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Bad Apple PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

Bad Apple

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Bad Apple PDF, ePub eBook "If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am." High-school junior Tola Riley has green hair, a nose ring, an attitude problem, and a fondness for fairy tales, which are a great escape from real life. Everyone thinks she's crazy; everyone says so. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He gets her paintings and lets her ha "If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am." High-school junior Tola Riley has green hair, a nose ring, an attitude problem, and a fondness for fairy tales, which are a great escape from real life. Everyone thinks she's crazy; everyone says so. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He gets her paintings and lets her hang out in the art room during lonely lunch periods. But then rumors start flying and Tola is suddenly the center of a scandal. The whole town is judging her—even her family. When Mr. Mymer is suspended for what everyone thinks is an affair, she has no choice but to break her silence. Fairy tales won't help her this time . . . so how can she tell the truth? And, more importantly, will anyone believe her?

30 review for Bad Apple

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mcbroom

    Tola Riley is a misunderstood artist who is obsessed with fairy tales. At age 16, she is trying to find her identity and footing in the world. She bonds with the new art teacher Mr. Mylner who understands her. After an innocent visit to a museumn with she and Mr. Mylner rumours fly. Finally through her art, Tola stands up for herself. That would be my favorite part of the book. Instead of loud name calling and postering, one can express themselves quietly and powerful through their art.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hilda

    A good book with smooth writing and a thoughtful message. Many people think Tola Riley as a really strange girl. A girl with too much imagination. A freakish green-haired girl. A girl who has piercing on her nose and maybe some mysterious parts on her body. The hottest news about Tola Riley is, she has affair with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer, and the teacher gets suspended because of their love thing. People talk about Tola all the time. Classmates mock her. Enemies stalk her. Family refuses to tal A good book with smooth writing and a thoughtful message. Many people think Tola Riley as a really strange girl. A girl with too much imagination. A freakish green-haired girl. A girl who has piercing on her nose and maybe some mysterious parts on her body. The hottest news about Tola Riley is, she has affair with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer, and the teacher gets suspended because of their love thing. People talk about Tola all the time. Classmates mock her. Enemies stalk her. Family refuses to talk about the affair issue. Reporters digging news around the neighborhood, interviewing everyone who thinks that they know the real story. Do they really know? No one ever listens, so why bother to explain? Why not leave up to their expectation? Why not enjoy the amusement of being a bad girl? The truth is not as glamour as it sounds. Tola does dye her hair emerald green, and the only piercing she has is on her nose. She is a talented artist who loves to paint based on her fairytales fantasy. She loves Grimm’s fairytales very much and she loves to bring Grimm’s book all the time because she wants to remind people that fairytales are grim. And Tola is never, ever has an affair with her art teacher. She’s friends with Mr. Mymer, yes, and she does accidentally meet him in the museum that day. But nothing has ever gone between them. No one has bothered to listen anyway. Everyone quickly jump into conclusion that Tola is a confused, young girl who has been persuaded by her art teacher. Tola’s mother is furious, and she will do anything to make Mr. Mymer fired. No one will listen, because Tola is a liar. Will Tola tell the truth? Will people believe in her? And most importantly, will her family finally listen to her and break the ice between them? Bad Apple is a simple and quick-read book, and I enjoy reading it. Tola’s character seems very real to me with her artistic side and her obsession with fairytales. Tola is very fond of telling the fairytales when people are begging her to tell the truth. Fairytales, with the twist of fate and wicked step-mother, seem like a sort of escape for Tola. Ever since her father leaved her family, Tola always tells fairytales, so much that people call her liar. There will be times when you start wondering: who is telling the truth, Tola or people around her? Sometimes you can’t tell whether Tola is making up fairytale to herself or she speaks honestly. I am pleased that Tola and her family are growing up throughout the story. I don’t feel quiet much attachment with this book though. I think there are not much left stories about supporting characters like June or Seven. Still, I like this book, the repeatedly mentioned of some fairytales, and the clear message of the story. You have to figure out what you believe all for yourself. Read other reviews in my blog! :) Catch the Lune

  3. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This was disappointing. This book was all telling and very little showing. It felt like there were way too many loose ends and the whole sister thing with the name etc. just felt tacked on and pointless.

  4. 5 out of 5

    julieta

    "Sometimes depressed people see the world differently.” “Maybe they see it for what it really is.” “What is it?” “Crap.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yin Chien 인첸

    A bad apple is often used to describe a troublesome person, coming from the quotation "one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel". It seems, to everyone, that Tola Riley is a bad apple. She has green hair, a great love for fairy tales and art, and is involved in a scandal with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer. Her whole world is turning upside down. Vicious rumors are spreading like wildfire through the school, and an anonymously-created website called thetruthabouttolariley.com is telling lies about h A bad apple is often used to describe a troublesome person, coming from the quotation "one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel". It seems, to everyone, that Tola Riley is a bad apple. She has green hair, a great love for fairy tales and art, and is involved in a scandal with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer. Her whole world is turning upside down. Vicious rumors are spreading like wildfire through the school, and an anonymously-created website called thetruthabouttolariley.com is telling lies about her. As anyone could have predicted, no one believes what Tola claimed to be: that Mr. Mymer is innocent and she is not involved in an affair with him. Tola is weird, but special in a different way - she is quirky and funny. I like the romance that is budding between Seven and her, and I wish that Laura had written more about this. Aside from her grandfather, her best friend June is the only one who is supporting her and keeping her sane throughout the whole "affair" thing. The bad girl in this story - Chelsea Patrick has an inclination towards hurting her ex-friend. She is crazily wicked, but that makes her character more realistic because there really are people like her. I love the humour this book has offered. It made me laugh and kept me interested. In my opinion, Laura has done a good job on portraying every character in the story, mainly the artistic Tola, her supportive grandfather, and her always-depressed sister. She also included comments by Tola's classmates, school administrators, and family members at the end of each chapter to let us know about their different point of views on her unpleasant situation. However, the ending was a tad bit disappointing. I had wanted something more climatic, something more impressive. In a few words, Bad Apple was a bizarre, humourous and enjoyable read. It is a story about truth, family, friendship and love. If you like reading about fairy tales with good endings, do pick this book up! :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alea

    Bad Apple has a perfectly weird sense of humor. For me it just worked. From Tola insisting on referring to her sister Tiffany as Madge to "Madge" being somewhat of a strange character herself. It really just worked for me, the author created a sassy, quirky, and awesome main character in Tola and a handful of other oddballs in the secondary characters. I really liked the plot as well. Did something inappropriate happen between Tola and her art teacher or did someone lie or blow it out of proporti Bad Apple has a perfectly weird sense of humor. For me it just worked. From Tola insisting on referring to her sister Tiffany as Madge to "Madge" being somewhat of a strange character herself. It really just worked for me, the author created a sassy, quirky, and awesome main character in Tola and a handful of other oddballs in the secondary characters. I really liked the plot as well. Did something inappropriate happen between Tola and her art teacher or did someone lie or blow it out of proportion. What really happened? What is revealed is an intriguing web of gossip, mean girls, truth and lies, innocence and guilt. It sure gave me a lot to think about. Another interesting thing about the book were quotes from characters after each chapter about stuff that had just been discussed in that chapter. It helped move along the story in an interesting way, how it was sort of outside of the actual story but at the same time not. For me it's a rather detailed book with a lot of different layers! If you are looking for something bizarre and humorous Bad Apple might be a perfect fit for you!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Not what I expected, but in a good way

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arminzerella

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Tola Riley loves Grimm’s fairy tales and incorporates their themes and stories into her artwork. She’s a bit of an outcast – small, strange, green-haired – and becomes more so when her sociopathic classmate Chelsea Patrick catches her having what appears to be an affair with her art teacher. The art teacher is put on probation pending an investigation, and Tola becomes the worst kind of celebrity – the one everyone points at, talks about, and feels comfortable humiliating. Even though nothing ha Tola Riley loves Grimm’s fairy tales and incorporates their themes and stories into her artwork. She’s a bit of an outcast – small, strange, green-haired – and becomes more so when her sociopathic classmate Chelsea Patrick catches her having what appears to be an affair with her art teacher. The art teacher is put on probation pending an investigation, and Tola becomes the worst kind of celebrity – the one everyone points at, talks about, and feels comfortable humiliating. Even though nothing happened between them, Tola’s secret shame is how much she wanted something to have happened. When she reached out to touch Mr. Mymer’s hand in the café at the art gallery (where they met by accident), she desperately hoped that he would reciprocate, share her feelings. This is Tola Riley’s version of the truth about what happened. But it’s not just the story of the investigation and the half-truths she told; it’s also the story of her family (her parents’ divorce, her mother’s infidelity, her sister’s depression, her father’s new wife, her grandfather’s illness), her friendships, and the way she finally gets everyone to listen to her. I loved Tola’s artwork (Laura Ruby’s descriptions of it), vision, and spirit. She found and expressed herself through her art, and it’s easy to see why she might have reached out to the one person (Mr. Mymer) who really listened to her when everything else in her life seemed to be falling apart. Chelsea Patrick, on the other hand, is a real piece of work. What do we do about the Chelsea Patricks in our lives? How you do fight back? How do you stop them? How do you fix them? For all the Grimm references, there’s no actual magic in this tale, just the story of a teenage girl who is fighting her demons and hungry for understanding. Excerpt: “’If other people thought art was important, then it would be required to graduate. But no, I don’t have to take art. I do have to take math, which is just a waste of time because the numbers get all switched up in my brain, plus, calculators exist for a reason. I do have to take history, which is basically memorizing tariff acts till your brain bleeds. I do have to take four years of gym class with a bunch of jerks who punch me if they don’t like what I say. But art? Optional. Even though art and music and literature and all that are what make us human. Algebra doesn’t make us human. Games don’t make us human.’” (pp. 167-168) Incidentally, Seven and the cupcakes and wanting to be a pastry chef and all of the recipes for mayonnaise? Love. Read this. K. thx. bai.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com Tola Riley is, well, unique to say the least. With her green hair, nose ring, and intense love of art, it is no wonder that she is so misunderstood by her high school peers. There is one person though who just gets her: Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. While some people might not understand this relationship, Tola is fine with it, as she is so used to being misunderstood. When her relationship with Mr. Mymer gets blown out of proportion though, Tola finds herself i Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com Tola Riley is, well, unique to say the least. With her green hair, nose ring, and intense love of art, it is no wonder that she is so misunderstood by her high school peers. There is one person though who just gets her: Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. While some people might not understand this relationship, Tola is fine with it, as she is so used to being misunderstood. When her relationship with Mr. Mymer gets blown out of proportion though, Tola finds herself in the middle of a scandal. Even though she tries to tell everyone the truth, no one will believe her and she continues through the year as an even bigger misfit. On top of this, Tola consistently deals with multiple family problems, friend problems, and of course the day-to-day issues of just being a teenager. I have to say that the author, Laura Ruby, has the teenage personality down to a T. Tola was very real and I had no problem envisioning her as a person. Ms. Ruby did a really good job making the reader feel connected to the characters, playing on the reader's heartstrings and making them truly connect with Tola. However, while I felt that Tola was well-developed, none of the other supporting characters were developed at all. Yes, there were a few minutes where they almost felt real, but then they seemed to fall right back into the pages. The author did create a very interesting plot. It took a different perspective on the whole student-teacher affair, which seems to be a theme that has become very popular in YA books. I also really enjoyed how the plot looked at how one event in a family can affect each member differently. Overall, the storyline was very realistic and I could easily picture this same situation happening in many high schools. I liked this book. The ending was absolutely fabulous, probably the best part of the book, and had me in fits of laughter. I look forward to checking out Laura Ruby's other books and I highly suggest you check out BAD APPLE when you are looking for some very realistic teen fiction.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Clever writing (almost too clever sometimes), good pacing, a decent amount of conclusion for a novel that leaves you asking more questions at the last page then you were on page 3. Surprisingly good characterization for the most part, although the MC's sister Tiffany is far more interesting and well-executed than Tola is herself. Ruby handles the slight romantic subplot with tact that delights me. And I respect that she didn't make Tola some prodigy, only a kid who likes to make art and doesn' Clever writing (almost too clever sometimes), good pacing, a decent amount of conclusion for a novel that leaves you asking more questions at the last page then you were on page 3. Surprisingly good characterization for the most part, although the MC's sister Tiffany is far more interesting and well-executed than Tola is herself. Ruby handles the slight romantic subplot with tact that delights me. And I respect that she didn't make Tola some prodigy, only a kid who likes to make art and doesn't really care what anyone thinks of it - or at least, she thinks she doesn't. Also relatable. Ruby could have kicked herself in the knee with the glibness of her dialogue and the format of her novel, but it worked. Surprisingly, it worked. And maybe that's why I'm having trouble consolidating my thoughts enough to write this review. It's a glossy cover, for sure. A story that entertains. But it doesn't leave me with the feeling I usually have after reading a novel that "worked," whatever that means. Perhaps I'm picky. Perhaps I'm only disappointed that YA is the future of literature like abstraction is the future of art. Perhaps I hoped that this book would deal with the nature of the heavy issues it addresses, instead of distracting the reader with the unreliability of its narrator. Because when I think back on how little critical-to-the-plot information Ruby actually conveyed, I feel dissatisfied. In my mind, writing a book that makes your reader end up feeling dissatisfied is akin to playing a game of cards with only half the deck, or worse, replacing the missing cards with the wrong ones. There's no purpose for it. But hey, I'm not Laura Ruby.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Reading Sarah

    A sorta fairy tale. I believe you can tell a lot about us by the stories we tell about ourselves. Tola's (whose name is from a shortened Italian Cinderella) stories are told through her art. The stories about her are told through the internet and vicious rumors spreading like wildfire through the school. No one believes her, and she's established early on as an unreliable narrator. It doesn't help that the rumors are getting her and her favorite teacher in a lot of trouble. There are so many deli A sorta fairy tale. I believe you can tell a lot about us by the stories we tell about ourselves. Tola's (whose name is from a shortened Italian Cinderella) stories are told through her art. The stories about her are told through the internet and vicious rumors spreading like wildfire through the school. No one believes her, and she's established early on as an unreliable narrator. It doesn't help that the rumors are getting her and her favorite teacher in a lot of trouble. There are so many delicate elements to this story: Tola's family, her friends--past and present, prince charming, her art, her obsession with the Bros. Grimm and her own wicked stepmother, and the teacher in question. Though I must admit that, of course, my favorite character is the blip of the School Media Specialist, Ms. Esme (who fights against censorship and gives Tola subversive materials.) The characters are so strong, the story fluid and for the most part, very well paced. The humor fits well and never seems forced. Oh, and the hero is an aspiring pastry chef, and since my own personal prince charming is currently in pastry school, I can totally appreciate a prince charming who woes through baked goods. I saw Laura Ruby talk on a panel about Sex in YA Lit at ALA last Monday. I didn't remember her as the author of the ARC I'd just started, but when I put the two things together it totally made sense. She tackles tough topics in such an amazing and inventive way. Well played, Laura Ruby.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sashi Kaufman

    I so wish this book had a different cover because the cover makes it seem like it's going to be some smutty drama and it's so much better than that! Ruby's writing is fantastic as is her rendering of this main character going through the hell of being accused of having a relationship with a teacher. Ultimately it's a book about the sadder quieter topic of loneliness and quirkiness which was done quite well.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jyoti

    It was a fast read. Kept you wondering if she really did what everyone thought she did.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Aspinwall

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The overall concept was interesting. However, I had a few issues with some of the characters. The main character, Tola, is supposed to be 16, but countless times throughout the novel, I found myself picturing her as a middle schooler. Why? Her actions are extremely juvenile. I also had a problem with Chelsea's character. Chelsea, while being a horrible person, is unrealistic and not a fully fleshed out character. Ruby mentions Chelsea's backstory briefly in a comment, but she leaves it unresolve The overall concept was interesting. However, I had a few issues with some of the characters. The main character, Tola, is supposed to be 16, but countless times throughout the novel, I found myself picturing her as a middle schooler. Why? Her actions are extremely juvenile. I also had a problem with Chelsea's character. Chelsea, while being a horrible person, is unrealistic and not a fully fleshed out character. Ruby mentions Chelsea's backstory briefly in a comment, but she leaves it unresolved, which leaves the reader a bit confused. The first part of the book seemed to drag, but the end saves this book, making it a 3/5 star rating.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karjiana

    One of my favorite reads so far this year! I read it in two sittings. I loved the main character (Tola). There are so many things I loved about this book that I'm likely to forget to mention something in this review: - The author's writing style is EVERYTHING! - The family dynamic was super interesting and made for the story/characters to feel that much more fleshed out - I love that the sister wasn't the typical foil to Tola's loner, sarcastic, dark-humored personality, like many YA books tend to One of my favorite reads so far this year! I read it in two sittings. I loved the main character (Tola). There are so many things I loved about this book that I'm likely to forget to mention something in this review: - The author's writing style is EVERYTHING! - The family dynamic was super interesting and made for the story/characters to feel that much more fleshed out - I love that the sister wasn't the typical foil to Tola's loner, sarcastic, dark-humored personality, like many YA books tend to do. She was just as flawed, if not more, as Tola - The romance between Tola and Seven was really sweet - I loved seeing the relationship between Tola and her parents develop as the story progressed - I loved how each chapter ended with quotes from characters involved in the chapter. My favorite quote which is the epitome of the amazing writing style/sense of humor of Laura Ruby was "'Meow' -Pib the cat'". This line officially made this book get on my list for favorites of 2017. - Hearing about the alleged inappropriate relationship between Tola and Mr. Mymer was really interesting - The female friendship between Tola and June was awesome. It's so refreshing to see. - This book included technology and it wasn't essential to progressing the plot, or an evil being that needs to be defeated; but it existed, which is rare in books As much as I loved this book, I'd be remiss to not mention its shortcomings: - Tola's nemesis, Chelsea, had a grudge against Tola for something more than your typical high school mean girl reason; but, it wasn't explored further than the implication of what happened to her mentioned briefly in one of her of chapter quotes - Seven's backstory was kind of thrown in there just so you can find out about his name, but it was never really addressed afterwords either I think both of these things would've been resolved if the book was longer. Oh well. Overall, amazing read that is probably a hidden gem due to its low price in the Kindle Store. I couldn't recommend this enough.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Oliviaolivia

    The back of this cover leads you to believe this story about a highschooler who has an affair with her teacher and they get caught. Alas this story is about other people thinking she had an affair with her teacher because she had a crush on him and touched his arm. Positives: amazing idea for a story. Negatives: terrible execution of the idea, incredibly boring, bullshit ended, misleading back cover, and completely unlikable characters.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    I really enjoyed this book. It was cute and definitely made me laugh. I wish there would have been some pictures of the art though. Also I think it would have been cool if the comments sections would have been actual reports/articles/blog pages. Still worth the read in my opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Delaney

    More serious than I expected, but I loved it! Seven is bae

  19. 4 out of 5

    Aysomi

    i remember thinking it was a OK book. I didn't hat it but I dint love it either. I should reread it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The story that Tola Riley has to tell is instantly recognizable to any teenager who has ever tried to tell an adult the truth and not been believed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I felt like this story had zero plot. I didn't like it... Maybe I would have liked it better if I was in the target audience (which I wasn't).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Dealing with any subject is difficult but especially one as controversial as a teacher and student relationship. For this reason alone, I was both interested and repulsed by Bad Apple. Then I opened the book and meet a cast of very real and unique characters and a narrator as confused and interesting as she was real. Bad Apple was a treat from page one to the last. Tola wants someone to understand her. Living with an absentee father whom she takes after, a mentally unstable sister always on the v Dealing with any subject is difficult but especially one as controversial as a teacher and student relationship. For this reason alone, I was both interested and repulsed by Bad Apple. Then I opened the book and meet a cast of very real and unique characters and a narrator as confused and interesting as she was real. Bad Apple was a treat from page one to the last. Tola wants someone to understand her. Living with an absentee father whom she takes after, a mentally unstable sister always on the verge of a break down and a mother who doesn't trust her, she feels like an outcast. So when her art teacher encourages her to express herself through painting, she finds an outlet from the loneliness she feels. Tola wants to stand out and in high school that means that she's put herself as the target for ridicule with her green hair and her willingness to experiment. She's learned to distance herself from what everyone says which makes for an interesting character. But through her tough facade, you can really feel how much all of this affects her. So naturally she gravitates towards her teacher. The problem is, though she has a tiny crush, the way most girls do with some authority figure in their youth whom they look up to, and she does try to hold his hand (which he kindly tells her is inappropriate and is willing to leave it at that) nothing every really happened. But no one will believe her. No matter how many times she states it. I loved her as a main character. She had an interesting viewpoint and was witty and charming. Everything a main character should be! The cast of supporting characters were just as good. Her best friend June is this fun loyal friend whose mother makes her take a crap load of seminars and extra curricular activities to get into a "good college"? so she isn't around much but when she is, she's as bluntly honest as Tola and has this magical cell that calls people on its own. Tiffany (though Tola calls her Madge because she claims Tiffany doesn't suit her) is this straight A student who has a mental break down and is now obsessed with war movies and hyperventilating in a brown paper bag. Then there is the love interest Seven who is witty and charming. They all blend into this great portrait of amazing colors that bring the pages to life. The plot was instantly interesting. I wanted to know what happened to make people believe she and her teacher were having an affair and why no one would believe her when she said they didn't. It was a terrifying look at how your life becomes forfeit to the people around you when people gossip and also how cyber bullying can affect you. I felt powerless with Tola as the lies kept growing and there was nothing she could do stop them. Ruby did an amazing job of not sugarcoating these issues. No one was completely innocent because life is messy. What was most impressive was the ambiguity of the story. The ending allows you to interrupt Tola's life whichever why you want to. The author utilizes comments after every chapter that have people that know Tola quote about her. It's really awesome because you get to see things from Tola's point of view and then a quick snippet into the mind of that other character. It's also useful to remind you how different people see the same situations and it develops characters in an entirely new way. An example of the first point is when Tola nicknames her step dad Mr. Doctor. She never calls him by his name but he is in one of the comments after a chapter and we get to read his name and how he sees something. The second point is illustrated the best through Chelsea's character. We find out early on that Chelsea is this awful person and her comments work not only illustrate that point but they also tell you why she is the way she is. It's ingenious! Libba Bray's quote on the back of this novel is "...Ruby's so-good novel comes out swinging" and it sums this one up perfectly. Tola's a modern day kick butt heroine who uses her brains to get things done. I was enchanted by this novel and if the Wicked Witch held out this apple, I'd definitely pull a Snow White and take a big ol' bite. It's that good!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joey Gremillion

    Very well written. Goes a little overboard on the teen angst, though. I hope she does a follow-up to see what happens next with Tola.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn M

    This book was great, but i hated when everyone was making fun of her because she made out with a teacher. I love how Seven can read Tola's mind. I love the part when Seven asks Tola out.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Tola? Girl is just STRANGE! But not in a bad way. She's quirky and sarcastic and imaginative and artistic and, well, strange! lol I may not have felt like I could really believe her, but I did like her. And the story is a good one. It was recommended by one of my teens, and I think it speaks very much to modern teen life...and to the value we place on rumors. I was disappointed that some of the side characters never developed or had much storyline, because I think I would very much have liked th Tola? Girl is just STRANGE! But not in a bad way. She's quirky and sarcastic and imaginative and artistic and, well, strange! lol I may not have felt like I could really believe her, but I did like her. And the story is a good one. It was recommended by one of my teens, and I think it speaks very much to modern teen life...and to the value we place on rumors. I was disappointed that some of the side characters never developed or had much storyline, because I think I would very much have liked them. Still, I enjoyed the read. Content Advisory: One girl kissing another, discussions of teen sex, drinking, and drug use, bullying

  26. 4 out of 5

    Arielle

    To start off, Tola is accused of having an affair with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer. Except, that isn't the truth. Yet, no one believes her; her entire school goes ballistic over this "rumor" and Mr. Mymer ends up getting suspended from teaching and Tola cant do anything outside of school, her mother makes sure of that. Tola is the average "weirdo" at her high school; she has a nose ring, green hair, and dresses with a unique sense of style. She is an "art freak." She creates paintings of what she To start off, Tola is accused of having an affair with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer. Except, that isn't the truth. Yet, no one believes her; her entire school goes ballistic over this "rumor" and Mr. Mymer ends up getting suspended from teaching and Tola cant do anything outside of school, her mother makes sure of that. Tola is the average "weirdo" at her high school; she has a nose ring, green hair, and dresses with a unique sense of style. She is an "art freak." She creates paintings of what she sees in her dreams, but also from what she reads in her Grimm fairy tale book. Her family life isnt the best; her older sister Madge isnt in college because she is apparently taking a 'gap' year, but Tola later finds out that something is going on in her life as well. Her mom and dad got divorced a few years back, and her father married a woman Tola and Madge cant stand, the "evil stepmom." And her mother loves nontalking talking, they talk about things but not about the stuff that really matters. Everyone seems to be very distant from Tola, and it is quite sad. But Tola has her best friend, June, who is keeping her sane through this whole "affair problem." And there is Seven (yup, thats his name), Tola has always been intrigued by him and what percolates between them in this book is cute. Although I do wish there was more of a relationship between them, but what is said in the book with them both is fun to read. We see the struggle Tola faces with her fellow students, mainly a girl named Chelsea Patrick. Chelsea was Tola's best friend up until a few years ago, and Tola knows that she is behind all this mess, but she wont admit that to anyone. Chelsea is a true biotch, at times you just want to go into the book and smack her in the face. And then there are others who say crude remarks to Tola about the alleged affair, and a little more than halfway through the book Tola has a pretty funny encounter with one of them. They are in the gym at her school and it involves the school jock, and a paddleball paddle...its a pretty awesome scene where Tola finally lashes back, and stops being the victim. Laura Ruby "paints" all these amazing pictures while you read the book. Sure, Tola may be the artistic person in the book, but Ruby is behind it all. While reading this book you can picture everything that is going on, that is why it is such a good book. You can imagine everything taking place right in front of you, and who doesnt love that about a book? Bad Apple definitely does that for you. I really enjoyed reading this book, and at times I found myself laughing out loud. And at other times, I wished I could be there for Tola, to support her in the difficult situations she has to deal with. It is a great story of a girl finally able to find her voice and speak up for herself. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about characters finding themselves, and to those who loves a happy 'fairy tale' ending. -Arielle

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kenzie

    Clarification: This book is actually a 2.5 for me I think I'll start with saying I was expecting a lot more from this book, in a lot of different ways. Now, I think I should go ahead and explain what I mean. This book was definitely different, which was actually nice, but when I read the synopsis I was hoping for a lot more, which seems slightly ridiculous to me now. My first thought upon reading this book was mainly, "What the heck is going on?" You see, there has been some huge scandal. The Clarification: This book is actually a 2.5 for me I think I'll start with saying I was expecting a lot more from this book, in a lot of different ways. Now, I think I should go ahead and explain what I mean. This book was definitely different, which was actually nice, but when I read the synopsis I was hoping for a lot more, which seems slightly ridiculous to me now. My first thought upon reading this book was mainly, "What the heck is going on?" You see, there has been some huge scandal. The scandal? A teacher-student relation. The problem I had with it: They don't tell you what happens till near the end of the book. It was especially annoying because both sides claimed nothing happened. While I would see the need for a school to investigate any rumors of this, they kind of took it to a whole level. Because that's mainly how they started out, rumors. Another thing that bugged me was the flow of the book. It didn't feel like we were reading a story as much as events. I know some people consider events the story, but I don't. It's like sitting in History class. Are they telling you the story of America and it's background? No, they are telling you about things that happened. The plot was a little lacking too, but you would have to read it to understand. The characters were quite.... dynamic as well. First, you have Tola, are narrator of her story. I took to her instantly. Mainly because she had green hair. I kept on thinking about the Vocaloid Gumi, which didn't fit her at all, but quite honestly cracked me up. Anyway, Tola is an artist. Ok, that's cool. But the stuff she painted was slightly weird, but I kinda thought it was cool (Geek extraordinaire over here) She was alright, but what slightly annoyed me was the way her thought process worked. Everyone thought she was weird, and she didn't do anything to stop it, but than she went around saying things like, "People think they know me but don't, they don't understand anything." It was slightly self defeating. We never found out what in the world was up with her sister Madge (whose real name is actually Tiffany). Her family was messed up in a normal but weird way, and I loved her cat. I couldn't figure out why she was friends with June, when all June did was text people with her weird phone, but whatever. Hannalore was weird. Her Grandpa was awesome though. The good points about this book? It was funny, it was an easy read, and it was like reading about real life with a twist. It was kind of nice to get away from the fantasy realm for awhile. The synopsis makes this book sound like it's about a huge scandal and drama, but after reading it, it seems more like a Slice of Life book. I think anyone who wants a short book on a girl's fractured family coming back together and road of self discovery would like this, but it wasn't really for me. Plus, I liked the comments section. It's an alright book I guess, but not something I would insist I love.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    People tell lies. It’s part of the human nature. Sometimes the lies are little and sometimes they end up as monstrous lies. In the book Bad Apple by Laura Ruby, the main character is Tola Riley and she is the main topic of the latest scandal. She tried to hold the teacher’s hand and somehow the town translated that into a fullblown sex scandal. What really happens often gets stretched into an unimaginable lie. The author’s purpose was to show some of the effects that can be caused by an event li People tell lies. It’s part of the human nature. Sometimes the lies are little and sometimes they end up as monstrous lies. In the book Bad Apple by Laura Ruby, the main character is Tola Riley and she is the main topic of the latest scandal. She tried to hold the teacher’s hand and somehow the town translated that into a full­blown sex scandal. What really happens often gets stretched into an unimaginable lie. The author’s purpose was to show some of the effects that can be caused by an event like that. Ruby accomplished this goal by having multiple views in the book in a creative way. There are many ways to go about multiple views, but Ruby does it uniquely by having separate sections for comments. This allows the reader to view other characters thoughts without the author including them in the action at that time. Not only was it easy to read because it was chronological and orderly, Ruby also expressed valid points about society, individuality, and self images. These themes are good to touch on in today's modern setting, especially in the scenario that she gave. Some might take this and similar works to be offensive, but the ideas shown here highlight problems that commonly are consequences of such mistakes. For example, how her community reacted and exploded in a massive way was not an exaggeration. When this happens in real life, it can and sometimes does get blown up to that proportion. I find Ruby's writing to be exemplary and it reminds many that it can either happen to them or that it was bad if it was a personal experience. It is a relatable book that people can relate to even if there was no scandal that happened to them. There is a character from every social group that can be connected to any teenager's life. I say teenager because that is the lowest age group that can read this. Any younger and important concepts and ideas would be missed or misunderstood. It is written for a teenage audience, but adults could read this too since they were once teens. Even though it is mostly for a young adult group, it would not be appropriate for most classes. Some classes, such as psychology, could use the book for analytical purposes, but the majority of high school and college classes will not use this book in their normal settings due to the level of maturity needed. I would even only recommend it to those who have a high level of maturity and can process and understand deep concepts. One needs to have an unbiased opinion towards the idea of a sex scandal to read this book because one would miss every important point Ruby is trying to make if an opinion is already formed. The same concept goes towards any of Ruby's young adult books. An unbiased attitude works best because all of her young adult literature deals with similar issues that happen every day.

  29. 5 out of 5

    BOOK BUTTERFLY

    "If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am." Tola Riley loves the fairy tales of Brother's Grimm. Fairy tales are a great escape from real life, and when you're someone like Tola, you need all the help you can get. With her green hair, unusual attire and pierced nose, Tola is used to being the outcast. But life goes from bad to worse when rumors of a teacher-student affair begin to grow and undulate throughout her high school and community. Too b "If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am." Tola Riley loves the fairy tales of Brother's Grimm. Fairy tales are a great escape from real life, and when you're someone like Tola, you need all the help you can get. With her green hair, unusual attire and pierced nose, Tola is used to being the outcast. But life goes from bad to worse when rumors of a teacher-student affair begin to grow and undulate throughout her high school and community. Too busy getting caught up in the frenzy of slanderous rumors and blogs, nobody pays any attention to what Tola has to say. Will anyone ever believe in her for a change? Bad Apple is my first novel by Laura Ruby and I enjoyed it immensely. I found Tola to be totally believable in her interactions with others and really sympathized with her character. What impressed me most though was the way Laura Ruby handled some rather weighty topics with so much humor. Tola's sardonic wit had me laughing out loud quite a few times. For instance, when her mother is haranguing her at a family dinner gathering for her wardrobe choices, Tola says: "Uh, Mom we do have pictures of you when you were in high school. I seem to recall a troubled relationship with hair spray." "I wonder if it's that...man" My mother won't even speak his name. Mr. Mymer is now in the same league as Voldemort. While the subject of teacher/student affairs is an important issue brought to center stage, Laura Ruby expertly navigates around other critical topics such as cyber bullying, rumor spreading, divorce and depression. They are all handled with a sensitivity and humor that teens can relate to and adults will appreciate. For me, the most interesting aspect of Bad Apple was how one seemingly isolated negative event could cause a ripple effect so massive that the lives of anyone caught in it's wake were altered- and in diverse ways. It's interesting how different people react to stressful events. The chapters of Bad Apple are punctuated with comments from Tola's friends and family regarding the affair and their general opinion of Tola as well. This aspect of the book was probably the most entertaining for me. You really do find out who your true friends are when the chips are down. I also enjoyed how people around Tola emulated personality traits from the fairy tales she obsessed over. I would like to note that the "Prince Charming" character was A-ok with me. You've got to love a prince who showers his heart's desire with gourmet homemade cupcakes. Who needs glass slippers when there are delicious butter cream and coconut cupcakes?! I would recommend Bad Apple to anyone looking for realistic teen fiction and a fresh take on really common issues that all teens will relate to.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    (Note: For me, five stars is generally reserved for the life-changing, absolute favorite type of book, and so four is about as good as anyone can hope for. I'm not 100% sure of the rating for this; I'll probably think on it some more. For now it's four, with the assurance that if 4 and a half were currently an option, that's what it would be. This is an odd book. I have no other way to say this. The cover blurbs dinThis is an odd book. I have no other way to say this. The cover blurbs din't do i (Note: For me, five stars is generally reserved for the life-changing, absolute favorite type of book, and so four is about as good as anyone can hope for. I'm not 100% sure of the rating for this; I'll probably think on it some more. For now it's four, with the assurance that if 4 and a half were currently an option, that's what it would be. This is an odd book. I have no other way to say this. The cover blurbs dinThis is an odd book. I have no other way to say this. The cover blurbs din't do it justice, plot-wise; it's about so much more, but then isn't that often the case? Anyway, the subject piqued my interest, though after reading some of the reviews, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. Nonetheless, I checked it out, and tonight I picked it up again. I finished it in one sitting, which is something I don't think I've done in years, but there was something about it that continuously propelled me forward. First, Tola. A great character who was surprisingly easy for me to identify with, even if I can point out precisely each point where my decisions would diverge from hers. In some ways she was childish, yes, but to me that was just her being caught between childhood and adulthood (all that might just define adolescence, anyway) and trying to navigate all the changes and various events. I think I did like her, but it took time to get there. She was the most psychologically realistic teenage character I've seen in a long time (that even goes for Madge/Tiffany, too, at certain times in the books). A few reviews said the characters weren't very detailed. I suppose that's true, even about Tola (who I will say more about in a moment), but to me they were evocative. Even though they were sketches more than anything else, they felt real. I think that that dovetails with the book's subjectiveness. It's already been noted that the truth about the alleged affair is never explicitly revealed (an account and explanation of the event that sparked the initial rumor is presented, but even so, you don't really know for sure if that's how it happened, or if that's all that happened.) In fact, you, the reader, seemed to be invited to draw your own conclusions about so many things, including the motivations of some of the characters and even whether the character was supposed to be good or bad. The grayness of it all was in turns rewarding and vexing in its own way, but ultimately it was rewarding, and I'm glad I read it. I agree that it's probably the sort of thing that you either love or loathe, but to me it was absorbing and effective and thought-provoking, and what else can I ask for in a novel?

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