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Toffee by Sarah Crossan - Review

Friday, April 10, 2020

Where did I get it? I had an Amazon voucher a few weeks ago so bought this among some other things. I read a sampler chapter of Toffee a few months ago via Netgalley, and was intrigued and definitely wanted to read the book. 

What's it about? It's told in verse like Sarah Crossan's other books, and it's about Allison. She's fifteen/sixteenish and at the beginning of the book she has run away from her abusive dad. She's heading to Bude, in Cornwall, where her sort of stepmum Kelly-Anne has moved to after also leaving Allison's dad. However, when she gets there, Kelly-Anne isn't living there anymore. Allison ends up losing her phone so can't get in touch with anyone even if she wanted to. She sleeps one night in the shed in a woman's garden and in the morning meets the woman, Marla. Marla has dementia and thinks Allison is her old friend Toffee. She talks about the two of them going dancing. Allison sneaks into the house and stays there, helping Marla, hiding when Marla's carer Peggy or son Donal turn up. 

Through the book we learn more about Allison's past, about her abusive dad, about what happened to Allison that injured her face. We learn more about Marla and her past too. 

I actually think this is the most complete of Sarah's books. The ending was really well done, bittersweet but very real and lovely. I liked Allison a lot and really wanted her to succeed. I felt for her, too. I'm really glad I read this. 

What age range is it for? 14+. There are some tough themes but they're very appropriately done. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? No 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Marla has dementia, so yes. There are some upsetting scenes thanks to her dementia. 

Is there any sex stuff? No 

Are drugs mentioned or used? I think weed, and some alcohol. It's not graphic. 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, and injury and violence. Be careful if these are triggers for you. 

Are there swear words? No 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none, I really loved the book. Plus, reading a book in verse really makes me want to write one of my own. I've been seriously thinking about it and maybe even plotting... 

Would I recommend the book? Yes 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? As I said, I'd read a sampler and wanted to read the rest of the book. Plus, it was just hanging out next to the bed which is one way to make me listen to things faster! 

What do I think of the cover? It's cute, it's from a specific part of the book and I liked that. 

What other books is it like? Sarah's other books, but I think this is the best one. 

How many stars? Ten out of ten, it's so good

Where is the book going now? I'll definitely keep it!

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