Reader Reviewed The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
  

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl

Written by Melissa Keil

13+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the 2015 Inky Awards The imminent arrival of the end of the world is going to focus your attention on the important stuff, even if you’re a teenager in those special months between the end of school and the start of whatever is coming next. Alba lives in tiny Eden Valley miles from anywhere (this is Australia so miles means hundreds of miles). When a Youtube video announces the world will end in seventeen days and names Eden Valley as the only safe place to be thousands descend on the town, including Alba’s old school friend Daniel, who left aged ten. In the strange atmosphere, part carnival part doomsday, all emotions are magnified and Alba has at last to acknowledge what she wants for the future. Quirky, touching and unusual this is an appealing coming of age story with an original central character.

The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt is the UK version of this, and captures the same air of hope, possibility and nostalgia for the childhood being left behind. ~ Andrea Reece

A Piece of Passion from editor, Emma Young It’s pretty much impossible not to fall in love with Alba, the protagonist of The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl. She’s a wise-cracking, polka-dot-headscarved, doughnut-loving whirlwind of energy who likes the way she looks, dresses according to her own rules, loves comics, has a weird and wonderful group of friends and is in possession of an enormous heart. As well as all that, she is currently freaking out in a major way about her future and the choices she needs to make. Alba’s stuck at a crossroads and you’ll want to be stapled to her side as she figures out what on earth comes next. This is contemporary YA at its most relevant – every teenager on the brink of adulthood will relate to Alba’s anxieties – and most entertaining.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Ellen Faulkner, age 14 - 'I loved The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl. It was witty and beautifully written-and it would appeal to anybody, comic fan or not.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 17 - 'I wouldn't normally pick this type of book up. But I'm glad I did because I absolutely loved it! this book is flat out side-splittingly hilarious!'
  • Edel Waugh - 'It's a story about growing up and finding yourself and seeing those around you change. Very enjoyable!'
  • Melanie Chadwick - 'Alba is a great character who is a very talented comic artist; I now want to see her Cinnamon Girl creation published as a comic, now that would be great.'
  • Megan West, age 14 - 'I think this book is light-hearted and enjoyable, with a warm, easy to follow plot. I like the characters and I think it is beautifully written.'
  • Francesca Anderson, age 14 - 'The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is a novel perfectly describing the troubles and insecurities facing teenagers today.'
  • Rebekah Marsh, age 13 - 'Reading this book made me feel as I lived every moment making decisions as if I was Alba...It has that combination of emotion and humour that is pivotal to a young adult novella.'
  • Amelia Corrick-Gough, age 14 - 'This book was really good! It took me a while to get into the book, but when I did I couldn't put it down! I loved all of the characters, and the way Alba's brain works.'
  • Ella Hollingshead, age 14 - 'An exciting novel which captures your imagination. Readers are sure to enjoy.'
  • Amelie Chatham, age 13 - 'The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is a book that shows the ridiculous extremes some people will go to in the event of the end of the world.'
  • Dahabo Wacays, age 17 - 'This was a light, funny read and perfect for all lovers of books! The narrator and protagonist, Alba, is so lovable and oozes confidence that you'd long to be her or with her.'
  • Millie, age 15 - 'The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl was totally amazing and captivating. I absolutely loved the ending and the last few chapters were really satisfying, everything you wanted to happen did.'
  • Jenny Duffy - 'Grady and Alba’s friendship was pitch perfect, and the book has both laugh-out-loud moments and genuinely moving scenes.'  
  • Rachel Bridgeman - 'A brilliant apocalyptic novel with comedy, great characters and comic strips, and attitude. What's not to love?'

Synopsis

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

A funny and unique feel-good read about how to keep on being yourself when everything around you is changing, perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Non Pratt and John Green.

From award-winning author Melissa Keil comes an addictive, offbeat young adult contemporary novel. The story follows Alba, a modern sassy heroine that channels individuality, promotes body confidence and reflects the hopes and anxieties of readers about to take their next adventurous steps into the unknown.

For some people making decisions in life comes easy, for Alba things aren’t that straightforward. 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 her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails. And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving. Oh and it’s apparently the end of the world - which is proving to be quite awkward.

As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos. Can she figure things out in time?

Author's note on the inspiration behind writing The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl Cinnamon Girl was inspired by a few things – I wanted to write a character who was an artist and a comic book fan (partly because I loved the idea of a character who had such a rich visual approach to her world, partly so I could indulge my desire to read a lot of comic books). I wanted to write a book set in a small town, as I’d spent some time in a farming town while I was writing my first book, and I fell in love with it as a location for a story. The catalyst for the book though was a little article I stumbled on in the back pages of a newspaper, a story about a tiny town in France that inadvertently became the centre of a doomsday prediction. The potential end-of-the-world seemed like a pretty fitting metaphor for my main character, Alba, and her journey at a very transitional moment in her life.

Reviews

She struggles to leave the only life she's known behind and venture out into the world, which is something I too experienced when I finished school all those years ago. Kelly, Diva Booknerd Blog

She doesn't need a boyfriend and doesn't seek the approval of others for validation. She's what teen girls should be portrayed as. Kelly, Goodreads

About the Author

Melissa Keil

Melissa was born in Melbourne, Australia and worked as an editor, high school teacher and a Middle Eastern tour guide before becoming an author. Her debut YA novel, Life in Outer Space, was the winner of the 2013 Ampersand Project and won IBBY Australia's Ena Noel award and was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers. Melissa lives in Melbourne with her cheeky spoodle, Hugo.

A Q&A with Melissa

What was your inspiration behind writing The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl? Cinnamon Girl was inspired by a few things – I wanted to write a character who was an artist and a comic book fan (partly because I loved the idea of a character who had such a rich visual approach to her world, partly so I could indulge my desire to read a lot of comic books). I wanted to write a book set in a small town, as I’d spent some time in a farming town while I was writing my first book, and I fell in love with it as a location for a story. The catalyst for the book though was a little article I stumbled on in the back pages of a newspaper, a story about a tiny town in France that inadvertently became the centre of a doomsday prediction. The potential end-of-the-world seemed like a pretty fitting metaphor for my main character, Alba, and her journey at a very transitional moment in her life.

Do you create your characters based on people you know? Not really – there are probably little pieces of lots of different people I’ve met in all of my characters, but none of them are consciously based on any one person. One of my favourite things about writing is crafting my characters – getting to know them as if they were real people, and discovering things about them that I may not have known when I started writing. It’s much more freeing (and interesting) to me than basing them on real-world people!

Alba has Cinnamon Girl as her alter ego, if you had a super hero alter ego what would they be called and why? At this moment, when I’m desperately trying to finish my new novel by my increasingly frightening deadline, my super hero alter ego would either have the ability to pause time, or, the ability to turn anything she touched into cake. Spontaneous Baked-Goods Girl doesn’t really have a great ring to it though…

Did you always know you wanted to be an author? I always wanted to write, but the idea of calling myself an author seemed very far fetched when I was young. I was a voracious reader, and it always seemed to me that books were written by special, magical people who I couldn’t ever hope to emulate. I took a long time and quite a few unsuccessful career attempts before I was brave enough to give writing a proper shot.

What have you got planned next? I’m finishing up my new novel, tentatively titled The Secret Science of Magic. It’s involved quite a bit of research on card tricks, and lots of Googling things like ‘quantum mechanics for dummies’. I’ve also been working on the early stages of a screenplay for The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl – the possibility that at some point in the future she might head to the big screen is pretty exciting.

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
384 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Melissa Keil
More books by Melissa Keil

Author's Website

melissakeil.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Stripes Publishing an imprint of Little Tiger Press Group

Publication date

11th February 2016

ISBN

9781847156839

Categories


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