Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil is a YA book from the author of Life in Outer Space. As with the earlier book, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl contains many spec fic themes — mostly superhero comics in this case — but is actually a contemporary YA story.

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 shes 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. 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, Albas life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, its 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.

The main story is that Alba and friends have just finished school. Some of them are waiting to hear their marks and/or what uni courses they got into — Alba is trying very hard not to thing about her art school interview. And in the meantime, what starts off as an ordinary small country town summer is happening in the background.

The ordinariness of the summer does not last long, though, quickly turning into a metaphor for Alba's fear of change (leaving town, growing up, etc) as rumours of the impending apocalypse gain traction. After a Channel 31 middle-of-the-night psychic predicts that Alba's home town of Eden Valley will be the only safe place when the world ends with the new year, a surprising number of people flock to Eden Valley to wait out the apocalypse. As well as the expected crazies (who even watches late night Channel 31?) some old friends also make it back into town to throw Alba's life into further disarray.

I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read — I read most of it in a day (after starting it the night before) — and a pleasant way to spend a lazy Sunday. The story is peppered with superhero references as Alba reads comics and draws her own. Each chapter is also prefaced by one of Alba's illustrations of Cinnamon Girl and friends/enemies. Even though this is very much a contemporary real-world novel, I expect it will appeal to spec fic readers, especially fans of comics.

I highly recommend The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl to fans of YA and comics. Readers who enjoyed Keil's Life in Outer Space will probably also enjoy this book. They have similar geeky but not technically spec fic sensibilities. And of course, readers who enjoy Australian settings in their YA should also give this book a shot.

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: April 2016, Peachtree Publisher (US) / 2014, Hardie Grant Egmont (Aus)
Series: no
Format read: eARC of US edition
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I loved this book and had a hangover for days!