Review: Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Teenager Allison has ran away, and ended up in a shed belonging to an elderly lady named Marla who believes Allison is her old friend Toffee so welcomes her in. The result of this is unlikely friendship, and hard truths having to be confronted.

Sarah Crossan is the author that set off my love for books written in verse. I treated myself to a signed copy of Toffee on release day and read it at earliest opportunity and of course it lived up to my high expectations.

Toffee, though about domestic abuse and dementia and therefore not cheerful topics that are easy to read about, was a lovely read. It flowed really well and contained flashbacks of what life used to be like for both Allison and Marla. I loved the comfort the pair were able to bring eachother in tough times.

Something I find with in-verse books is that the words used are often delicate, but hold great weight. Reading about how Allison was treated by her father, how she felt trapped because he’s family, but always trying to justify his actions (he’s tired, he works hard, etc), while knowing they weren’t right, was painful. And with Marla, how she can’t help but cling onto her past and get it confused with present day. It’s awful how lonely she was before Allison came along, and it’s not uncommon for that to be the case with elderly people.

Toffee is a wonderful story and a unique, special read that will sit beautifully on your bookshelf.

I like the idea of being sweet and hard, a girl with a name for people to chew on. A girl who could break teeth.

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