Book Review: All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Strand by silver strand, I unraveled.

Not even going to lie but I will often say that my family is cursed.

I’ve said it just a week ago because we have the most awful luck during the summer. So whenever anything bad happens I will gravely intone that the curse is at work and that somebody (aka not me) needs to break it because it is EXHAUSTING.

Alas, if only my family curse was as mystical and thrilling as this book’s plot however. I mean it’s still bad but also insanely cool??

The Rys family has had a streak of bad luck for generations. It all comes to a head when Deena’s wild and devil-may-care sister Mandy disappears after a night of grave warnings. The air is thick with the scent of apples. It’s ripe, tart, pungent, and in the distance there is a scream. It sounds like a cat, a fox maybe? But in her heart Deena knows what it really is. The tell tale call of a banshee.

Letters from the presumed to be dead Mandy soon arrive that state it is not just bad luck that follows the Rys family but a curse. Mandy has gone to track down and stop the source of the curse and Deena sets out to follow her. Whether this is by plucking out each and every bad apple one by one, or savoring them all until the very bitter end.

Ya’ll mind if I just…scream for a moment here?


I’ve been reading so many great books lately and this on top of it is just…simply beautiful my god. From the start I knew it was going to be one of those novels that cuts me to the core. I KNEW I would have to put on my fave list and I was NOT wrong in the least.

This writing is hauntingly modern and woven with magical realism and Irish folklore. It’s simplistic but it hits hard and that’s my favorite kind of writing style. Tell me hard, cruel things in a language I understand so I can fall to knees and sob my pain out. PLEASE.


Deena as a main character is amazing. Firstly, she’s a lesbian. She’s struggling coming out to her family not so much to her sisters but her dad is a raging dickhead. The girls at her school also suck. Her friends however are awesome. Finn, you bisexual beauty you. And Cale. Oh my god. Lesbian, bewitching beauty.

I also have to give it up to Deena’s aunts. The twin sisters Rachel and Mandy. Mandy is a fuck up extremely and yes, a lot in the book IS her fault but I still have to love her because we share a name. Rachel really holds it down and I admire her oh so much. As the oldest, smartest, most beautiful sister myself. I GET HA.

I really loved the symbolism in this. I loved the witchcraft and the power. The bull. Man, that goddamn bull. He tried and in the end he did what needed to be done.

I really couldn’t find any fault in this whatsoever other than it made me cry a lot on my day off work but sometimes that kind of release is needed.

Also…We learned about how utterly useless and evil men are. Total WASTES. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. Read and be pissed with me.

My own family is huge. My dad is the 8th born of 9 brothers and sisters and my mom has 6 brothers and sisters herself. I have over 100 cousins and so many aunts and uncles I get winded just thinking about them all

. I think this is why I absolutely love reading about family dynamics. I love looking into the past even though I know things were (and still are) extremely fucked up. All the Bad Apples highlights this family’s past and what happened to them and some of it is very difficult to read but that’s what makes a family tree. Some of our truths and those webs are not pretty in the slightest.

We can learn to grow from our history though, we can do better from the past. That’s one of the major themes in this books and it’s taught very well.

My favorite part in this book however ??? It gave me the strongest craving for apples. Tart and bitter. Crisp and ripe. I want. I need.

There’s no way to climb back onto the family tree.

🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎 5/5

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

  1. I also really loved this book, so happy you did as well! I can’t wait to see what she will write next!
    Great review!



  2. I need to freaking read something by Fowley-Doyle soon. I swear I’m sucking at supporting Irish YA 🙈🙈🙈🙈 This review is awesome Amanda!!! I feel sad I didn’t buy this the other day at the bookshop. Need to go back and rectify that egregious error….

    Liked by 1 person

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