The Incredibly Adventures of Cinnamon Girl – Melissa Keil – Hardie Grant Egmont – Published September 2014
Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery, and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends.
The only problem is she’s overlooked a few teeny details:
Like, the guy she thought long gone has unexpectedly reappeared. And the boy who has been her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails. And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving. Also, the world might be ending – which is proving to be awkward.
As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, it’s the end of the world as she knows it. But when it comes to figuring out her heart, Armageddon might turn out to be the least of her problems.
This story starts with a house and two boys – but it’s not what you think. With that line in the opening chapter, along with the use of the word foetusi, I knew this was going to be an epic book. The many references to freshly baked bread and cakes probably helped build the love (and the hunger). And it’s really not what you think. It’s way cooler. It took me a little while to get into the swing of this story, but once I did I really enjoyed it.
School’s over for good for Alba and her group of friends. A long, hot summer stretches before them in their little rural town of Eden Valley. But doubts about the future and fears about how it might change their lives and their friendships are surfacing. So it’s only fitting that when an impending apocalypse is announced, Alba’s little town is named as the last point of human survival. Chaos ensures. Alba’s not so sure about her town when it’s hopped up on huge masses of vegan hippies looking to party in the end of the world. But the summer is also sparking changes in the friendship group, and the long-term, best-friend status between Grady and Alba is being shaken with the reappearance of their old friend Daniel, who is now a TV star.
Narrated by Alba, the story flip-flops a little at the start as she introduces the reader to up-coming story threads before returning to flesh out the details. I also found it a little confusing when she refers to her mother by both Mum and Angie, but it’s a little after halfway that this story really picks up. The underlying romance is incredibly sweet and the larger friendship group is amusing in its eccentricity. But at the heart of this story, perhaps even more than Alba discovering her own desires and journey, is the question each student faces at the end of school – what now? That fear, excitement, doubt and opportunity that may hit well before school ends and which may continue long after the final bell has rung. Along with family, friendship, finding that one persons who totally understands the true you, discovering a little of yourself and some pre-world apocalypse drama, you have a fun and sweet book set in rural Australia.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Coming of age, world apocalypse, family, friendship. love and romance, best friends, small towns, end of school.
Age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references. Some coarse language, s***, and a lot of feck and fecking that is used to substitute for f***.
Published: September 2014 by Hardie Grant Egmont. 1 April 2016 by Peachtree Publishers (US)
Format: Paperback, ebook. 294 pages.