“All of the sudden, things she’d never given a second thought to mattered so much. The comfortable bed she’d slept in for as long as she could remember, the brass dresser lamp she and her mom had picked out at the thrift shop, even the stack of old paintings she’d saved from when she had time for art. All of those things meant more than she’d realized.”
Neve is a self-proclaimed “damaged girl”. Why she doesn’t have any school-friends isn’t exactly clear, but she’s kicked out as soon as she turns eighteen and her real problems begin (even though she kind of predicted this was going to happen in the first place) when she finds herself with no place to go. Her character isn’t very trusting but is in a situation where she has to rely on the kindness of a stranger or sleep on the streets.
Brendan seems to be the guy that picks all the wrong girls- Stacy being the last on what could be a long list. His first reaction to Neve is that she’s just another girl looking for guy willing to pay for her expenses. After being set right, he invites Neve to crash on his couch for a week. That week ends up being the longest of Neve’s life as secrets of her family and past are reviled to her and slowly bring her crashing down.
The real problem I have with this story is that it lacks character depth and has discrepancies in the plot. It is a short novella so the characters have to develop and stand out rather quickly. By the end Neve just started to gain my interest while I was still overlooking Brendan. The biggest discrepancy is even though Neve absolutely knew her stepmother was going to kick her out on her eighteenth birthday, the resourceful girl did nothing to prepare for that day beforehand. At all.
The best part of the novella were the diner rats- a group of mostly guys that seem to have nothing better to do in the afternoons than to hang out at an all night diner to talk, study, etc. I would have liked a little more focus on Neve’s interaction with the group.
Overall, Poisoned Apple is an okay novella that I would recommend to YA readers looking for a quick, light read.