Book review of The Cilantro in Apple Pie – Readers’ Favorite: Book Reviews and Award Contest

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite The Cilantro in Apple Pie is a young adult coming of age story written by Kimberley Nadine Knights. Sixteen-year-old Rubie found herself on a plane with her sister and brother-in-law, bound for a Boston suburb for a number of rational reasons, but New England was a far cry from the sun and warmth of her homeland, Trinidad and Tobago. Being separated from her mom and dad was not something she found at all easy to deal with. Rubie would be staying with Violet and Dennis in their new house, and she was concerned about being a third wheel and an intruder in the newlyweds’ domestic bliss. She would also be going to an exclusive private school on full scholarship and would be poised to attend college in the States. She was relieved to discover that Dennis had found the perfect house, however, which included a very private room and bath combo for her. School was another matter altogether. Lumiere Hall’s student population was largely made up of the wealthy and privileged, but Rubie’s newly found determination to make no new friends left her in good stead among her haughty fellow students. Then there was the dour, tall boy dressed in black who seemed to have a special interest in being her friend. Kimberley Nadine Knights’s young adult coming of age novel, The Cilantro in Apple Pie, reads like a dream … really, it does. I can’t remember enjoying the act of reading a novel quite as much as I did this marvelous debut offering. Rubie and Gil are complex and complicated characters: Gil takes an extra week off after being suspended for a mental health break, and Rubie’s sudden change in character hints at a problem she won’t share. One can’t help but cheer as these two mismatched characters from opposite sides of the world and the tracks spar, keep their heads above the high school fray, and work at becoming the closest of friends. I loved learning more about Trinidad and Tobago and appreciated the glossary which precedes the novel. I also found myself Googling recipes for some of the dishes Violet and Rubie prepare, especially that brown sugar fudge. Might there be a sequel to this novel? I certainly hope so. The Cilantro in Apple Pie is an outstanding debut young adult novel, and it’s most highly recommended.

Source: Book review of The Cilantro in Apple Pie – Readers’ Favorite: Book Reviews and Award Contest


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