Review – Rotten Apple by Rebecca Eckler

rotten apple Synopsis

Apple is the opposite of her outspoken mother and gossipy, chatty best friends; she’s always been the cool, calm, and collected one. But her life is about to spiral out of control. Apple’s super-sized, secret crush on her friend Zen leads her into major trouble. And she’s realizing it might not have been such a good idea to pose as her mother–the famous talk show host and self-help guru, Dr. Bee Berg–and send out fake advice emails to keep her (devastatingly beautiful) friend Happy away from Zen. Before she knows it, her best friend hates her, the whole school knows about her crush, and she is humiliated on national TV. How much more will it take for Apple to learn that taking advice is just as important as giving it?


Apple is a teenaged girl, living in a ritzy neighbourhood, going to high school and enjoying time with a close group of friends. But she is known among friends as The Sponge, because while she takes everything in, emotionally she gives nothing back. This becomes her major problem, when her close friend Happy starts dating Zen – Apple’s biggest crush ever. Since she has such troubles with expressing her feelings, she feels that she is left no other option but to sabotage the budding relationship between Happy and Zen. However this all backfires on Apple when her mom, a famous talk show host, finds out and decides to take Apple’s little drama live on the air. Now Apple must decide whether she is willing to go on being The Sponge or whether she will open up and try to mend her friendships, while also letting others into her life on a deeper level.

Rotten Apple was a really great read, and it seemed to serve a good purpose – of showing that for a friendship to be strong there must be equal amounts of give and take. It tells a story of a girl who learns how life can be more rewarding if she is willing to risk a little bit of vulnerability by being open with others. The highlight of this novel, aside from the underlying message, is the characters. The teens and adults that populate this  story are all very unique, although the unique names (Apple, Zen, Happy) are a bit much at first. I really liked that these teens were pretty nice kids, despite coming from privileged backgrounds. They may be spoiled, but they also seemed to hold higher values than found in most novels featuring rich kids.

Another great thing about Rotten Apple was that is was fun read, the sneaky things that Apple does were both funny and fore-boding. You knew it was going to end in disaster, but it was hard not to laugh along the way. Very cute and modern story of a teenager making the wrong decisions and eventually coming to understand exactly why she did it and how the situation could have been handled better.

About The Author

Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada’s most popular journalists and writers. She has been a columnist for The Globe and Mail and the National Post. Her work has also appeared in such publications as Elle, Fashion, Chatelaine, House and Home, Mademoiselle, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times. Her Doubleday Canada book, Knocked Up, has been published in the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary, and Turkey.

Author Website

Published by Doubleday Canada

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Ladytink_534 said...

Sounds like a good story! The names are certainly interesting...

naida said...

sounds like a good one, great review ;)
I agree, the names are unique.

John Mutford said...

One of my biggest peeves about Ami McKay's The Birth House was the names. I can tolerate one or two, but I think a whole cast strips the book of authenticity. Were these meant as nicknames or real, birth names? (And I wonder if she'd started writing this before Gwyneth named her kid Apple.)

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