Shirley Marr's Reviews > Cinnamon Rain

Cinnamon Rain by Emma Cameron
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-ya
Read in March, 2012

To be honest with you, I wasn't that keen to read Cinnamon Rain, a new Aussie YA title from debut author Emma Cameron. For starters, I found the title "Cinnamon Rain" perplexing as it doesn't really conjure up anything particularly visually and/or emotionally impressive (or even familiar) in terms of poetic vernacular for myself. Cinnamon Rain… what the heck… is that?

Secondly, the blurb describes it as about a boy trying to stay out of trouble at school. With a friend who has an abusive stepdad. This friend is called Bongo. And a girl whom "they both love". If that doesn't sound like an Aussie cliche, it's probably be next week's plot line on Neighbours. Then I also find out it is a verse novel. No offence, I don't either "do" or "not do" verse novels, it just never interested me. But I am a stickler for sniffing out new Aussie talent, so I decided to, as Harold Bishop might say, "give it a burl".

Elaborating on what I said before, Cinnamon Rain is told from three different viewpoints in three separate volumes within the novel, following the final year of junior high school when the protagonists decide whether they should continue with their senior education or go out into the world and make their own way. The novel chronicling this delicate transition period and beyond when naive teenagers become - so to speak - independent young adults.

Reading the first few pages, I confidently declared to my husband that it was what I expected - a standard 3 star read. "Wait till you get to the end," Hubby sagely advises perhaps used to the fact that I often changes heart easily and always can be swayed by strong character development, storyline, writing etc despite my pugnacious intent to either love or dislike something to begin with.

And change my heart I do. It doesn't take long for me to fall into the swing of this novel. When I think poetry, I think of elaborate, purpley wankerage. This book though is intensely readable, in very sparse language and in all of it's simplicity, it is the most poetic "verse" I have ever read. It is quite simply - beautiful. I am so impressed that despite saying so little, how much I learn about the characters and how intensely I come to care for them. If this novel was written as standard prose, I don't think it could have said twice as much or said it as well.

I love how the novel is set out, with the three inter-related volumes. How we get to get to see the world from one narrator and then the same thing from another character. As opposed to being repetitive, it is actually illuminating and it is clever how the middle volume adds more to the story, with the final volume pulling the story full circle.

If I have anything negative to say about this novel (and it really isn't negative, just an observation) is that jury is out on the title "Cinnamon Rain" after the completion of reading. I know it is used in the novel, but I wouldn't say it is fully explained and is left more to the interpretation of the reader. I guess it means a red, stinging rain, but not as vicious as "raining blood", which brings me to my segue. This novel had the potential to get very dark, as more than one of our protagonist are forced to leave school earlier than they are ready due to tough family situations, but you just know they will be safe. And there is a feel to the novel that although realistic, is idealised and sweet. And I don't mean that in a bad way cos I loved that "hopefulness" of it and I especially loved the ending. So perhaps "Cinnamon" Rain is the perfect title for this book. Not the cold "November Rain"; not "Fire and Rain".

Obviously written and targeted to Year 10 students contemplating their future, this novel succeeds by being an excellent read for older and more savvy readers due to its sheer heart, universal themes of finding your path (no matter your age) and excellent writing.

I still think the blurb is terrible and I feel it might turn readers off, but I eat my words about this book being like Neighbours. If Neighbours employed Emma Cameron as a writer, it would be a better show for it.

This book really moved me.

This review originally appeared here on my blog Books on Marrs.


Earlier... back on the ranch...

I did not know that this was a verse novel! Oh well, here I go regardless!

Why is this book called Cinnamon Rain? Is it some sort of reddish coloured tears that an emo would cry out? But then why is it cinnamon flavoured?

It's kinda perplexing.

BRB when I discover the answer.

35 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Cinnamon Rain.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

07/27/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Reynje Preach, sister :)

Shirley Marr And Leanne Hall said there shall be darkness and an army of tarsiers will plague mankind and thou shall be smite by Kidds and Reynje said "hey, that sounds so cooool"

Reynje Hehe.. you know it!

Reynje I'm unsure how I feel about the name 'Bongo.'

Shirley Marr Next you'll be telling me you're unsure of the name "Toadie" :-D

Reynje Haha! :) Well-played!

Reynje I just remembered Stingray.


Shirley Marr :D

Don't forget Roo and Didge!

Hee hee.

I shall call you Reynbo

message 9: by jesse (last edited Mar 11, 2012 09:27AM) (new) - added it

jesse do you aussie guys really call each other mate all the time?
is it like americans calling each other bro or dude? (view spoiler)
please enlighten me, i beg of you!

Shirley Marr Joe... maaayte. Of course we do, mate :)

Actually, I do use it occassionally! Usually "thanks mate!" when someone does something very positive and "Ostraylan".

Or I use it ironically as a term of disapproval (when someone does something very Unostraylan) and "thanks mate!" becomes more like "geez thanks, you're such a friend"

But that is probably because I am what you might class a "yobbo" :-)

message 11: by jesse (new) - added it

jesse Shirley wrote: "Joe... maaayte. Of course we do, mate :)

Actually, I do use it occassionally! Usually "thanks mate!" when someone does something very positive and "Ostraylan".

Or I use it ironically as a t..."

haha :D

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Lovely review! I might actually read this :)

Also there is a Mr Marr? Well howdy doo. Not sure what I mean by that...I guess I just always pictured you pedalling across the night sky and scattering the world with your words.

It's late I'm going to stop and go to sleep :)

message 13: by Shirley (last edited Mar 16, 2012 07:03AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shirley Marr Thank you and nighty night Trin, I'm off too.

And yes there is a Mr "Marr" - so sorry Markus Zusak and Craig Silvey - I'm not available!!

Sarah Oh man... I did not know this was a novel in verse! Looks like this may be moving higher up on my priority queue for my Fishpond order. I'm always looking out for good novels in verse.

message 15: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling Hm, "cinnamon rain" to me just makes me think of red hots falling from the sky. Oooh, heart-shaped red hots!

And yes, here we go with the candy again.

Reynje Thank you for the term "purpley wankerage". I'm filing that under "Things To Introduce Into Everyday Speech" beside swaggering asshat, and howdy doo :)

Also, thank you for this lovely review! *bumps up pile*

P.S. Now I'm picturing Harold Bishop's jowls...

Shirley Marr Awww Wendy, you're mush more imaginative than me! Raining heart-shaped red hots (I must get me some of these!!) would perfectly describe this book.

Rey - LOL! You should try and introduce all those terms next time you're at the bookstore and the shop assistant asks you if you'd like some help.

message 18: by Nafiza (new) - added it

Nafiza I have a friend whose last name is Cinnamon. The title makes me think of a whole family of Cinnamons raining. Because my mind, it's weird like that. :D

Shirley Marr That is the cutest surname I have ever heard! I hope your friend meets someone with the last name Apple and they live happily ever after (cos we know that that is the best flavour combination:))

message 20: by Nafiza (new) - added it

Nafiza Haha!! I tried calling her Cinnamon Bun once and barely escaped with my life so I don't know that she'll fall for the Apple. But I second the happily ever after.

message 21: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole "Why must Aussie YA be so hard to get here??" she cried out, rending her garments.

This sounds exactly like my cup of tea, despite the name "Bongo."

Emily Lovely review, as always! I really want to read this but I just can't get past the name Bongo.

Also, Shirley, I have a bone to pick with you. This is the second Neighbours jibe I've seen. When are you gonna realise it's the best TV show ever?!

Shirley Marr Thanks Emily! So you've overcome the "Bongo Barrier" I see:)

I'm just secretly bitter at Neighbours for (view spoiler):P

back to top