Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl

Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl

Spring 2016 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Melissa Keil
ISBN: 978-1561459056
Hardcover Price: $17.95

Alba's life has been getting unnecessarily complicated. She and her best friend Grady always planned to leave their tiny town in Eden valley, Australia, after high school graduation for university; she'd study art and work on her Cinnamon Girl graphic novel, and he would study law. But now she's not so sure. She doesn't really want to leave the world of her mother's cinnamon-smelling bakery, which she loves. She's increasingly annoyed by the enthusiasm of her friends to just take off and leave their home (and their friends-like her) behind. She's pretty puzzled by Grady's crankiness and impatience with her. And as it turns out, perhaps none of them will have a choice about whether to leave Eden Valley or to stay. YouTube prophet Original Ned is predicting that the apocalypse will arrive on New Year's Eve-and that Eden Valley will be the only place in the world left standing. Surprising numbers of people seem to be heeding Original Ned's warnings, and Alba and her friends are overrun with the newcomers streaming into town and pitching camp. In the middle of this debacle, Alba and Grady's childhood friend Daniel returns to town, fresh from TV stardom, for the end of the world. Alba is shaken into re-examining her feelings-about Daniel, about Grady, and about her own comic book alter ego, Cinnamon Girl.

Melissa Keil handles geek romance beautifully. Alba is a witty, engaging, and passionate narrator who is also fairly clueless about the state of her own emotions. This means that readers get the satisfaction of a romantic ending, but also get to spend a lot of time with a character who is largely interested in comic book art, pastry, family history, and-well-the possibly imminent apocalypse. The secondary characters, Alba's friends, are well drawn, especially the deceptively lout-like, kind-hearted Eddie; the plot balances nicely between page-turning action and slower-paced moments to enjoy watching the characters develop; and as a bonus, there are several mouthwatering descriptions of pastries that might prompt readers to boost their appreciation of the novel by consuming it alongside a tasty baked good. Young adult fans of quirky high school romances will enjoy adding Keil's newest to their collection.

Naomi Lesley   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

Look for this product at:
Peachtree Publishers

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