What's this OPP that I speak of? Surely not the OPP of which Naughty By Nature sang about. Rather, the OPP to which I refer is Outstanding Printz Potential. And author Christina Meldrum's debut novel Madapple has just that. (The author also has a very pretty website.)
Wowzers. What an engrossing read. Take your average novel about familial relationships and add to it complex themes of theology, botany, visual/surface interpretations vs. what lies beneath, dashes of Danish and legal proceedings, a heaping spoonful of teen pregnancy, and a story that unravels as it bounces back between past and present, slowly revealing the disturbing, suspenseful story, and you've got Madapple. It sound bizarre. It is bizarre. But it is also amazing. It goes beyond anything I've ever experienced in YA literature.
This book deserves at minimum a Printz honor, if not the medal. And probably the Morris Award, for which it has been shortlisted as well.
I know that I don't have the talent to give this book the review it deserves, so I'll now pass you off to some more experienced hands:
Publisher's Weekly (scroll down a bit)
To close, because the showing just the cover doesn't do justice to the breathtaking eerieness, dark beauty and amazing encapsulation of the novel that is the whole jacket...