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Apples by Richard Milward
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Of course I hate Richard Milward. I mean, let's get that out of the way right now. He's young, cool, good-looking and a twice-published novelist with rave reviews. What's not to hate? But give him his due: dude can write.

Apples, Milward's debut novel (first published in 2007) tells the story of two Middlesbrough teenagers, Adam and Eve, and their non-love story. Adam is an OCD geek who has to close the door ten times before leaving the house, gets caught masturbating to his Dad's porno mags and obsesses over Beatles albums (a very teenage thing to do). Eve is a mouthy pretty-girl with a body for sin and a head for getting mortalled whose mum has just been diagnosed with cancer. She has no idea what she wants out of life, but like so many girls her age she thinks she could well end up a super-model.

As is the law for every coming of age novel written since the 50s, Apples has been compared to Catcher In The Rye ("...meets the Arctic Monkeys", said The Times) though personally I found it closer to a British Less Than Zero. There's far more Bret Easton Ellis to Milward's writing than there is Salinger, along with lashings of his hero Irving Welsh (he names Trainspotting as the book that inspired him to write).

Read the full review at my blog ( )
  rolhirst | Feb 7, 2012 |
I stumbled across this novel by accident and was drawn to the great cover. I was pleasantly surprised! This is probably my favourite YA novel, I found its raw style very intriguing. The love story between the main protagonists Adam and Eve is realistic, if somewhat depressing. I think most teenagers can relate to this more easily than to Romeo and Juliet, but I can also imagine lots of people would be repelled by the dreary setting and its unadorned description. ( )
  kritikarr | Aug 31, 2010 |
I found this book to be a little hard to follow, and very strange. No real closure at the end, just a bunch of crazy people spiraling out of control like how the story started off. ( )
  Jadesbooks | Jan 25, 2009 |
The characters are all quite unlikable, and its really quite a depressing book. Some of it feels like it captures the way teenagers talk and think quite well, but in other bits I just found it a bit tedious to read. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Nov 9, 2008 |
What a brilliant idea - call a book Apples and name the two main characters Adam and Eve. What this promises is sure to be a theme on temptations and that's exactly what we get. Apples is essentially a hard hitting take on Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis - the story of children growing up and going out into the big wide world with all of its wicked ways to lure them into temptation. And do the kids in this book stray or what! Adam has OCD and spends his spare time reading porn magazines and pleasuring himself in his attic. Eve is a drug taking, alcopop-guzzling teenager, who thinks nothing of having one night stands. This is probably all in an attempt to block out the fact that she's just discovered that her mother has cancer. The book is peopled with characters that are delinquents of varying types, amongst them being drug dealers, addicts and rapists, who are all growing up together on a sink estate trying to get through each day the best way that they know how.

Narrated in turns by Adam and Eve this book pulls no punches. The gritty realism shines through this shocking tale, which is filled with graphic imagery and the vilest of language. Reading this will make you gasp with horror at their grim lifestyles, but the author writes in such a captivating manner that he pulls you right into the story and the reader will get swept away with his writing style. This is an amazing first novel by Richard Milward, a talented young author ( )
1 vote kehs | Sep 10, 2008 |
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As a distraction from sleazy male admirers, spiteful classmates and her mother's cancer, Eve's eyes are opened to a multicolour life of one-night stands, drug-fuelled discos and endless varieties of cheap plonk. She barely has time to notice Adam. Adam, however, notices Eve.… (more)

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