Review Blog

May 17 2012

Cinnamon Rain by Emma Cameron

cover image

Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781921720451.
(Age: 15+) Verse novel. This book follows the lives of three teenagers, Luke, Bongo and Casey, the girl they are both infatuated with. Approaching the end of their high school years, the friends must look to the future but first they have to survive the present.
Bongo hates living with his callous step dad while his mother bounces in and out of rehab. His little brother has already been removed from the home by welfare authorities. Now the one good thing in Bongo's life is out of reach.
Casey, meanwhile, lives in fear of her protective and authoritarian father. She is denied many of the everyday experiences most teenagers enjoy as her dad seeks to stifle any sign of independence. She's not sure she can stick around to finish high school. She needs to put as much distance between herself and the family as possible.
Luke seems to have the most stable life, at least in Bongo's eyes. His dad works and his mum puts nice meals on the table. However Luke sometimes wonders if he is adopted. His parents seem to go through the motions but they are really preoccupied with their own responsibilities.
As the tension mounts in their lives, they find themselves forced in unanticipated directions. With increasing maturity comes the realization that life doesn't necessarily turn out as planned.
Presented in verse form, the author delivers a sensitive narrative on the sometimes painful journey of adolescence.
Tina Cain

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