Book Review: Taste of Apples by James Laidler

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Taste of Apple by James Laidler
Published by: Interactive Press
Publication date: September, 2010
Source: Thanks to James Laidler

Pedro Jones is lost. Abandoned by his father and forced into commission housing with his Filipino immigrant mother, the future seems bleak.
But when Pedro meets the 'mad' street busker, Johnny Lazzaro, and gets involved with the East Timor freedom movement, life takes an unexpected detour through the uncharted backblocks of the human heart.

My  Mini Review:

The Taste of Apple is written in a verse and it is done well.  It is the coming of age story of Pedro who's father walks out on him and his Filipino mother forcing them to move into commission housing.  There he meets and becomes friends with Johnny, a street busker who lives in his housing estate and Pedro's life changes.

I love the mix of cultures in The Taste of Apples with Pedro's Filipino background and the Australian setting.  I also adored all the Aussie references like James Marsden and the old Olympic Village as I love it when an Aussie book actually feels like home.

The story is gritty and raw in places but also hopeful.  I felt like Laidler never held back and therefore it felt a true reflection on life.

The Taste of Apple comes with an accompanying CD (although you can read it without it).  I like the mix of media, it added a refreshing take.

The only thing that I found disappointing about The Taste of Apple is when I put it down I found myself losing interest.   I was in no hurry to get back to it.

Overall, The Taste of Apple is a good solid read.  And  I will leave you with my favourite passage from this enjoyable and moving story.

I walk beside him
in a daze,
soaking up the snippets
of his life;
but totally unable
to pull myself away
from his strange

Overall Rating: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3.5/5

For more info:  Visit James Laidler's website.

***This is an Australian author for those of you participating in the Aussie YA Reading Challenge.
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