Written by: Melissa Keil
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
April 2016 (first Published Sept 2014)
Genre: Fiction/Young Adult
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.
And 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.
As the summer finally winds down, oh hello fall, I found myself wanting to read one more beach read. The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl looked like it would hit all of my needs: something light and fun with a splash of romance. The themes seemed great: growing up, deciding what you want to do with your life, and wondering where your place is. Oh yeah and the Apocalypse. It was all right up my alley.
“Now before you start thinking that this is the story of some waify, sun-kissed country girl – get this straight, I am so NOT that girl. I have dark hair, and darker eyes, and did you hear me mention that I live in a bakery? Like, literally. I sleep in a fog of cinnamon and vanilla, and spend most mornings elbow deep in pastries and pie.” My kind of girl.
School is over in Eden Valley. Until recently Alba thought that she knew what she was doing with her life. She’d take Cinnamon Girl, her most drawn character, and head to University in Melbourne for Graphic Arts. Except now she is having doubts. Cinnamon Girl ends up sour and cranky looking every time she draws her. Plus, her bestie Grady is leaving Eden Valley too. It feels like the end of the world. And maybe it is.
Self proclaimed psychic, Original Ned thinks the world is ending too. In fact, he has a YouTube video predicting the end of the world. And the only safe place is Eden Valley. When the doomsdayers, the partiers, and the news crews start flooding into town, Alba can only hope that she will know what to do once Doomsday comes. Especially if they survive.
Things I liked: Let’s start with the characters. Alba is great. She is quirky, geeky, full of moxie, funny, and incredibly relatable. She is the girl who isn’t afraid of her curves, completely rocks the rockabilly vibe, collects garden gnomes, and spends one night a week playing a drinking game (with Redbull) with her friends while they watch a bad soap opera starring one of their old friends. Alba feels real, authentic, and seems like she would be awesome to hang out with.
I think the thing I love the most about Alba, other than a kick ass wardrobe I wish I owned, was that she is comfortable in her own skin. Though she may not know what she wants to do with her life, she knows who she is. Refreshing really. She is geeky and has curves and does not feel the need to change that. She does not need to put on airs for others. I admire that.
When she tells her story it is laid back and funny. She is afraid of change. I so get that. I like familiarity and order. I like being in control. The future in an unknown. Anyway, as she tells her story you feel included. You feel like she is chatting with you about one crazy couple of weeks in her life. You feel like you are part of the gang.
Speaking of the gang, I loved them as well. So much friendship. Yay! Each supporting character (The besties/gang in this case) has their own personality. I loved their friendships, their varied personalities, and how they were there for one another. While they don’t get as much character development as Alba or Grady, they feel more rounded by the end of the book. And oh Grady. You adorable adorable man you.
Let’s talk romance. There is one. Surprisingly though, there isn’t a love triangle, shocker I know. This is young adult lit after all and lately it seems like you have to check that little box off before you can get your boo published. Even when former childhood friend Daniel walks back into her life despite his soap star hunkiness Alba misses her childhood friend and while she can appreciate his hotness, there is just something missing. We all know that she has already found her boy wonder. We have known since we first met Grady. She has known Grady since she was a kid, both of their mom’s being besties. They spend all of their time together, he even has a couch in her bedroom so he can stay over. While Alba might be completely blind to what is in front of her we have known from the start as have her friends for a very long time. This is the story that just brings them together. It was sweet. It made me smile. It would make a great teen romantic comedy film, so get on it people.
What else did I love? I loved the art for each of the chapters, getting to see Cinnamon Girl in all of her glory. It really fits the book quite well. I also of course loved all of the comics references. Though more DC than Marvel. I will forgive Alba for that since she is also a Fiona Staples fan and has love for Fables.
I loved the Burning Man like people that descended onto poor little Eden Valley. I liked the other residents. I liked the descriptions of all of the bakery goodies. Yeah, I kind of loved it all. It was a quick fun read that I had to go buy and add to my arsenal of books after I returned it to the library. I think you will probably like it too.
Also can we have more adventures?
Things I didn’t like so much: I got nothing.
Buy or Borrow: Buy. So adorable and fun. A perfect end to the Summer.
Part of: Standalone
Also Recommended: Give one of Melissa Keil’s other books a shot such as Life in Outer Space. I am also going to recommend Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, One Day by David Nichols, Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and Summer Days & Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins.
4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks