Books Magical Realism Reviews Young Adult

All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle Review

Looking for some magical realism to sweep you off your feet?

40545833._SY475_With a cover entirely made for the spooky season and a haunting storyline to match, I dove into All the Bad Apples mere hours after this beauty arrived on my doorstep. Fowley-Doyle is among the ever-expanding league of my auto-buy authors, and her third YA novel has been one of my most anticipated reads of the yearExpectations were high, and, bookies, were they met!

All the Bad Apples follows seventeen-year-old Deena (bullied at school for her sexual orientation) as she sets off on an eerie journey across the Irish countryside to find her oldest sister, Mandy, whom all but Deena believe to have committed suicide. But Deena knows her sister would never leave her, not when she’s the only one who understands what it’s like to be one of the Rys family’s cursed “bad apples.”

Deena is joined on her journey by a band of new and old friends. Their journey guided by Mandy’s mysteriously appearing letters. Letters which, bit by bit, begin to shed light on the ancient Rys family curse. Told in first-person narration, the story switches between Deena’s point of view and (in flashbacks) that of her female ancestors.

Fowley-Doyle is an expert at magical realism, and one who continually gets it right, seamlessly weaving reality and supernatural threads into a tapestry so detailed and appealing to the senses that one can’t help but develop a nearly insatiable craving for sharp, tangy apples or expect the wail of a banshees at the sight of a grey hair. With stellar writing, a compelling narrative, a strong message, and profoundly emotional core to the storyline, All the Bad Apples is almost certainly guaranteed a spot among my top-ten reads of 2019.

Trigger warnings here abound, let it be noted, though, that their context is never gratuitous but due to the nature and truth of the story being told: sexual assault, physical and emotional abuse.

If you enjoyed Fowley-Doyle’s The Accident Season and Emily Henry’s The Love That Split the World, you might totally find yourself loving All the Bad Apples.


Book: All the Bad Apples
Published: Penguin
Pages: 320
Publication Date: August 1st, 2019
Age Range: 15+
Stars: 5/5

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