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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,715 ratings  ·  553 reviews
THE SECRETS OF the past meet the shocks of the present.
Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language - but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.

When Aslaug's mother dies unexpectedly, everything changes. For Aslaug is a suspect in
Hardcover, 410 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,715 ratings  ·  553 reviews

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Wow. When I started Madapple yesterday, I had no idea what I was signing up for. Had I known what was ahead of me, I don’t think I would have picked it up. You see, I expected it to be paranormal (although I’m not sure why), and it wasn’t. I never expected it to be about child abuse, kidnapping, drugs and incest, but it was. I certainly never thought it would delve so deep into the connections between paganism and Christianity. Finally, I expected it to be forgettable, but I doubt I’ll forget ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it

i fully intended to like this more than i did. because my four here should be interpreted as three-and-a-half with four-star potential.

the things i liked:

structure. i love books like this, with a dual narrative approaching each other like tiny trains. the present-day storyline running along and getting interrupted by the four-years future courtroom transcripts and you are like "wooooah - how did we ever get to this point??"

religion/mythology. loved this. so few YA novels these days deal with
Emily May
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it

Apart from a few annoyingly unanswered questions, this book was simply fantastic. I had been misinformed about Madapple and believed it to be a book mostly about teen pregnancy, but though the book does contain this, it is actually about much more exciting stuff. It's realistic fiction and yet there's this beauty to the writing that makes it read like a fantasy - a modern day United States setting that still manages to seem completely out of this world.

I'm disappointed that more people don't
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who liked Nancy Werlin's "Impossible"
"Madapple" is definitely a fascinating and unconventional story. Part courtroom drama, part a dream-like narration of a sheltered and (maybe) delusional girl, it's certainly a book unlike anything I've read before.

Reading some of the book's reviews, I've noticed how hard it is to give an idea what this book is about. In a few words, the story comes down to this: Aslaug is on trial for the murder of her mother, aunt and cousin. As the trial progresses, more and more people are called to testify.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Harmony for

I finished reading MADAPPLE last night and, for the first time ever, I sat staring at the book in shock. For fifteen minutes. I was ready to laugh, to cry, and to scream in frustration. Never before have I read a book that left me feeling that way after finishing it. Sure, there have been books where I've laughed, cried, and been frustrated at different points as I read it (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS comes to mind) -- but to experience them all
Sarah Mac
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"It's time to open the curtains, let in the sun, let these mad apples grow."

I didn’t think it was possible for a book to top the craziness that was Flowers in the Attic. At that point, I thought we had reached peak craziness. But then this book came along and drop-kicked me completely in the face with the amount of sheer bat-shit insanity that goes on.

For as long as she can remember, Aslaug Datter has wondered who her father is. Her mother, Marren, always claimed that Aslaug was a virgin
Jan 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, solo-books-read
This book tells the story of a girl, Aslaug, and at the same time you have a trial regarding her. So you can see both ends, how the trial is going, what the counsels and witnesses have to say, and also the real story of what happened told from Aslaug’s point of view.

Aslaug’s birth was a mystery to her mother, Maren. She claimed she was a virgin and got pregnant, so it was some kind of a miracle thing. She believed something special was going to come out of this, maybe a new Jesus or something,
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I knew this was going to be dark, but I wasn't expecting this: Aslaug's story is dark, twisted, confusing, sad and frustrating.. but through all of it, I was stuck. I wanted, no, needed, to know how it would all turn out.

Is this YA? I think not. She's young but her story takes things to a whole other level. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone anyone expecting a typical YA "dark" romance. Unless they want to think. Unless they want to be confused. Unless they want one hell of a story. It had me

I want to see more YA novels like Madapple. YA novels that don't pander to their younger audience and treat them like sugar crazed idiots who want nothing but bad boys to imagine themselves dry humping with. Unfortunately, the general population does not agree with, as seen by the 3.36 average on this book and the general lack of buzz surrounding it. So, I took the pleasure of riding down review alley and discovered that one of the main pros/cons for and against Madapple (besides it being
Jun 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
There's a more perfect way to describe this book, but for politeness sake, I'll just say that this book is "messed up". It's crazy. What are some of the elements that go into this book? Well, let's start with suspicious virgin births, not just one, but two. Then there's incest, rape, poisionous plants foraged from the backyard woods, kidnapping, arson, and suitcases full of cash. The narration is creepy. Aslaug, the main character, is creepy too. Actually every single character in the book is ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
No, I'm serious. What the actual fuck?

I don't even know what to say in this review. I'll probably come back and write a proper one, too, but...what the fuck.

Incest, fanatical religious people, incest, and fucked up plants.

What the fuck. What the fuck.

...strangely enough, I found the moral questions that this book edged the reader towards deep, probing, and...awesome. I did like this book, I promise. wtf tho
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hs-adult
I was very disappointed with this book,and it got two stars not because the writing was bad, but because it was way too weird and jumbled in its thought process and unfolding of the tale. Plus, it got great, starred reviews and is marketed to young adults, but I really don't think too many teenagers would be able to plod through it, understand the points, and like it.

A lot of the time I couldn't figure out the author's point/purpose for spending enormous amounts of words and space on certain
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Move over Martha Stewart and make way for Madapple!

I enjoy reading books about home economics. From crafting to cleaning, I’m a sucker for domestic life! As often as I dream of being June Cleaver or Bree Van de Kamp and living in a clean and organized home, I lack enthusiasm in the process of getting there. I have a toddler, so when I clean, I’m cleaning the mess that I just cleaned up 2 hours before.

Until recently (don’t get your hopes up, our house is a work in progress)…

I made a deal with
Let me start by saying that in some weird way, this book blew me away.

Madapple is the story of Aslaug Hellig, a bright girl who was raised in near isolation by her genius -- but disturbed -- mother. When Aslaug's mother dies, Aslaug goes to the only place she can remember her mother having taken her. The place, it turns out, is a former monastery-turned-church, run by an aunt she never knew she had. Aslaug moves into the church with her aunt Sara and her children, Sanne and Rune, and gets caught
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
A disappointing read for me; it came so highly recommended. I was caught up briefly in the beginning, but soon started to think that this was maybe not so different from typical vaguely exploitative (but enjoyable) popular adult fiction--Oprah books, like White Oleander and Midwives. Then it started to get increasingly dry and repetitive; I lost any connection I'd had with the protagonist. I felt like I could see where the story was going, and I wanted to get on with it.

I wish authors would
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book is very difficult to review. I read it a few weeks ago but I felt I needed a little time to process it before being able to say what I thought about it with any semblance of order. Still, I'm not sure how clear I can be, so cut me some slack if I start rambling.

Let's get the most important idea out of the way so at least you know if I would recommend it or not. Here we go: It's weird and I loved most of it but the ending was a bit of a letdown given the overall feeling of the story.
Emma Michaels
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just... Wow. This novel caught me off guard. I didn't expect to like it or get pulled into it. Once I started reading though, it was fantastic. Absolutely spectacular writing and I just couldn't put it down. It was fascinating and horrifying at the same time but in its core I think what got to me the most if just how human it is. the characters are so real you can feel their hearts beating. You want to cry with them and above all even though they are going through something that maybe most ...more
Morgan F
The thing that originally attracted me to this book was the cover. Look at it! So dark and mysterious...and the description only added to the appeal. It seemed like an intriguing read.
And it was, but not exactly what I was expecting. From the way it sounded, I thought it would be further back in time, and possibly with some magic involved. Instead what I got was botany, incest, religion, philosophy, murder, and mythology. This story was very complex, with too parallel story lines really,
May 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fiction
Hmmmm....this book was recommended to me by a friend who loved this book and who's recommended great books before. This one I couldn't really get into. It was all over the place - death, abandonement, isolation, botany, poisoning, incest, rape (?), virgin births, murder. All these themes were touched upon but in a very muddied way. It all came together in the end but I found it creepy and weird and not in a good way. This is what I think of as a "special" book - it will have very limited appeal ...more
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Madapple alternates between the narration of Aslaug, the protagonist and a court trial. Aslaug is on trial for the murder of her aunt and cousin. This book blends religion, science, mythology and botany.
Read the rest of my review here
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Madapple started out as an amazing book. From the beginning it immerses the reader in a world of religion, horticulture, science and myths. Teenage Aslaug is an eccentric, sheltered and possibly mentally unstable girl. At first it is unclear whether her magic is real or not. It is also unclear whether Aslaug’s point of view is altered due to her own imbalances, or the circumstances around her. Christina Meldrum created a dreamy, mystical world through Aslaug’s eyes. In addition, every other ...more
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: cover-love
A book about how completely screwed up and out of touch with reality people can be without anyone noticing or helping them. With expositions of the properties of the flora of Maine.
Apr 19, 2008 rated it liked it
The theory that there are no original ideas, that everything has been done before, has been bandied around a lot in relation to mediocre pop music and, more relevant here perhaps, in terms of newly published books. Although I can point out my fair share of movie remakes and rip-off book plots, I generally hold with those who disagree and think that there is still a bit of originality out there. After finishing "Madapple" by Christina Meldrum (due out in May 2008 from Knopf) I think that's even ...more
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
I'm glad I listened to Madapple. However I'm not sure if I can say I actually liked it. It's a disturbing read about a girl named Aslaug who's sequestered away from the world by an overprotective mother. Because of her isolation, Aslaug both loves and hates her mother, which skews her understanding of family and love for the whole book. When her mother unexpectedly dies, Aslaug has to face a world she does not understand and is not prepared for.

This book asks a lot of questions without ever
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
First off, let me say that Madapple is not for everyone. You’ll either love it, or you’ll hate it. This book deals with a lot of dark themes; death, murder, drugs (in a sense), incest, religion, mythology, and to top it all off: an unreliable narrator.

The first chapter of this book, or rather prologue, was really confusing and I just couldn’t get into it so I put the book down and thought to pick it back up later. But when I did, I was absolutely blown away. The novel is structured on
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Christina Meldrum is the author of MADAPPLE, a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award and the William C. Morris Award, an ALA Best Book, a Booklist Editor's Choice and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book. Her second novel, AMARYLLIS IN BLUEBERRY, is forthcoming in February 2011 from Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
“Life was a revolving mystery, sometimes terrifying, sometimes maddening. But always provocative. Interesting. And although its meaning seemed beyond my grasp, it never seemed meaningless.” 17 likes
“Words are like physical objects around us that appear to be continuous and whole but are in fact composed of particles too small for for the eye to see, for the brain to imagine. Words oversimplify reality. Break open a word, and it's like breaking a mold. The contents seep free, become something new.” 10 likes
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