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The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery, and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends.
The only problem is she’s overlooked a few teeny details:
Like, the guy she thought long gone has unexpectedly reappeared.
And the boy who has been her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails.
And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving.
Also, the world might be ending – which is proving to be awkward.
As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, it’s the end of the world as she knows it. But when it comes to figuring out her heart, Armageddon might turn out to be the least of her problems.
Book Report - The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl By Melissa Keil
Genre: Teen Fiction, Comedy, Romance
Setting: This heartwarming novel is set in the small country town of Eden Valley, in Australia. It's described as a beautiful, 'idyllic' town which the main character Alba, likes just as it is. Everyone knows everyone else and everyone knows everything that's going on.
Plot: Sarah Albany (or Alba as she's always been known as) lives is a house by the bakery that her mother owns and works at. She loves her life as it is: predictable, but she knows that things are going to change. As she and her friends finish high school, they start to prepare themselves for change and get ready to embrace the future. That is until their worlds are turned upside down by and singular YouTube video which states that doomsday is upon the world and that only one place will be safe. Eden Valley. Within a few days of the release of the video, Alba's home is swarmed with Doomsday enthusiasts and it seems to be affecting her life more than she would like.
Sarah Albany (Alba)-An optimistic, aspiring comic book illustrator who has lived her entire life in Eden Valley. She has been life long best friends with Domenic Grady and no can seem to come between them. I like Alba because the author showcases her emotions really well, and teenage readers could really relate to her and the things she goes through. This makes her a really loveable character.
Domenic Grady (known by most as 'Grady')- A sentimental, basketballer who is off to law school. He finds it hard to grasp the idea that Alba might stay in the valley instead of going out into the world with him. In the book Grady shows some emotions that many people could relate to: confusion, love and fear.
Daniel- Daniel is the only person who managed to stretch the bond between Alba and Grady to make room for himself. He became friends with them in early primary school but moved to the city with his parents and lost touch with Alba. He appears back in their lives after becoming slightly famous and returning to Eden Valley with all the doomsday tourists. Daniel helps Alba confront the future and accept was staring her in the face the whole time.
The authors craft: I love how the text is simple and the plot understandable but still complex which makes you unsure of what's going to happen next. On page 192, the author outlines teenage emotion through Alba; 'I know I should use everything that's churning through my head as fodder for my Cinnamon Girl. I should be able to haul out my pencils and translate all my messiness into brilliance on a page. I bury my face in my green couch, I bawl my eyes out instead.'
Themes: The theme of acceptance is recurring throughout the book- as well as coming to terms with the still haunting death of her father, Alba must also accept the fact that she will have to leave Eden Valley one day
Audience: This book would really appeal to a teenage audience because of its relatable characters, the issues it discusses and it's 'on the edge of cheesy but not quite there so you don't gag' vibe. It makes you wish your parents owned a bakery and in it's own fun way makes you think about your own issues that you might be hiding away.
You guys. Let me start by saying there is only one way you can read Melissa Keil’s books, and that is to start them with your body curled into a ball. That way, when you get to the parts in her books that reduce you to a puddle of tears, you’re half way there. Yay feelings!
I mentioned Mel in the early days of my website. Her debut novel Life In Outer Space (published 2013) found its way onto my ‘favourites’ shelf as soon as I finished reading it. I had the amazing chance to work with Mel during her days at Black Dog Books, and that week still remains to be the best working week of my life. BDB have now made their way under the Walker umbrella, but Mel has stepped out and into the sunshine of writerly amazingness. I will forever keep her editing expertise and wonderful friendship with me forever. (Mel- incase I haven’t said it enough, thank you for the wonderful week I had with you!).
Fair to say I was beyond excited to get my hands on her second novel, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl. Sadly, I missed out on the book launch, but I got my hands on this baby as soon as I could. I mean, look at the cover. Gorgeous.
I don’t know how Mel does it, but she has a way of writing each of her characters in such a way, I could close my eyes and picture them perfectly. She creates such wonderful imagery and can we just talk about the amount of tears I shed during this book? I mean, it ended happily which is wonderful, but the feels (!!!).
Still undecided as to whether I like The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl more than Life In Outer Space. Both had me curled into a ball, a mess of tears and smiles so, you know, it’s hard to tell.
Hop, skip and jump into your local bookstore to support another amazing Australian author by buying both of Mel’s books. You can follow her adventures at www.melissakeil.com and squee over her adorable dog Hugo on her Twitter and Facebook.