Have you ever felt your day couldn’t possibly get any worse? Every minute seems to be worse than the last. As soon as you start to feel things are on the upswing, something else happens to knock you down.
This is exactly how the main character in Rebecca Callow’s debut novel, Apples and Oranges, feels every day. Charlotte “Charlie” Crawford is determined to make the most of her senior year of high school. This is her year to shine. Charlie has amazing friends and super supportive family members. But Charlie is still struggling to stand on her own two feet. She is terrified of Clarissa, the meanest girl in school. She is in love with the hottest jock in town, and can’t figure out why Lucas keeps trying to talk to her.
Throughout the year Charlie misses out on a lot of fun due to some of her insecurities. Is it worse to go to the Homecoming dance alone or to not go at all and miss everything? While Charlie is figuring out how to stand up for herself, she learns the true meaning of family and friends. When Charlie is trying to be someone she is not, her life gets worse and worse. Once she realizes her true feelings, and finds out what is really important in life, she begins to relax. Things begin to fall into place once Charlie is able to just be herself.
Charlie uses her blog, Apples and Oranges, as a way to vent and to escape from the day. She spills her most intimate secrets on to the internet. Through this reflection she often discovers she has what it takes all along. Charlie, at times, desperately seeks advice from her online followers. But once she is able to sleep and ponder the situation for herself she realizes she knows what has to be done.
Rebecca Callow’s, Apples and Oranges, takes you through the paces of an ordinary day of a high school student. From waking up and having to share a bathroom with her sister, to work and dance classes after school. It is a challenge to schedule everything; maintaining a balance between work and hanging out with friends and family. Apples and Oranges give you a clear picture of the inner working of the teenage mind. Rebecca is able to write about the angst, anxiety, frustrations, and heartaches of a high school senior since she wrote this while in her senior year of high school.
A round of applause should be given to Rebecca for her thoughtful awareness as well as the dedication and guts it took to write such a novel. It has been a while since I was in high school, but this book took me back. Yes, back through it all; the good, the bad and the ugly. In the beginning, I felt sorry for Charlie, and wished for her the insight that only years can bring. But then Charlie turned it around. She figured it out just in the nick of time. This story doesn’t end at graduation. But Charlie’s future is bright, now that she is able to see anything worth having is not worth a compromise to the wonderful woman inside.