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All the Bad Apples PDF, ePub eBook

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All the Bad Apples

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All the Bad Apples PDF, ePub eBook The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. 'This will be really embarrassing,' I kept saying to my family, 'when she shows up at the door in a week or two.' When Deena's wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears - presumed dead - her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It's just another bad thing The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. 'This will be really embarrassing,' I kept saying to my family, 'when she shows up at the door in a week or two.' When Deena's wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears - presumed dead - her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It's just another bad thing to happen to Deena's family. Only Deena refuses to believe it's true. And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family's blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions - but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse's roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family's rotten past - or rip it apart forever.

30 review for All the Bad Apples

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    A BOOK about FAMILY CURSE,WITCHES, BANSHEES, GHOSTS washed with magical realism, mysterious historical journey to the family ancestors’ stories repeated itself like living in the same Groundhog Day, taken place IN IRELAND and lots of tasty, juicy apples give you cravings! What am I waiting for? GIVING WITHOUT THINKING MY 5 BILLION STARS! My vocabulary was limited to express how I loved this book so much because this is more than a mythological, mystical, mysterious, gothic, folkloric adventure. A BOOK about FAMILY CURSE,WITCHES, BANSHEES, GHOSTS washed with magical realism, mysterious historical journey to the family ancestors’ stories repeated itself like living in the same Groundhog Day, taken place IN IRELAND and lots of tasty, juicy apples give you cravings! What am I waiting for? GIVING WITHOUT THINKING MY 5 BILLION STARS! My vocabulary was limited to express how I loved this book so much because this is more than a mythological, mystical, mysterious, gothic, folkloric adventure. This book is the best feminism manifesto I’ve read so far. This is not about a specific family curse. It’s about a culture’s shameful beliefs, behaviors, acts against the women who had been punished, expelled, cast out, kicked out, locked out by ILLOGICAL, IGNORANT, RUTHLESS BRAINS for centuries! They’re banned as “BAD APPLES AND LEFT TO BE ROTTEN ON THE GROUND!” It’s about the beautiful and innocent souls of women who had paid too much by enduring their unhappy, miserable, destroyed lives. It’s about unplanned pregnancies! Only the women paid the price by being kept in shame, endured back-street abortions, sold their children in illegal adoptions. Some of the women’s babies had been taken away from them to be buried in unmarked graves. So this book is about CHANGE THE PATTERN to prevent the history repeat itself over and over again! It’s about to speak freely! It’s about to express yourself honestly! It’s about not to be afraid of being yourself and not to care what the society norms force you to do! Stop being silent! SPEAK THE TRUTH! SPEAK YOURSELF! This starts with three sister’s story. Mandy, Rachel, Deena! The day Deena declared she was gay and her father forced her to take her words back, her sister Mandy warned her, she would be in danger of their family curse and she disappears with a letter says she’s going to find her daughter at the end of the world. Deena starts her journey to find her sister but this journey ends with revealing harsh, dangerous, heart-wrenching secrets of their family. As long as Deena resumed her walk at the end of the world, she got closer to find her real self and honest truth about her own being! I loved this heart throbbing, thrilling, magical, riveting, fast pacing, poetic, soul searching adventure. This is one of the surprising and amazing books of this year! It’s vulgar, raw, emotional ride! I enjoyed every second of it!

  2. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I'm sitting here just trying to...gather myself after this incredibly hard-hitting powerful story. This was deeply, deeply moving. Like I was nearly choking on rage tears at the end there (inwardly) because it's so deeply about feminism, about the history of abuse and cruelty and discrimination that queer people and women have suffered forever. I'm serious...I was so gobsmacked. This book WENT for it. And holy shit, it nailed the topic. // this is no light read It's beautifully written and framed/>// I'm sitting here just trying to...gather myself after this incredibly hard-hitting powerful story. This was deeply, deeply moving. Like I was nearly choking on rage tears at the end there (inwardly) because it's so deeply about feminism, about the history of abuse and cruelty and discrimination that queer people and women have suffered forever. I'm serious...I was so gobsmacked. This book WENT for it. And holy shit, it nailed the topic. // this is no light read It's beautifully written and framed in soft words (I really love the author's style and I was obsessed with The Accident Season back in 2015!!), but I was just here thinking it would be about a girl finding her missing sister after they failed to be "good enough" for their strict family. BUT. It's much much more than that. For starters, Deena is 17 but her older twin sisters are in their 30s. Their mother is dead, father is horrible and absent, basically only returns to make sure they're being "good enough". He's very religious too. Then Mandy goes missing, but they find blood on the rocks and her empty car and so it's ruled a suicide. Thus begins Deena launching into basically this 36-hour spaced plot where she follows these letters Mandy left to find her. The letters are about their family history. And it was so so hard to read at times. We're talking the 1930s in Ireland; everything is intensely catholic, and it's inhumane how they treated women. It's shocking and despicable and honestly made my stomach turn. I KNOW this stuff is real too and the author's note talks about just how real it is. But like pregnant unmarried women being stuffed into Catholic workhouses and nunneries where they're full on treated horrifically in the name of "suffer so your sins are forgiven". It deals with rape, lack of abortion rights, how women have their children ripped away from them, how hundreds (nearly thousands) of women/babies died in these workhouse/nunneries. How queer people were treated and murdered. It's a lot. It's a lot of a lot and it's true and it makes me burn. Which is exactly what the story was here to do. It is about being outraged. It is about not sitting in silence so history repeats itself again and again. It just makes you cry at the privilege of today. "...the past will only keep repeating itself as long as we're kept powerless by our silence." // present vs past story line So in the present, we have Deena narrating in 1st person. I loved her so much! She's worried about being a "bad apple" of the family...hiding that she's gay and drowning in the secrets of her family's past. And then in the past, we go through several generations of her ancestors. It's very very focused on the women, but it's all...told. So it doesn't read very fast and tbh it isn't my favourite style of book to read. Very reflective almost? But it didn't lessen how important and powerful the whole book is. Like my soul is pretty much shaking in rage of what they all went through. And it was so casual. The parents calling their raped daughters sluts and forcing them to carry their babies and then ripping those babies away...god it's really tough to read. (view spoiler)[And as much as I hated Deena's father/grandfather who festered in his traumatic childhood until he was absolutely filled with hate -- his past is terrifyingly brutal too. Like he would have such ptsd from being beaten and flogged all the way through that horrific orphanage school. It makes sense why he is how he is. And I did think it was a good contrast: he festered in hate, determined his own daughters would be "good", while people like Mandy strove to break the silence and shatter the chains. (hide spoiler)] Also, in the present, there's so much diversity! Deena is queer and she meets Cale, also queer, while Deena's best friend is bi and black. It's a love letter to minorities who have been crushed and silenced in the past. 💛 // I'll be thinking about this one for a long long time It's so so worth it, especially for just being LOUD and talking about what women have gone through in the past. What queer women and people have suffered. (view spoiler)[I just about cried when Deena put on the rainbow pin in the last chapter before school 😭💛I admire her so so much she is so brave and incredible and loved. (hide spoiler)] The tagline for this is "shatter the silence" and I'm so glad YA books are doing this. "Like Ida said, sometimes you have to feel the past to believe it." "It needs to be told like a story in order to be heard," I said. "Right. Exactly." He shoved his hands into his pockets, shrugged. "It's the story itself that's fucked."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Khadidja ~on hiatus~

    Idk anything about this book. BUT i'm willing to read this book just because of the cover,,,, hOW CAN A PERSON BE THIS BEAUTIFUL I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND

  4. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Break the stigma, break the curse. An absolutely enchanting feminist tale! I was so enthralled by this story, I could not put it down. As Deena begins to unravel the mysteries of her family tree whilst on a search to find her sister, Mandy, assumed dead, I was completely swept up in their family lore. I wanted to know everything about the Rys family. Fowley-Doyle seamlessly blended past and present together as the narrative unfolds. The reader ta Break the stigma, break the curse. An absolutely enchanting feminist tale! I was so enthralled by this story, I could not put it down. As Deena begins to unravel the mysteries of her family tree whilst on a search to find her sister, Mandy, assumed dead, I was completely swept up in their family lore. I wanted to know everything about the Rys family. Fowley-Doyle seamlessly blended past and present together as the narrative unfolds. The reader takes a front seat as history repeats itself again and again. Women and girls are stripped of their power and choice, made to live false lives. It was heart-wrenching and felt extremely genuine. At the beginning of the novel, Deena, our teenage protagonist comes out to her family with a mixed reaction. She is a student at a Catholic school and has been raised within a conservative household. She is struggling with her identity and being able to live her truth. I thought this aspect of the story was so well done, as were all aspects really, but the feelings evoked as Deena questions whether or not she is a 'nice, normal girl', were just so powerful. That's how the story kicks off and as far as gut-punching, hard-hitting topic choices, never lets up. I loved the format the author chose to slowly reveal the truth at the heart of this tale. I am going to be thinking about this one for a long time to come. I am not going to say anything else in regards to the plot because I think it would best serve the story, and your reading experience, to go into this with as little information as possible. A story of family, identity, secrets, truth and power, I am still reeling by how much this story has impacted me. Truly stunning. While this is a fully fictional story, the topics explored within were well researched by the author and are based on true events that happened throughout the course of Ireland's history. As the author lives in Ireland and is Irish herself, that is where the story is focused, however the issues the girls and women faced are universal. Please read this book. Please read this book. Please read this book and as always, this includes the Author's Note at the end. Read that too!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie Zantopoulos

    "There are tears in the landscape. Pinpricks in the map. Pain stays on in a place like this." In true Moira Fowley-Doyle fashion this is a stunningly written novel about women, sisters, family, friends, and about the length we go to for love. It's queer, it's diverse, it's witchy, and there are mother f'ing harpies. It's spooky, it's feminist and it's about the strength and resilience of women in the face of their greatest historical threat--men. "The curse isn't on our family, it's on every w "There are tears in the landscape. Pinpricks in the map. Pain stays on in a place like this." In true Moira Fowley-Doyle fashion this is a stunningly written novel about women, sisters, family, friends, and about the length we go to for love. It's queer, it's diverse, it's witchy, and there are mother f'ing harpies. It's spooky, it's feminist and it's about the strength and resilience of women in the face of their greatest historical threat--men. "The curse isn't on our family, it's on every woman in this country. Kept in shame and silence for generations. Kicked out, locked up, taken away. ...Their children sold in illegal adoptions...forced pregnancies and back-street abortions. Insults and prayers and keeping up appearances-how do you break a curse like that?" This book follows women, women's rights, women's reproductive rights, the shame put upon women for being sexual creatures even as they're objectified and treated as such. It's a harrowing tale of the history of Ireland and the trials that women there (specifically) went through in their fight for equality and reproductive rights. "Don't let the salt circle break. Fuck fuckidy fuck." This is also a story about the love between sisters. Deena is determined to find her sister Mandy even though her other sister, Rachel, wishes she wouldn't. She's running from a father who won't accept that she loves other girls, and toward the unknown. She's following the letters Mandy left behind when she went, determined to find her and bring home the "bad apple". She is grappling with her sexuality but not alone. Deena has her best friend Finn, and a girl she's drawn to that is tied to her family's past, and a sister she never knew she had (Ida). This group of kids have my heart, forever. "This is what a curse does: It takes a truth and twists it. It punishes those who don't conform. It sets the parameters of conformity so narrow that few can actually stick to them... We are all bad apples, Deena, plucked before we were ripe and ready, right off the family tree." This is not an easy story to read but it's both magical and beautiful in its truth. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Moira's work, who has enjoyed the trend of recent women's reproductive rights stories, who fell in love with the atmosphere of The Wicked Deep or Summer of Salt. You won't regret picking it up. TW: suicide, rape, homophobia, abuse (sexual and domestic), pedophilia, incest, murder, arson, miscarriages (mention of late-term miscarriages) and queer kids kicked out of the home. *ARC received at ALA*

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hollis

    This is what a curse does : It takes a truth and twists it. It punishes those who don't conform. ALL THE BAD APPLES is, to quote the author, a story that "was, in part, fueled by rage." I don’t want to veer away from the specific history she's shed light on but for anyone who has looked around, confused and shocked and angry, about some of the abortion bills trying to be passed in the US? You’ll want to read this book. Because Ireland had been living that life up until 2018. That's the proble/>That's This is what a curse does : It takes a truth and twists it. It punishes those who don't conform. ALL THE BAD APPLES is, to quote the author, a story that "was, in part, fueled by rage." I don’t want to veer away from the specific history she's shed light on but for anyone who has looked around, confused and shocked and angry, about some of the abortion bills trying to be passed in the US? You’ll want to read this book. Because Ireland had been living that life up until 2018. That's the problem with having a funeral for your sister without really knowing whether she's dead. Without a body in the coffin, how can you be sure she won't come back? Overwhelmingly, this book is a very Fowley-Doyle story. If you've read her before, you'll know exactly what I mean : she infuses her twisty whimsy, her magical storyweaving, her mysterious realism, into a narrative that has deeper, darker, roots. In ALL THE BAD APPLES it's about women, it's about shame, it's about family. "I can see the headlines now. Runaway Queer Kids Become Victims of Remote Cabin Chainsaw Killer, Surprising Absolutely No One." "I'm not queer, sorry." "Then chances are you'll be the only one left alive." I won't be speaking much to the plot because half the journey is not knowing what's real and what's not. Half of this is about the history that came before the events of the moment. Some of it will challenge where you think the story is going. Most of it will probably break your heart. The rest will make you angry. "I wonder — are all legends kind of warped? The scream of a banshee is supposed to foretell a death, but really it's a warning. They're supposed to be evil ghosts, but they only ever wanted to help. [..]" "I bet if the banshees were men the myths wouldn't have gotten it wrong." What you should know : it's queer, it's family-focused, it's about grief, being heard, belonging, owning up to who you really are, and is rife with secrets. And apples. Lots and lots of apples. Bad apples, nice and normal apples, all kinds. Tell your story. Speak your truth. Shatter the silence. I would definitely recommend reading the author's note when you finish this one. It was educational and even more heartbreaking. I was tempted to rant about the factual elements that make up the backbone of this story, that are woven in amongst the fiction and the fantasy, but. That rant doesn't belong to me. I'm not here to regurgitate or educate on something I know so little about. But.. read it. Read this book. And then go find THE SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND. And continue to enjoy the wonder and weird magic that is a Fowley-Doyle experience. You won't regret it. ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  7. 4 out of 5

    J.A. Ironside

    ARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review I fucking love this book. It's easily one of my favourite reads of 2019. All the Bad Apples follows Deena, who undertakes a quest to find her missing older sister when she vanishes on her seventeenth birthday - apparently in response to the Rys family curse. The curse falls on the 'bad apples' of the family. Those who cannot be 'nice, normal girls'. The ones who have sex outside of marriage or who desire other women or act in any o ARC provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review I fucking love this book. It's easily one of my favourite reads of 2019. All the Bad Apples follows Deena, who undertakes a quest to find her missing older sister when she vanishes on her seventeenth birthday - apparently in response to the Rys family curse. The curse falls on the 'bad apples' of the family. Those who cannot be 'nice, normal girls'. The ones who have sex outside of marriage or who desire other women or act in any other way outside the norm for their gender. Set in Ireland in 2012, against the backdrop of what is still a rigorously Catholic country (though things are gradually changing for the better - the repeal of the 8th amendment making it legal for women who need to to get abortions is a big step in the right direction.) The strictures and attitudes might seem farfetched for 2012, certainly for 2019. They're not. There are still plenty of people, both in Ireland and outside of it, and in the western world at large, who think like the more repressive and conservative characters in this book. I speak from experience having been raised Irish Roman Catholic - it's a special blend of fundamental religious indoctrination and superstition at it's worst. (At it's best, it resulted in me meeting some of the best, kindest and most tolerant people of my life - but honestly the way it was practiced when I was a child and teen, Catholicism was not calculated to bring out the best in its followers.) This isn't just about religion. This is about a system that has been allowed to grow in a way that marginalises women, poc and LGBTQIAP+. It's not so much that's it's anyone's fault, it's that it's everyone's responsibility to try and improve matters; to question; to speak out. Moira Fowley Doyle does an amazing job, via the medium of the Rys family history, of tracing the origins of some of these attitudes. There's no judgment, despite the rage underlying parts of the book. (Fury I shared in fully, having come from this particular Irish background). There's a look at how the Great Famine shaped attitudes, how the English landholders mistreating Irish workers fostered a mindset more geared towards intolerance - when everyone you know is starving to death, it's very hard to find compassion for others' sufferings. From there, we follow the trail through a dark and damning history specifically backed up by the Catholic Church. If you haven't heard of Magdalene Laundries, the church sanctioned mother and baby homes, the Christian Brother orphanages, you will. Be aware that while it's not a gratuitous depiction, it pulls no punches. It was something I knew a lot about and it still had me incandescent with rage. And yet for all that, this is a remarkably hopeful novel all about reclaiming the past - good stories, bad stories, hopeful and despairing stories, family stories but most of all women's stories - and then building a better future out of knowing the past. It had a certain amount of creepiness which I rather relished. And I enjoyed all the references to Irish history and mythology - it made me quite homesick at times. Deena is a sympathetic character, flawed but adventurous. There's no moustache twirling villains here, but also no quarter given for anyone who goes on to perpetuate a cycle of oppression and abuse just because they've come from one themselves. I loved the friend group that formed around Deena, and her family dynamic fell into strange but true and utterly believable territory. I've loved all the authors' books but this is the best one yet. Highly recommend. TW: neglect, abuse, rape (off page), abortion, teen pregnancy, anti LGBT attitudes (always negatively portrayed) and institutional abuse/ infant death (off page)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Acqua

    All the Bad Apples has everything you should expect from a Moïra Fowley-Doyle novel: beautiful atmosphere, blurred lines between the magical and the ordinary, and queer characters. At the same time, it's so much darker and angrier than usual. This felt like the bookish equivalent of a scream. You might think this is a story about a lesbian who has a very traditional catholic father and who is grappling with the consequences of her older sister's disappearance and what might be a family curse, dis All the Bad Apples has everything you should expect from a Moïra Fowley-Doyle novel: beautiful atmosphere, blurred lines between the magical and the ordinary, and queer characters. At the same time, it's so much darker and angrier than usual. This felt like the bookish equivalent of a scream. You might think this is a story about a lesbian who has a very traditional catholic father and who is grappling with the consequences of her older sister's disappearance and what might be a family curse, discovering her family's history in the process. It is, and yet it's not. All the Bad Apples is a story about the crimes of the catholic church, a story about the women whose truths are still buried and untold, a story about Irish history from the point of view of those who are always erased. It's a story about how necessary the separation between church and state is, about how we shouldn't take our victories against bigotry and patriarchal systems for granted. This book made me realize is that I'm kind of tired of reading about Americans' problems. I don't live in Ireland, but for various reasons, what they went through is much more similar to my country's problems. Reading about European countries from a modern European point of view is so refreshing, and I'm glad this book exists. This also meant that for me this book was a lot more horrifying to read than usual. And even if you don't know what it means to deal with catholic fundamentalism, I recommend reading the content warnings at the end of this review. So, why not a higher rating? Because - and this has happened with the other novel I've read by this author too - by the end of the book, I felt like I didn't know any of the characters. Deena is a lesbian, her best friend is a bisexual and biracial black boy, she meets a girl who is also queer during this novel, and there's the beginning of what could be a romance. I always want to get invested in Fowley-Doyle's mostly-queer found families, but I never manage, and - mostly in the second half - the parts about history took over the book, so that the present storyline started to feel stagnant. (It still surprised me, though. I would have never seen any of that coming.) On the historical parts: I loved their message and the point they were making, they just weren't that interesting to read. The problem with multi-generational stories is that I often struggle to get invested in anything historical and with so many characters, but that's more on me that on the book. I would recommend All the Bad Apples to all of those who enjoy Leslye Walton's novels and liked the inter-generational aspect of The Astonishing Color of After. Content warnings for the present storyline: homophobia (challenged, and mostly at the beginning, but it's there right from the first chapter), frequent mentions of what is rumored to be a suicide, controlling parent, bullying Trigger warnings for the parts about family history: incestuous rape (implied), rape of a minor (implied), institutionalization, physical, emotional and religious abuse (mostly told, not shown), one of the main characters' ancestors got burned alive for being gay ("a witch"; again, told not shown), and we're also told about forced pregnancies, abortion, mothers separated from their babies, death of a baby, suicide, a lot of misogyny and bigotry. [I hope I haven't missed anything but there was a lot.]

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kayley Hyde

    4.5/5 ahhhh wow

  10. 5 out of 5

    c,

    (3.5) disappointed @ how this book used the d-slur (and not in a good way) to refer to the mc before using the word lesbian and she never referred to herself as a lesbian like........please can u just have ur LESBIAN mc use the word lesbian once i beg Rep: lesbian mc, biracial (black) bisexual side character, wlw li

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. TRIGGER WARNING: A grandfather drugs, rapes and impregnates his teenage granddaughter. It is not graphically described but it does occur I tend to come out of every Moira Fowley-Doyle book angry but they're always just so damn good. This is a pro-choice and pro-access book. Let's just get that out there. If you're someone who goes full "even in rape, abortion shouldn't be given because it's a gift from God" person, this is not a damn book for you. I remember a few years ago when all of the p TRIGGER WARNING: A grandfather drugs, rapes and impregnates his teenage granddaughter. It is not graphically described but it does occur I tend to come out of every Moira Fowley-Doyle book angry but they're always just so damn good. This is a pro-choice and pro-access book. Let's just get that out there. If you're someone who goes full "even in rape, abortion shouldn't be given because it's a gift from God" person, this is not a damn book for you. I remember a few years ago when all of the protests and anger about abortion access in Ireland happened. I cannot fucking believe there are countries LITERALLY USING THE ARGUMENTS OF THE 1800S TO TRY AND BRING BACK ABORTION BANS. It makes me want to pull my hair out. I cannot imagine thinking you have the right to tell a total stranger--under any circumatances--what they should do with their body and having to be a parent. Mind your own damn business! Anyways, duel timelines were so good. I freaking loved how they slowly started tying together. It so perfectly showed how completely messed up governments with laws directly put there by religious institutions have these multi-generational effects that constantly oppress women, feminism, and access to healthcare. All of the issues brought up were actually big driving forces as to why I won't touch religious institutions with a ten foot poll. It's all hard to read but it's important. I really enjoyed the contemporary timeline with the 3 sisters. Our main character is ownvoices lesbian (I mean it'd be weird not getting any queer rep from a book by Moira Fowley-Doyle). It really brought up this continued fight of separation of Church and religion from publicly funded entities such as schools as well as homophobia. I lived in this pretty wonderful bubble growing up where I had parents and grandparents who never cared what mine or my siblings orientation was. I always saw lots of support groups like GSA's and I just honestly lived in a very diverse geographic area (and a country that legalized same sex/equal marriage and abortion access before it was something I ever thought about) and wonderful time period before Donald Trump. Now I don't doubt that there was homophobia but it was most definitely not a publicly acceptable thing to be. It was quite eye opening to see in 2012 that people were still homophobic. This would've really surprised me maybe 5 years ago but I now live in a very white religious geographic area where I hear homophobic things said all the time. It's quite depressing so even though I am cis and straight, I could see all the homophobia in this novel happening in the real world. The witchy paranormal elements were eery but also just seemed...normal somehow? Maybe I just think Ireland is some magical fairyland with lepricons or something. On a positive note, the ending is a hopeful one. I think that was so important for the topic. That we be positive. That we fight for change. That we keep being loud and pushing and advocating for victims of sexual assaults, for feminism, for safe access to abortions, and to support for single and low income parents. Rep: the main character is lesbian and her best (male) friend is bisexual

  12. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars The Rhys women were cursed, and upon their 17th birthday, all the bad apples fell from the family tree. “You’d know them a mile away. The ones who don’t look like the others, don’t act like the others. The ones who don’t conform, don’t follow the rules . . .The ones who dress differently, love differently, think differently.” However, Mandy was determine to break the curse, and while tracing the family's history, she disappeared. They had a funeral, but Deena didn't believe her si/>“You’d Rating: 4.5 Stars The Rhys women were cursed, and upon their 17th birthday, all the bad apples fell from the family tree. “You’d know them a mile away. The ones who don’t look like the others, don’t act like the others. The ones who don’t conform, don’t follow the rules . . .The ones who dress differently, love differently, think differently.” However, Mandy was determine to break the curse, and while tracing the family's history, she disappeared. They had a funeral, but Deena didn't believe her sister was dead, and when a letter, written in Mandy's hand arrived, Deena was determined to find her and bring her home. This book was part mystery, part history, part family drama, and part coming of age. Fowley-Doyle had characters, who were struggling with their identities, while she also explored the dynamics at play in a very complicated family and the many factors that contributed to it. The star of this tale, though, was the Rhys family history, which included some of the most brutal injustices brought against women and children of Ireland. Through fictional accounts, I learned about the oppression and abuse these women faced. The author approached all topics unflinchingly, from the murder of the lesbian lovers and the imprisonment of young unwed mothers in Magdalene Laundries to the abortion ban, which was only repealed last year. My heart ached for the Rhys women, but all of this was even more powerful and haunting, because I knew it was based on reality. The delivery of the family history packed an even bigger punch, because Fowley-Doyle created an atmosphere with touches of magic, that just amplified the mood. She also did a great job of keeping me unbalanced, and I surprisingly enjoyed it. It all added to the tension that was building as Deena and her friends raced to "the end of the world" to find Mandy and get to the heart of this mystery. It was a wild ride, which was horrifying at times, but ultimately gave way to some hope for the future by educating us about the past. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  13. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    Originally posted to I Should Read That I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review. I absolutely loved Spellbook of the Lost and Found when I read it back in 2017. Ever since then, I’ve been a big fan of Doyle’s fantastic, dream-like writing. All the Bad Apples was a hugely anticipated book for me, and I’m so pleased to say that I loved it even more than I could have hoped. What I love about Doyle’s writing is the way she uses her atmospheric/>I Originally posted to I Should Read That I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review. I absolutely loved Spellbook of the Lost and Found when I read it back in 2017. Ever since then, I’ve been a big fan of Doyle’s fantastic, dream-like writing. All the Bad Apples was a hugely anticipated book for me, and I’m so pleased to say that I loved it even more than I could have hoped. What I love about Doyle’s writing is the way she uses her atmospheric, beautiful, and dreamy style to wrap larger themes into her stories. Spellbook deals with the assault of one of the friends at the party. All the Bad Apples deals with the treatment of Ireland’s women throughout history. Each section of the family tree explores a different period of time and a different trauma that women suffered. From wealthy landowners taking advantage of their tenants, to wise women providing abortions amid whispers of witchcraft, through the more modern mother and baby homes and the anti-abortion laws that put the lives of women in serious danger, Doyle does not shy away from the most shocking and appalling parts of history that many of us would rather forget ever happened. Although this is not a book for the faint of heart (see content warnings below), it is a fiercely feminist book that harnesses female rage. Deena is such a fantastic character and a great conduit for this story. I feel that with the way the story is told, Deena could have been a very flat character that is only meant to move the story of her family’s history along. However, she was a well fleshed-out character that had so much agency and power. One of the best parts of the story for me was watching her become comfortable with her sexuality after she accidentally comes out to her sister and religious father at the beginning of the book. The Deena from the beginning of the book is quite different from the Deena at the end of the book. All the Bad Apples is a scream of rage and feminine fury that so perfectly encompasses the feelings of anger and frustration that so many women are feeling right now. Haunted by the ghosts of Ireland’s past, All the Bad Apples is a book that will linger in your mind long after you turn the last page. CW: incestuous rape of a minor (off-page), abortion, homophobia, abuse, forced pregnancy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

    Oh My God, this book. It shook me to my core. It was so incredibly amazing, I just sat on my bed after I finished reading, hugging the book and feeling million emotions at once. This book gave voice to generations of oppressed women. It told the story and it got the message out. Reading this book was wonderful, spellbinding experience. It was about sisters, mothers, lovers, and queers. About the bad apples, misbehaving girls and women and how the society dealt with them. About the abuse, cruelty Oh My God, this book. It shook me to my core. It was so incredibly amazing, I just sat on my bed after I finished reading, hugging the book and feeling million emotions at once. This book gave voice to generations of oppressed women. It told the story and it got the message out. Reading this book was wonderful, spellbinding experience. It was about sisters, mothers, lovers, and queers. About the bad apples, misbehaving girls and women and how the society dealt with them. About the abuse, cruelty, and discrimination. It was deep, funny, chilling and made me angry. Made me feel so much. I cried at the end. This book touched me somewhere deep inside and moved mountains there.

  15. 4 out of 5

    rikajewellee

    I AM SO FUCKING EXCITED OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD 'spellbook of the lost and found' was mind-blowing, and i'm almost sure this book is going to snatch my wig as well we also have a lesbian mc in this one... iconic af

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mila

    I quite enjoyed the Irish setting of the story, the writing was lovely and descriptive enough and a diverse cast of characters was obviously a plus. The plot, however, relied a lot on stories about the past and it got repetitive quite soon while also interfering with the development of characters in the present time. So I enjoyed this novel but I wish it went into a different direction in some places. A big thank you to the publisher and the Edelweiss+ website for providing me with an ea/>A I quite enjoyed the Irish setting of the story, the writing was lovely and descriptive enough and a diverse cast of characters was obviously a plus. The plot, however, relied a lot on stories about the past and it got repetitive quite soon while also interfering with the development of characters in the present time. So I enjoyed this novel but I wish it went into a different direction in some places. A big thank you to the publisher and the Edelweiss+ website for providing me with an early copy!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Krystle Doria

    I received a physical ARC of this book from bookcon, and I would love to personally thank the girl who recommended it me because I ABSOLUTELY loved this story!!! It is such an important read for women today. All The Bad Apples is also based on true events that sparked the author to write it. It’s so raw and so real, but also has supernatural/ magical aspects to it. The lore of the “banshees” was so interesting and so original. I fell in love with each and every character, but most importantly, I I received a physical ARC of this book from bookcon, and I would love to personally thank the girl who recommended it me because I ABSOLUTELY loved this story!!! It is such an important read for women today. All The Bad Apples is also based on true events that sparked the author to write it. It’s so raw and so real, but also has supernatural/ magical aspects to it. The lore of the “banshees” was so interesting and so original. I fell in love with each and every character, but most importantly, I fell in love with Moira Fowley-Doyle’s writing. It is just so beautiful! It’s femisit, it’s LGBTQ, it deals with grief on all levels, but there is just so much hope and strength packed into this book. I could go on and on but I want everyone to read this for themselves! Highly recommend!

  18. 5 out of 5

    amanda

    Strand by silver strand, I unraveled. Not even going to lie but I will often say that my family is cursed. I’ve said it just a week ago because we have the most awful luck during the summer. So whenever anything bad happens I will gravely intone that the curse is at work and that somebody (aka not me) needs to break it because it is EXHAUSTING. Alas, if only my family curse was as mystical and thrilling as this book’s plot however. I mean it’s still bad but also insanely cool?? The Rys family has had a streak of bad luck for generations. It all co Strand by silver strand, I unraveled. Not even going to lie but I will often say that my family is cursed. I’ve said it just a week ago because we have the most awful luck during the summer. So whenever anything bad happens I will gravely intone that the curse is at work and that somebody (aka not me) needs to break it because it is EXHAUSTING. Alas, if only my family curse was as mystical and thrilling as this book’s plot however. I mean it’s still bad but also insanely cool?? The Rys family has had a streak of bad luck for generations. It all comes to a head when Deena’s wild and devil-may-care sister Mandy disappears after a night of grave warnings. The air is thick with the scent of apples. It’s ripe, tart, pungent, and in the distance there is a scream. It sounds like a cat, a fox maybe? But in her heart Deena knows what it really is. The tell tale call of a banshee. Letters from the presumed to be dead Mandy soon arrive that state it is not just bad luck that follows the Rys family but a curse. Mandy has gone to track down and stop the source of the curse and Deena sets out to follow her. Whether this is by plucking out each and every bad apple one by one, or savoring them all until the very bitter end. Ya’ll mind if I just…scream for a moment here? PHENOMENAL I’ve been reading so many great books lately and this on top of it is just…simply beautiful my god. From the start I knew it was going to be one of those novels that cuts me to the core. I KNEW I would have to put on my fave list and I was NOT wrong in the least. This writing is hauntingly modern and woven with magical realism and Irish folklore. It’s simplistic but it hits hard and that’s my favorite kind of writing style. Tell me hard, cruel things in a language I understand so I can fall to knees and sob my pain out. PLEASE. UWUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Deena as a main character is amazing. Firstly, she’s a lesbian. She’s struggling coming out to her family not so much to her sisters but her dad is a raging dickhead. The girls at her school also suck. Her friends however are awesome. Finn, you bisexual beauty you. And Cale. Oh my god. Lesbian, bewitching beauty. I also have to give it up to Deena’s aunts. The twin sisters Rachel and Mandy. Mandy is a fuck up extremely and yes, a lot in the book IS her fault but I still have to love her because we share a name. Rachel really holds it down and I admire her oh so much. As the oldest, smartest, most beautiful sister myself. I GET HA. I really loved the symbolism in this. I loved the witchcraft and the power. The bull. Man, that goddamn bull. He tried and in the end he did what needed to be done. I really couldn’t find any fault in this whatsoever other than it made me cry a lot on my day off work but sometimes that kind of release is needed. Also…We learned about how utterly useless and evil men are. Total WASTES. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. Read and be pissed with me. My own family is huge. My dad is the 8th born of 9 brothers and sisters and my mom has 6 brothers and sisters herself. I have over 100 cousins and so many aunts and uncles I get winded just thinking about them all I think this is why I absolutely love reading about family dynamics. I love looking into the past even though I know things were (and still are) extremely fucked up. All the Bad Apples highlights this family’s past and what happened to them and some of it is very difficult to read but that’s what makes a family tree. Some of our truths and those webs are not pretty in the slightest. We can learn to grow from our history though, we can do better from the past. That’s one of the major themes in this books and it’s taught very well. My favorite part in this book however ??? It gave me the strongest craving for apples. Tart and bitter. Crisp and ripe. I want. I need. There’s no way to climb back onto the family tree.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Oh my goodness, this book. I barely had an inkling of what All The Bad Apples had in store for me, and I’m actually glad for that. It made discovering this book all the more bittersweet. See, there is a deep message under all the beautiful, lyrical writing. By the time I reached the ending of this story, I was in tears. I’d honestly be surprised if you aren’t as well. Deena lives in a world where being a “nice, normal girl” is what is expected. Raised by her older sister, judged from Oh my goodness, this book. I barely had an inkling of what All The Bad Apples had in store for me, and I’m actually glad for that. It made discovering this book all the more bittersweet. See, there is a deep message under all the beautiful, lyrical writing. By the time I reached the ending of this story, I was in tears. I’d honestly be surprised if you aren’t as well. Deena lives in a world where being a “nice, normal girl” is what is expected. Raised by her older sister, judged from afar by her absent father, attending a strict Catholic school, Deena feels hemmed in. She notes the girls around her who are brave enough to stand tall, to show their true colors, but she doesn’t know how to be one of them. This is why I loved Deena, and why I’m so glad that she was our main character. She wasn’t immediately fierce, but instead her bravery grew as she went on the journey to find her missing sister. A hero’s journey, if you will. Each piece of the puzzle that fell into place, each lesson learned from her ancestors, brought her closer and closer to the person that she wanted to be. It was a beautiful, brutally honest journey, and it was just perfect. I loved how Fowley-Doyle was able to bring in so much rich, albeit damning, history into this story. Deena’s journey is told in alternating chapters between current day Ireland, and historical Ireland. Within these chapters, the author starkly lays out the similarities between people who lived hundereds of years ago, and the girls who are involved in the modern day story. It’s terrifying how much similarity there is between the two of them. There’s a definite focus on the people considered to be on the fringes of society, or the bad apples if you will. People who dared to love outside of the “norm”. People who looked different, or acted different, or merely wanted something more than what society told them they should have. I can’t express enough how poignant all of that is. I don’t want to spoil anything, since this is something to discover, but reading the author’s note at the end broke my heart in two. I had no idea of this history before this book, and I’m so glad that it was all laid out for me in such a spectacular way. Admittedly, you’ll need to suspend disbelief to really appreciate this story. It reads much like the fairy tales of old, where good things happen to good people and true villains are as human as the rest of us. It reads in an almost magical mannner, blurring that line between the real world and the fairy tale one that lurks underneath. I thought it was a perfect way to tell this sometimes tragic and sometimes hopeful tale. I ended with a full heart, and that’s pretty much the best explanation I can give you as to why you need to read this book. If you’re looking for something historically based, that will enchant you and make you cry, this is your book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Moonlight Reader

    I fell in love with Moira Fowley-Doyle's style when I read her first book, The Accident Season. I enjoyed her second book as well. This book blew me away. Ireland's troubled and abusive history + queer kids + feminism + rage + reproductive rights + magical realism. Gorgeous words and a powerful story. Highly recommended.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lamees

    I adored Doyle's descriptions and characterisation. Such an interesting story with incredible messages behind it. I loved the setting and I adored every character (maybe apart from finn) I got easily invested which was great. Only problem is that I predicted one of the main plottwists from the end of chapter 1 :o. But that was just a lucky fluke since I stopped thinking I was right when they actually filled that hole with another character. The take away from this book was fantastic and it was s I adored Doyle's descriptions and characterisation. Such an interesting story with incredible messages behind it. I loved the setting and I adored every character (maybe apart from finn) I got easily invested which was great. Only problem is that I predicted one of the main plottwists from the end of chapter 1 :o. But that was just a lucky fluke since I stopped thinking I was right when they actually filled that hole with another character. The take away from this book was fantastic and it was such a great touch to put the help lines at the end of the book. Over all a great read

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manon the Malicious

    I was provided an ARC by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I don't have words. This was gold. If you haven't read it, you should do it now. It's honestly one of the very best books I've read so far this year, if not the best one. And the two gorgeous covers only help magnify just how excellent this book is. Moïra's writing is not only incredibly beautiful, it's powerful as hell. I can't wait to read her other books. I don't even know what else to say. It's I was provided an ARC by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I don't have words. This was gold. If you haven't read it, you should do it now. It's honestly one of the very best books I've read so far this year, if not the best one. And the two gorgeous covers only help magnify just how excellent this book is. Moïra's writing is not only incredibly beautiful, it's powerful as hell. I can't wait to read her other books. I don't even know what else to say. It's just perfection.

  23. 4 out of 5

    chloe ♡

    “you were saying something about bad apples when i first got here, right? what was it again?” “you know the kind,” she went on as if i hadn’t spoken. “you’d know them a mile away. the ones who don’t look like the others, don’t act like the others. the ones who don’t conform, don’t follow the rules, don’t go to church on sunday. the ones who run away, make their own lives. the ones who drink too much, talk too much, don’t work enough or at the right things. the ones who dress differently, love differently, “you were saying something about bad apples when i first got here, right? what was it again?” “you know the kind,” she went on as if i hadn’t spoken. “you’d know them a mile away. the ones who don’t look like the others, don’t act like the others. the ones who don’t conform, don’t follow the rules, don’t go to church on sunday. the ones who run away, make their own lives. the ones who drink too much, talk too much, don’t work enough or at the right things. the ones who dress differently, love differently, think differently.” this is my first time reading a moïra fowley-doyle novel, and there is something special and magical in her storytelling. i finished this book in one sitting, which may have something to do with my jet lag, but is mostly due to how gripping her writing is – i just can’t wait to see what happens next. one of the best things about this book is how the story is structured and told. we are allowed little peeks at the past in mandy’s letters to deena (view spoiler)[(which later turn out to be forged by deena herself) (hide spoiler)] along the way, and i loved finding out more about the history of deena’s family, as well as ireland bit by bit. the parts about the magdalene laundries, physical abuse of pregnant teenagers and their children, as well as homophobia, were difficult to read. they made me so angry, and i was shocked that it’s my first time reading about the dark side of ireland’s history. the world needs to know about this. especially in this day and age, where abortion is still illegal in some parts of the world, we need to educate ourselves on the consequences the bans bring and how people’s lives and wellbeing are threatened as a result. the past will only keep repeating itself as long as we’re kept powerless by our silence. and i love, love, looove the diversity. the protagonist, deena, is lesbian, and she has a bisexual and black best friend, finn. and afterwards they meet cale, who’s queer too. it’s heartwarming seeing them click immediately, right after meeting each other, and getting closer throughout this little impromptu road trip. one thing i didn’t like about all the bad apples though, was that the romance is not yet fully developed. you can’t just give me an absolutely amazing kiss scene and leave me hanging! i was so excited and looking forward to how deena and cale’s relationship would turn out, and i was left disappointed and heartbroken. how dare you do this to me. i demand a sequel! i highly recommend all the bad apples, especially if you’re a fan of magical realism and teenagers speaking out. it’s such a powerful book and i can’t wait for more people to read it. trigger warnings: abortion, homophobia, suicide, physical abuse, rape this review first appeared on my blog, marshmallow pudding. https://marshmallowpudding.home.blog/...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily (emilykatereads)

    "This is what a curse does: It takes a truth and twists it. It punishes those who don't conform. It sets the parameters of conformity so narrow that few can actually stick to them." This book is so heartbreakingly beautiful. Told in stories between the past and the present, we follow a family history that involves a curse on its women. The female bad apples of the family are cursed, and knocked off the family tree when they turn seventeen. It's a story about being a woman in a world that hates women. In a world run/>This "This is what a curse does: It takes a truth and twists it. It punishes those who don't conform. It sets the parameters of conformity so narrow that few can actually stick to them." This book is so heartbreakingly beautiful. Told in stories between the past and the present, we follow a family history that involves a curse on its women. The female bad apples of the family are cursed, and knocked off the family tree when they turn seventeen. It's a story about being a woman in a world that hates women. In a world run by the patriarchy that sets such a strict guideline for where women belong. It's a story about the power of sharing your story and breaking the curse. It's a story fueled by rage. It's a story of fiction, but can be so true of so many people facing these issues in the real world. It's a timely story about reproductive rights in a world that wants to lessen them. It's about the toxic combination of the church and the state, and how old beliefs are upheld and harm those who don't conform. It's a story that's hard to read, because it's so damn relevant. But I loved it. The writing is so achingly beautiful and atmospheric, and it really brings the setting to life. Reality and magic are blended so hand-in-hand that you can't tell where the real world ends and the fictional begins. The past and present are interwoven seamlessly into the story, as our present characters uncover their past. As we read about so many characters while uncovering this cursed family history, we don't get to know our present characters as well, but I didn't feel that diminished the story for me. It's not so much about the specific people in this story, but rather the narrative as a whole that they represent and that the things that they face aren't just their obstacles. They're the obstacles of many people from the past to the present. It's more allegorical than so much about Deena's story. Yeah, this is Deena's story, but it's the story of so many others as well. I recommend this to anyone, but some should caution the trigger warnings before reading. This book heavily features verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, suicide, homophobia, misogyny, murder, abortion, child neglect/abuse. Although, none of these are in the story for shock-factor whatsoever. They're all there for a purpose and to show the historical treatment of women and non-conforming people. *ARC provided by the publisher for honest review* Review can also be found on my blog!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin Wilson

    I feel like this is such an important read. Moira Fowley-Doyle is an auto-buy author for me. However, while reading through the author's note one line just hit so hard, "This novel was, in part, fuelled by rage." Living in Ireland in 2018 and 2019 and seeing the events around the Repeal the 8th vote, this story and the history it carried held so much weight and importance. The author told these characters' stories which represented so many women's and families' stories from all over Ireland in I feel like this is such an important read. Moira Fowley-Doyle is an auto-buy author for me. However, while reading through the author's note one line just hit so hard, "This novel was, in part, fuelled by rage." Living in Ireland in 2018 and 2019 and seeing the events around the Repeal the 8th vote, this story and the history it carried held so much weight and importance. The author told these characters' stories which represented so many women's and families' stories from all over Ireland in a way that wasn't preaching her own beliefs but made you walk in the characters shoes. Feel their feelings as messy and imperfect as people can be. The Irish myth of the Banshee's curse almost felt like a metaphor for the shattering of silence, of women taking their voice back and speaking their rage to the world. Of breaking the stigma and curse as Moira Fowley-Doyle went on to say. It sent shivers down my spine with how strong and powerful the image was.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    4.5/5 Stars (rating may change)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gabriela Pop

    4.5/5 Another superb novel from one of the key voices in Irish YA. Moira bring a human element to the greater scale tragedies; this book balances perfectly an important, painfully timeless message with an engaging, fun, wild story. The outright feminist critique, deconstruction and reframing of mythical narratives in this is superb; through her characters, Moira questions tradition, including that of storytelling - she points out questionable ways of how we tell stories and are often thought not 4.5/5 Another superb novel from one of the key voices in Irish YA. Moira bring a human element to the greater scale tragedies; this book balances perfectly an important, painfully timeless message with an engaging, fun, wild story. The outright feminist critique, deconstruction and reframing of mythical narratives in this is superb; through her characters, Moira questions tradition, including that of storytelling - she points out questionable ways of how we tell stories and are often thought not to question them as well as who tells the stories and whose voices go silenced. All The Bad Apples is the story of the Ireland of today, while simultaneously evoking an Ireland of the past and the rocky path it has set for its people. This is the kind of book that should be necessary reading when discussing an idyllic Ireland to come. ** Not a full 5/5 because I had some minor issues with the pacing but a superb novel nonetheless**

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    There are stories that just grip you and crush you into tiny little pieces. All the Bad Apples was one of those stories for me. All the Bad Apples is a force of its own. Combining contemporary and magical realism, its story weaves together intergenerational stories of the women of the Rys family – a long history deeply rooted and intertwined with Ireland’s own unspoken history of Catholic fundamentalism, discrimination, and institutional abuse. Queer representation Though there wasn’t much racial diversit/>/>All There are stories that just grip you and crush you into tiny little pieces. All the Bad Apples was one of those stories for me. All the Bad Apples is a force of its own. Combining contemporary and magical realism, its story weaves together intergenerational stories of the women of the Rys family – a long history deeply rooted and intertwined with Ireland’s own unspoken history of Catholic fundamentalism, discrimination, and institutional abuse. Queer representation Though there wasn’t much racial diversity in this story (Finn is the only black character in the book. The rest were white,) queer representation is not a problem for this standalone. The main character, Deena, and her possible love interest Cale are both lesbians. Finn, Deena’s best friend. Mary Ellen, Deena’s great-great-grandmother, and Ann, Cale’s great-great-great-great-aunt, were in a relationship. Before that, Mary Ellen was with Deena’s philandering great-great-grandfather. Read the full review on my blog In Between Book Pages.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    All the Bad Apples checks all my boxes: a road trip to uncover family secrets, a spotlight on women, ancient magic bleeding into the modern, and the use of past tense in a contemporary(ish) YA. It's also the closest thing to Kali Wallace's The Memory Trees I've read in the past two years, and I can't tell you how giddy that makes me. Let's get this out of the way first: the prose alone makes me want to read everything F owley-Doyle has written and will ever write in the future (and I'm kicking mysel All the Bad Apples checks all my boxes: a road trip to uncover family secrets, a spotlight on women, ancient magic bleeding into the modern, and the use of past tense in a contemporary(ish) YA. It's also the closest thing to Kali Wallace's The Memory Trees I've read in the past two years, and I can't tell you how giddy that makes me. Let's get this out of the way first: the prose alone makes me want to read everything F owley-Doyle has written and will ever write in the future (and I'm kicking myself that she hasn't been on my radar until now). It's quiet, addicting, and sensual, and it winds through you like a drug. Add to that the atmosphere of it all--curses and storms and the scent of apples moving through the air--and you have a recipe for pure decadence. The story is contemporary interspersed with magical realism, and the latter are appropriately magical and chilling, but what amazes me is that even the contemporary bits feel textured and rich. So very old and loaded with everything--magic, history, the lives of their ancestors reaching forward to touch them. The book understands that there are places in this world that share a space with the past. Places where the past is so looming and loud that you almost feel it as a physical presence. You move from one rundown location to the next throughout the story, all of them spilling with history, and the author makes sure that you feel the weight of each one. It's beautifully done. At the core of it, though, is a poignant story of a teenage girl's attempt to break a cycle of bigotry and secrets and abuse that left me touched and seething in each equal measure. You tell your story and the story of your family. You speak your truth. You shatter the stigma. You hold your head up to the world and speak so that everyone else who was ever like you can recognize themselves. Can see that they aren't alone. Can see how the past will only keep repeating itself as long as we're kept powerless by our silence. I do wish the second half of the book had been a bit longer, though, and that the events leading up to the end were more drawn out. The follow through on the side characters (minus Deena's sisters) was also kind of disappointing. Don't get me wrong, they're all very interesting and had the foundation to be complex characters, and the romance between Deena and Cale ("short-haired punky witch girl," in Deena's words) was developing nicely, but their stories get neglected in the last 1/3 of the book, which is a massive shame because I feel like they had so much more to offer. But those are small complaints. Ultimately, All the Bad Apples is a book that deserve a place on your shelf. It's got the atmosphere of a fable and the anger of the best feminist stories that exist in the world, and it'll leave you with the lingering taste of apples in your mouth.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alison (Story-eyed Reviews)

    I had no idea what to expect when I dove into All the Bad Apples, but I shouldn’t have worried: I enjoyed this immensely. All the Bad Apples is a magical story full of atmosphere, mystery, and a twisted sense of whimsy. This book is about women, shame, and family while also being a comment on the punishment that the world dishes out to girls who aren’t “nice and normal.” It is so relevant. Deena in particular is a great female main character. She felt whole and fleshed out, I had no idea what to expect when I dove into All the Bad Apples, but I shouldn’t have worried: I enjoyed this immensely. All the Bad Apples is a magical story full of atmosphere, mystery, and a twisted sense of whimsy. This book is about women, shame, and family while also being a comment on the punishment that the world dishes out to girls who aren’t “nice and normal.” It is so relevant. Deena in particular is a great female main character. She felt whole and fleshed out, and wielded so much agency and power for a young girl. I love that she develops over the story in more than one way; sexuality, religion, strength. She was a different character at the end of the book than she was at the beginning and that development felt so reasonable and empathetic. I also loved the background of Ireland for this particular story. The story is so woven into the culture and identity of its setting. I lived in Ireland for a short time, and the intensity of religion and community shown in this book felt very real to me. All the Bad Apples is a story that digs deeply into how the history of a place and a culture can gradually change and twist the views of thousands of people. Very interested to read. Overall, I just really enjoyed this. I loved the Irish setting, I loved the descriptive and beautiful writing style, I loved the diverse cast in race, sexuality, gender. This book is angry in all the best ways, almost cathartic in the ways that so many women and girls are feeling frustration right now. If you’re looking for something mysterious and atmospheric, and also a little different, this may be the book for you. Look for this one on shelves on August 27th!

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