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The Posion Apples by Lily Archer

July 12, 2007

cover of The Poison Apples by Lily ArcherQ: What do Alice Bingley-Beckerman from New York, New York, Reena Paruchuri from Beverly Hills, California, and Molly Miller from North Forest, Massachusetts have in common?

A: They all have evil stepmothers.

What they have in common is nothing to sneeze at. Alice’s stepmother R. has single handedly taken away her father and forced her to attend boarding school in the course of 3 months. Reena’s stepmother Shanti Shruti is a 25 year old blonde as blonde, white as white, yoga instructor who’s got some major identity issues. Reena and her brother Pradeep think she’s a little off the deep end with her maniacal love of Western influenced-Indian aesthetics. (Think here for you Hawaii kids fake tikis, ugly Aloha shirts, and coconut bras as being “Hawaiian.”) What’s worse is she’s enslaved a poor penguin in a million dollar terrarium, because she saw that movie documentary, while Reena’s mother has resorted to pawning her possessions to get by. Molly’s stepmother Candy Lamb has single handedly turned Molly’s whole family against her. She’s given the rest of the family and probably the rest of the town the impression that Molly thinks she’s better than all of them because she attends an elite boarding school nearby. Candy has even turned Molly’s younger sister Spencer against her. What’s worse is Molly’s real mother has checked herself into a mental institution after her divorce from Molly’s dad. Yes folks, these are indeed evil stepmothers as in the variety that you see in fairytales but, they are even more horrific because they are the type that you see in everyday life and the ones you have to interact with.

Trisha and I both got a big kick out of this book. I especially like Reena’s storyline when she describes her Indian wannabe stepmother who’s trying to be more Indian than the whole family. Here’s a little taste:

It’s hard to describe what we encountered in the foyer of what used to be our normal, all-American home. I guess it was the twenty-foot-tall wooden statue of Vishnu that caught my attention first. And I only found out it was Vishnu because I gasped and said: “What is that?” “Vishnu,” Shanti said, gliding out of the kitchen and smiling at us. “Don’t you recognize Vishnu? He’s one of the most famous Hindu gods.” I shook my head. “I don’t know any Hindu gods.”

“Wow,” I said to Dad and Shanti. “It’s very…” “Different!” she said cheerfully. I nodded. “Also…Indian. It’s very Indian.” Dad shot me a warning glance. “Yep,” Pradeep piped up. “It’s, like, more Indian than it was when four Indian people were living here.”

Reena is definitely the least tragic of all the characters and I adore her coolness and goofiness. There definitely seems to be sequel potential for this book and dare I say it might be even as big as the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. My only wish is that there’s a spin off book solely on Reena’s story.

34 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2007 1:17 pm

    Yay, I can finally talk about this book with someone!

    This book has everything, doesn’t it? Three girls with nothing in common except their evil stepmothers and misconceptions of each other, but somehow they become friends. There’s some romance, some heartbreak, some howls of laughter, plus it’s mostly set in a boarding school. And, bonus, an awesome Asian-American character. What else can you ask for?

    It’s amazing that this is a debut novel. There are so many different elements, but the book doesn’t feel bloated or that things were thrown in just because.

  2. July 12, 2007 1:25 pm

    Forgot to mention that I heart the cover.

  3. Nicole permalink
    October 29, 2007 10:58 am

    Yeah, I love the cover. Is it Kristen? Or Molly?

    Reena is my fave, Molly my least, she seems too dramatic and she does seem a little ungrateful. Boarding school is EXPENSIVE!

    I hope they make a sequel!

    • Robyn permalink
      March 7, 2012 1:04 pm

      I think it’s Kristen on the cover because there’s a little bit of red in her hair, but I could be wrong.

  4. Michelle permalink
    November 2, 2007 3:35 am

    Absolutely loved it. I’ve been searching around to see if there will be a sequel of some sort…am totally hoping there will be.

  5. Gayle permalink*
    November 2, 2007 3:30 pm

    Ooooh read our interview with Lily Archer on Friday 11/9 to see if there will be a sequel…

  6. November 17, 2007 6:31 am

    Oooh! I loved this book, and I’m glad others have read it too.
    Very funny, entertaining, didn’t want to put it down.

    Does anyone know if Lily Archer has an email or website?

  7. Mary permalink
    December 1, 2007 2:42 pm

    hey everyone! i loved this book and actually chose it to do a novel-study on! (although that parts really tedious.) But i just wanted to say i loved this book and wanted to read it WAY more than all my other books. Read it really quickly and just want to say…. i they make a film of this book I so would want to be cast as alice…. i just think i would do really well as an Alice like this! anyway, I’m glad that everyone else enjoyed it too.

  8. Mary permalink
    December 1, 2007 2:45 pm

    oh, and i thought that on the cover it was alice! whoops maybe im way out of it:P anyway on the cover i loved how there’s the hand holding the apple and it has a penguin bracelet on to represent Shanti’s penguin (maybe) and the big diamonds and pearls. And then there’s the bright red nailpolish that i think represents R’s drama in the story.

  9. Mary permalink
    December 1, 2007 2:47 pm

    ooh! an how shes wearing a blanket! like when they were on the roof all huddled in blankets with fl;ashlights! and the snowflake-flower things! okay that was my last blog thing….. promise!

  10. Alex permalink
    December 13, 2007 6:20 pm

    i forgot how this book ended šŸ˜¦ but i absolutely loved it. it was amazing. How did it end again?

  11. January 20, 2008 3:43 pm

    The library FINALLY got this book. This morning, I was going to read in bed for a hundred pages. When I hit page 100, it had only been 45 minutes, so I upped it to an hour. 15 minutes later, I just kept reading, and I stayed there until I was done. LOVED it, and adding it to two of my booklists right now.

    • greta permalink
      January 10, 2011 12:05 pm

      I know all the deets on the front cover. The red nail polish represents Candy Lamb, the penguin braclet represents Shanti Shruti, and the pearls represent R. Also the irl is a mix of all the girls. Alice’s white skin, Molly’s green eyes, and Reena’s black hair

  12. maritza permalink
    February 1, 2008 6:31 pm

    this book is really good! i think the girl on the cover is Reena and the hand wearing the bracelet with the pinguin is her stepmom cuz didnt she want a penguin?so anyways lily should make her own website cuz i really neecl some info and a pic of her for my book report that i have to present to the whole class =]
    p.s there seriously should be a sequel!!!!

  13. ekimmy permalink
    February 22, 2008 12:57 pm

    loved this book… UNTIL THE END! in my opinion, the ending was super suckish and there should definitely be a sequel that ties up everything else that happened back at boarding school with the reena, molly, and alice.

  14. March 18, 2008 8:31 am

    Finally a good book! Im soooo glad others aslso read it and liked it!

  15. Elle permalink
    July 6, 2008 12:47 pm

    OMG!!! I am reading this book right now and I’m so in love with it!!!!

  16. Abigail permalink
    January 12, 2009 10:56 am

    this book is amazing i have a stepmum two she’s just like R. but not a film star this book has giving me tips on revenge

  17. loved it!! permalink
    January 28, 2009 1:05 pm

    omg!!!! i TOTALLY loved this book!!! it is AH-MAZING. i would definetly tottaly recommend it. it was great and had everything in it..i COULD NOT put it down when i started reading it!!!! it is a truly amazing book!!!!! if you havent read it… need to!!!!!!!! i am really really hoping they make a sequel…that would just be awesome!!!!!!!!! anyways it is good for all of you sexii guys too!!! well, in conclusion it is great and is a good book. when they describe the characters they all seem really hot….especially the guys!!! WELL READ IT šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

  18. EME permalink
    February 2, 2009 9:19 am

    i loved this book too. but i dont know whats the end , i forgot the end too, sadly , does some one know !! šŸ™‚

  19. Nadiaaaaa permalink
    August 7, 2009 3:59 am

    Omg, this book is my all time fav book. I really wish she would make a sequel… I would like to see if Kristen really does become a member !!
    I think the girl on the cover is Reena, and the hand is R.’s??

  20. August 13, 2009 5:08 am

    I totally love this book>>>awesum

  21. Michelle permalink
    October 17, 2009 2:54 pm

    I love this book so much! I’m doing a book project on it right now!

  22. camille permalink
    November 6, 2009 11:20 am

    the book was awsome i love it !!!!! my favorite character is Alice…On the cover i think its kristen coz they said she was a red head ….Just like molly I love the OED but i think i could relate most to alice …i wish to that bording school (if it existed) i have the $$ to go there … I love this book šŸ™‚

  23. Dani permalink
    January 18, 2010 1:30 pm

    Hey guys! I reasd this book last year (7th grade) and I loved it! I could not put it down and it had a really weird twist to it! I hope The Poison Apples turns into a series!!! Honestly this is the best book I have ever read (well the twilight series and blue is for nightmares) and I couldn’t put it down for a minute! If you like to read I recommend you read this book because you will loove it!

  24. March 13, 2010 4:33 pm

    I <3ed this book too!!!! It was awsome! THey sooo have to make a sequal to this book, cause i will SOOO read it! If anybody knows any info about the sequel, leev a comment PLZ!!!! Anywayz, just thought i'd share… my fav character was Alice, I thought she was the most relatable… and I didn't like Molly either! My fav part was when Reenas bro commented on theportrait in their father's house… Litterally laughed for 5 minutes!!!! Haha… anywayz byee

  25. April 25, 2010 12:52 pm

    oh my gose i never thought i would be so into a book lily you are amazing my name is molly and i have a stepdad and they have been married for over a year now if i had to relate my story to one of the girls it would be alice altough i have not been sent of to boarding school my mum has said a couple of times that she will send me of a to a really epenive boarding school if she has to my mum has just had a baby 6 days old named grace
    but not all step perants are bad i love my new dad he is just like me !!! šŸ™‚

  26. Cookie69 permalink
    May 4, 2010 1:22 pm

    What kind of spells did the girls use to get revenge?

  27. grace permalink
    July 17, 2010 4:28 pm

    i didn’t mind this book, it was a good and easy read. I reckon there are better books out there. Just writing my reading response on this for school šŸ˜‰

  28. October 14, 2010 8:01 pm

    Hey I’m Gabbi add me on MSN if you agree:)

    A movie to go with this book would be excellent. We all get so attached to the characters and then..the book ends..? I seriously said ‘What?, is that it?’
    I like Lily Archer’s writing so much now, I want to read more, but her work is a little too simple to read.

  29. Erin permalink
    October 26, 2010 10:58 pm

    My mum picked this book up for me because, well, I hate my stepmum, she reminds me mostly of R. Candy and Shanti talk to molly and reena whereas R. makes it absolutely obvious she hates Alice which is exactly what my stepmom does.
    Anyway this book is the most read book in the whole of my bookcase, read it like 14 times and would recommend it to anyone,, two of my friends have read it and also loved it. It great!! a side note though, my cover is different its black and has a red hand holding an apple, its all drawn,, then, the poison apples is written in fancy writing at the top. It about three years I’ve had it now so I don’t think its a new cover. Anyway abolutely loved the book!! Brill šŸ™‚


  1. Winter Blog Blast Tour: Lily Archer « The YA YA YAs

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