Book Review: Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Click on the above image to add Toffee to your Goodreads TBR.

Published in 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Page Count: 398

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

The astonishing new novel from the incomparable, multi-award-winning and Laureate na nÓg Sarah Crossan.

I am not who I say I am,
and Marla isn’t who she thinks she is.

I am a girl trying to forget.
She is a woman trying to remember.

Allison has run away from home and with nowhere to live finds herself hiding out in the shed of what she thinks is an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty. An elderly woman named Marla, with dementia, lives there – and she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past called Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes. After all, it means she has a place to stay. There are worse places she could be.

But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real friend, she begins to ask herself – where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really?

My Review:

I picked this up on a whim when I was at my local Dymocks bookstore, after seeing it float around on bookstagram and being intrigued by the Sypnosis! Aside from that, though, I didn’t know what to expect!

What I didn’t imagine was how moved I would be by this book! It was so addictive, I couldn’t put it down! I found the unique way that Sarah Crossan composed this book was so eloquent and raw, I just found myself being so affected!

The writing was just so lyrical and powerful, I couldn’t not feel lots! Allison, the main character, is trying so hard to forget her devastating past and start anew, but she’s struggling so much! The story jumps back and forth to the present and twines into the past, where Allie and the reader are made to relive the sheer pain and abuse that darling Allison went through, bearing the sheer blunt of her Father’s trauma. I found it so harrowing, reading what young Allie went through and it just was so hard to read, it really tugged at my heartstrings!

In turn, I also found Toffee’s core friendship (that between Allie, who slowly finds herself taking on the alias of the titular name, a dear friend of the aged Marla, who mistakes Allie for her friend, Toffee). As Allie reveals, she doesn’t have anywhere to go and she slips into the role, the identity of Toffee. It was so emotional! The friendship that bloomed between the two of them, the young girl with nowhere to go or any family (she had to get away from her Dad, as his girlfriend did, Kelly-Anne, who Allie cherished and vice versa), and the aging Marla, who finds herself struggling to remember little details of her life, often even forgetting who Allie is, even after mistaking her for her old friend! The bond that unfolds between them is so gorgeous and I’m so so happy I decided to pick up this book, I definitely will be seeking out Sarah Crossan’s other books asap!

Happy Reading,

Brooklyn.

Q: Have you read Sarah Crossan’s books? If so, what would you recommend I pick up by her next? Thanks 🙂

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