Genre: Mature YA
Word Count: 39,000
Cover Artist: Photo by Aleshyn Andrei
Cover design by Barbara Morgenroth
Buy Links: Amazon, B&N, Kobo
“You tell and next time you won’t even be able to crawl away.”
Neal Marchal lived with this threat for the next eight years. When she finds her neighbor murdered, she knows who did it. The why is the secret the family has been keeping forever. The reminder to never reveal the secret is her limp.
She rebuilt her life and now Neal has everything to live for—music, performing and a growing affection for the young man who pulled her to safety.
Then Joe comes home. Neal knows Joe’s going to finish what he started 8 years ago because she told. But this time Neal vows the outcome will be different.
Typically, a young adult novel involves vampires, werewolves, witches, or sometimes all of them. I pleasantly surprise to find out that Bad Apple ignores the overused supernatural plots (though I do like to occasionally read them) as the author chose to use a more realistic plot.
The main character is teenager girl named Neal who has had a troubled life starting with the death of her when she was a small child and later with the death of her father. She stayed with her new family consisting of her step-mother, Liza Janie, who can't hold a job. Her step-brothers, Joe and Toby, did nothing but torment Neal. Her life takes an unexpected twisted turn when she finds the body of her best-friend Paul. The authorities soon announce that Paul was murdered. Who would kill Paul?
Neal slowly picks up the missing pieces of her life through her love of music. She soon meets a musician named Truly. Everything is going great for her, but then her step-brother returns and the murder mystery begins to unravel.
The first fifty pages of the book were awfully slow for me, but the plot became somewhat interesting and I quickly read through it until the cliffhanger ending. The plot takes on several mature issues including abuse, which made the story all more realistic. The author did a decent job with the dialogue, but I had trouble following who was talking to whom. Overall, Bad Apple was an entertaining read with a few flaws.
About the Author:
Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else. By now, she thinks of herself as a country girl and knows more about gardening and animals than how to ride the subway.
Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, (and did the cover photography for her first two books published by Atheneum so continuing to do the covers to her ebooks is predictable), she was actually aiming at the small screen. Television seemed like the perfect place for her even if she had no clue how to get there. Life is funny and often presents opportunities. Advice--Grab Them! Through a neighbor, Barbara wound up getting an introduction to a lower honcho at ABC and an audition to write for them. Her hopes were more than dashed, they were disintegrated, evaporated, demolished when ABC couldn't find a place for Barbara on General Hospital. (No Luke and Laura in her future!) To ease the crushing disappointment, Barbara wrote “In Real Life I'm Just Kate” about a 17 year old girl who becomes a star on a soap opera. That became an open sesame moment and shortly thereafter Barbara became the last headwriter for NBC's daytime serial, The Doctors, where she was ordered by the network to kill Alec Baldwin, shooting him not once but twice. With two different guns. From different directions.
Ah, good times.
You can read the book that started Barbara’s television career as the Kindle YA ebook, “Just Kate”, now with a substantial tweak because living life made her smarter.
You can also read about some could-be-hers-could-be-rumors experiences gleaned during Barbara’s stint in daytime television in the Kindle romantic comedy, In Under My Head. Barbara is a recipient of a Writers Guild of America Best Writing Award for her work on One Life To Live.
Whether you're looking for a Mature YA or a romantic comedy, Barbara has a book for you!