Pub. Date: April 1, 2016
Source: e-ARC via netgalley (Thank you, Peachtree!)
Summary: 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 she’s 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, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, it’s 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.
Despite all the Doomsday and Armageddon talk, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl isn’t a sci-fi novel at all. In fact, it’s your average coming-of-age YA where the biggest problem is trying to decide what to do after graduation and make sense of the realization that the love of your life has been by your side the whole time.
Life has always been quiet for Alba. Her mom runs a bakery, she’s been best friends with Grady since they were babies (it helps that their mothers are also best friends,) her bad tv marathons are legendary (especially once one of their old friends became a D-list actor on a REALLY horrible soap opera,) and she lives for comics and drawing her own characters. Everything changes one day when Grady pulls up a youtube video – the would-be prophet begins spouting off random numbers. Coordinates, it turns out, and it looks like their tiny town of Eden Valley will be the sole survivor of the Rapture. Suddenly droves of people (mainly hacky sack-toting hippies) descend upon Australia in search of salvation. Or just a good party.
Alba has other things on her mind, however. Like what she’s going to do with her life. Her group of friends all have plans set in stone – and it’s the first time she’ll be away from Grady for more than a few hours – but Alba’s feeling adrift. Suddenly her big lofty dreams seems childish and silly, and her portfolio of artwork and comics are looking worse and worse each time she goes through it. The real kicker though is how strange Grady has been acting.
Originally published in Australia in 2014, Cinnamon Girl is finally making it’s US debut and I couldn’t be more excited! Okay, so I was initially a little disappointed to discover there wouldn’t be epic galactic battles with aliens or a showdown between Good and Evil, but my tune changed once I really got into it. At its heart, this is a novel about a girl discovering herself and it was actually really, really fun. Part of the fun? At the end of each chapter there’s a comic book-esque splash page featuring Cinnamon Girl in all her solid thigh glory!
Cinnamon Girl was a ridiculously fast read and I’m thinking that’s mainly because of the dialogue. Everyone speaks in short, clipped sentences and it admittedly took some getting used to. Once I did I was golden and these characters came alive – a group of friends I would love to have as my own!
While it wasn’t what I had been expecting (no cosmic wars here!) The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl was a quick, intensely addictive read with a great cast of characters and the sweetest, gushiest romance I’ve read in a long time! It wasn’t the incredible the title suggests, but this was definitely a read I’d happily recommend to others – and I’ll certainly be looking forward to what Keil does next!