The genre is young adult fiction, and I would recommend it but with some hesitations.  I didn’t love the book as much as I thought I would, but several other bloggers have raved about it so it quite possibly just didn’t click with me.  As for age group, I’d say age 12 or so and up would be fine to read the book.

Softdrink asked, “Do you think the cover of Madapple reflects the story? Why or why not?” Yes, I do think the cover reflects the story.  The book has the same creepy/weird vibe that the cover gives off.  In addition, the cover depicts Aslaug (well, I can only assume it’s supposed to be Aslaug) standing in a field of flowers/plants, very alone in the world.  And I think that is pretty much how she is in the book – surrounded by people sometimes, but mostly alone both physically and emotionally.

Eva asked, “I’m worried that Madapple would be a bit too sensational-istic for me. Did you find the melodrama over the top? Or did it feel authentic?” You know what, this was one of the aspects of Madapple that I liked least.  I did find it to be a bit too melodramatic.  There were just too many aspects to the book that weren’t at all believable, and not only that but the writing style put a dramatic flair on everything which I personally did not love.  I don’t know – I’m torn on this one because I think many people would get wrapped up in all the craziness and love the book because of that, but I was mostly just annoyed by it.

Trisha asked, “Of these three books (if any) which would you recommend to 1) a teenage boy, 2) an adult woman, and 3) an old couple. Why that particular book for each person/couple?” I think I would choose Madapple as my recommendation to a teenage boy because it has somewhat gender-neutral themes.  While the main character is a girl, there is enough weirdness, drama, and intrigue to interest a boy as well.  I don’t know that the book would make a favorites list of a teenage boy, but I think a guy could enjoy this one just as well as a girl.

Overall, Madapple was a bit of a disappointment for me.  I had really high expectations going into the book and I believe that probably ruined it for me.  I just didn’t care enough about an of the characters to get super involved in all of the drama.  Looking back, I did enjoy the book and I think it was written very well – it really was a compelling and interesting story.  But for me, it didn’t work perfectly.  To add to that, there were several pretty big loose ends that I’m even now thinking about and wishing I had a resolution to.  Loose ends are okay, and I can appreciate a good question for the reader to ponder, but in this case I’d just like some answers.  Maybe it’s just me – check out these other bloggers who liked Madapple more than I did: