EXTRACT: Toffee

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This is beautifully written but produced so bizarrely but it somehow works? Very peculiar way of writing but I quite enjoyed it.
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As always, Crossan looks like she's onto another winner.
The extract has been just enough to make me order the whole text for our school library.
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I've read One by Sarah Crossan and expected something else amazing from her. 

It's hard to review an extract from a book because you usually don't get a full enough picture to give it an honest review but the few pages I read from this gave me enough to really want to read more.

It had such strong character voices - especially Allison, as the book is told through her point of view and in first person. Sarah Crossan can really tell a story with her use of tone and the impactful way she utilises stanzas.

The book already touches upon abuse (so be aware of tigger warnings for that) which is a different experience reading it in verse. 

Pretty sure if I kept reading I would be an emotional wreck - but it would be worth it.
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I loved this book! Very well written, had me excited to keep turning the pages! I really like this authors style of writing, keeps you gripped!
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Ooh I want to read more! Good start to the book, I am curious to find out Toffee's background and what will happen next.
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The extract I began with was so phenomenally, heart rendingly captivating that I went straight out and bought the book and I'm so glad I did. Marla and Allison are two lost souls who manage to find a home in each other; one which allows Allison to begin to heal and Marla to regain some of the dignity and passion that has been stripped from her.

It is a powerful, emotional book about a teenager and an elderly woman that are so well drawn with such economical poetry that you feel you could run into them on any street corner. Shot through with hope, tragedy and empathy, Toffee really highlights the best of humanity as these two woman try to find a way forward with their lives and find a rare and beautiful friendship with each other.
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I was only sent a sample, but the section of the book I read made me want to continue reading. Unfortunately I think it is slightly too old for our school library, but I will definitely be buying a copy for myself and my 15 year old daughter.
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(Since receiving this extract, I have since read the full book.) My review of the book is below:

Verse novels are my favourite discovery of recent years. I love how distilled they are, and am always astounded how writers create such full characters and plots within such a few words. It has made poetry so much more accessible for me and is able to get to the heart and emotion of the story in very powerful ways.

Sarah Crossan is the author who introduced me to this form, and remains the queen of verse UKYA. I have read and loved all of her books and Toffee was no exception.

I found it a slower burn than some of her other novels. There was less immediacy than some of her other works, and yet this really worked for the story being told. The book follows the story of Alison, a young girl who has run away from home and a difficult home life. Alison soon meets Marla, an elderly lady who has dementia, who mistakes her for a childhood friend Toffee. While Marla initially offers Alison somewhere safe to stay, over the course of the novel a true friendship blooms that was heartwarming and moving to read.

Toffee is extremely touching and will appeal to older teens. Highly recommended.
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I really enjoyed this book. The characters were appealing and well written and I felt immersed in the story throughout the book.
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I enjoyed reading this extract, and will definitely be picking up the full version at some point.  Compelling and interesting.
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I love Sarah Crossan's work so when I saw that I could review an extract from Toffee I was so happy. Crossan has a way with verse and how she forms in that is just magic. It is easy to read and packs a punch. I basically ate this extract up. It was so good. I think that Sarah Crossan narrates the story, it takes the action off in a specific way that I  can't wait to see where it goes. It also left on a little bit of a cliffhanger so I can't wait to read the rest of the story to see where it goes.
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Great as always, cant wait to read the full things, brings a real spotlight to alzheimers and relationships between young and old.
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Written in verse, this book is very different to anything I have read before.. This extract has certainly left me wanting more and I’m full of questions and assumptions...who knows whether the full novel will prove me write or not! I wonder who Marla is and whether she is suffering from Dementia, who was Toffee to Marla? And what was going on with Allison’s father? I’m sure there’s much more to be found out about all of these.

This short extract has left me keen to read the whole book and I’m sure I would quickly get used to Crossan’s wringing style. 

I received an extract of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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I'm gonna say this now - I think just sending out the extract was a mistake. In my opinion, they should have sent out the whole book. This extract confused me SO. MUCH. And not in a good way. The chapters, in the extract at least, are so short and all over the place that nothing seems to add up. Yes, the extract left me with question: How does she know the random lady? How did she get her nickname of Toffee? Why does her dad come across like such a dick? How did she get the burn that she keeps mentioning?

But, honestly. The extract didn't leave me wanting answers to any of those questions. Once I finished it, I was just left feeling 'Meh'. Maybe if I'd have read the whole thing, I'd have enjoyed it more. But, honestly, based on this extract alone, I won't be reading the book as a whole. Also, it may just have been in the extract that NetGalley sent out, but Jesus Christ it's one of my biggest pet peeves - USE SPEECH MARKS!!!!!
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC. 
I found this extract quite quick and very enjoyable to read. I was immediately encapsulated by Allison and Marla's story. I loved the poetic format and structure that their story is told through. I will certainly be purchasing this book and from just a few pages, I was enthralled.
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I absolutely adore Sarah Crossan’s novels. Whenever a new one comes out you can guarantee it is on my ‘want to read’ list. The same can be said about Toffee. It was one of those books that I didn’t want to know anything about I just wanted to dive in because I know that with a Sarah Crossan novel I will be presented with challenging topics in a moving way.

Toffee did not disappoint.

It is a book about relationships. Not the love kind, but more the familial or the platonic kind. The story follows Allison, a runaway who is desperate to seek solace in the one person who has ever shown her kindness, however, when she ends up alone and penniless in an unknown area Allison forms a friendship with Marla. The only problem is that Marla has dementia and doesn’t remember Allison from one day to the next.

Crossan deals with issues such as abuse, broken families, loneliness, and mental health in such a caring, non-judgemental way. She has a magical ability to make her characters likable even when we question what they are doing. She is meticulous in her characterisation and I absolutely adore her books, Toffee included.

Toffee by Sarah Crossan is available now.

For more information regarding Sarah Crossan (@SarahCrossan) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Publishing (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.
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A story is that is ‘toffee’, sweet, yet hard to chew. The fast pace perspective shift in time let’s you into the brutality of Allie’s life. And the leaves you waiting to see how she fairs as Toffee. Brutally beautiful. Read and read again.
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I very much enjoyed this. I've never given a review on such a short extract though. I do like Sarah Crossan as an author and have read other verse novels by her, so I am fairly confident that Toffee continues in the same vein it begins in. Crossan is good at dealing with difficult, sensitive topics and her teenage voice seems authentic to me. This deals with domestic abuse and in the section  I read it was handled both powerfully and thoughtfully. I would definitely read the rest.
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I'm still very much on the fence about how I feel about stories witten in verse. I often struggle to connect to the words more then I would with a book written in the 'normal way'. I'm very conflicted about 'Toffee', on one hand the writing style had me thinking this book wouldn't be for me but after finishing reading the extract I wanted to know what happened next. I find the premise very intriguing, I don't come across very many books that deal with dementia and memory loss in older characters. So even though I'm not the biggest fan of books written in verse, I could still see myself enjoying this book to see how the character's relationship develops and how Marla's condition effects Allison.
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This rating is of an extract of Sarah Crossan's novel Toffee and is only based on the short amount I read. I don't normally chose to review extracts but I loved the first book I read by this author, Moonrise. 

After reading Toffee I was disappointed that I was only reading an extract because I really enjoyed the bit I read. 

Toffee was a pleasant read and one I enjoyed from the first paragraph. 

"Her name is Marla, and to her I am Toffee, though my parents named me Allison."

The part of the extract that made me want to read more was this: 

"This is not my home. This is not my room. This is not my bed. 

I am not who I say I am. Marla isn't who she thinks she is. I am a girl trying to forget. Marla is a woman trying to remember. 

Sometimes I am sad. Sometimes she is angry. And yet. 

Here in this house, I am so much happier than I have ever been." 

Allison is a runaway from an abusive home. She run away to try to find someone she once knew and ends up taking shelter in a shed. The next morning she accidentally finds herself face to face with Marla. From the little I read of this book I think there will be an interesting dynamic between the two of them. 

A great idea for a book.
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