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Literature: The Poison Apples
The Poison Apples is a young adult novel written by Lily Archer. This uses the idea of fairy tale stepmothers and applies it to three teenage girls in modern times. One is named Alice whose stepmother marries her widowed father, another is an Indian named Reena whose father marries a younger woman teaching her yoga class and divorces his first wife, and the last is named Molly whose father divorces her mentally unstable mother and marries a waitress working at his diner.

All three girls are sent to a boarding school and share their stepmother issues with each other. They concoct a plan to get revenge and destroy something precious to their stepmothers, which varies for each.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretations: Chock load of them:
    • All of the stepmothers. Are all of them really evil or are they misunderstood by their stepdaughters?
  • Big Sister Instinct: Molly for Spencer, especially when Candy allows her to walk around in high heels.
  • Black Sheep: Molly would be considered this since her little sister thought she was spoiled when she really doesn't, she was unintentionally insensitive to her stepmother's emotions, and she was the only one who didn't accept Candy.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Alice, Reena and possibly Molly, and Kristen.
  • Cool Big Bro: Pradeep for Reena.
  • Evil Blonde: Subverted with Shanti Shruti and played straight with Candy Lamb.
    • Evil Redhead: Subverted with Kristen. She starts off as Molly's rival for Pradeep's affections, but they bond in the end when she reveals her parents are getting a divorce.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Molly's little sister is named Spencer, but she participates in girlish sports like baton twirling and wears girly accessories.
  • Love Triangle: Molly and Kristen both like Pradeep and don't like each other because of it.
  • May-December Romance: Reena's father is in his fifties while Shanti Shruti is somewhere in her twenties, which, according to Reena, is about ten years away from her age.
    • Reena herself develops feelings for one of her teachers. One night, she puts on a seductive outfit and tries to seduce him, but is rejected instead.
  • Only Sane Girls: The three main characters. They think they see through their stepmothers and know who they really are.
  • Off to Boarding School: Partially subverted. The girls were sent there either to get away from their families or because their stepmothers went there when they were younger.
  • Purple Eyes: Kristen.
  • Wicked Stepmother: The idea behind this whole novel. R, Alice's stepmother, resented her when Alice reacted negatively towards her father announcing their engagement. Shanti Shruti, Reena's blonde Caucasian stepmother with a fascination on Indian culture, seems nice and treats her stepchildren like they were her own. Candy Lamb, Molly's stepmother, is truly wicked. She mocked Molly's mother who is a mental institution and was trying to get Molly to come back home because of her pregnancy.

Point HorrorYoung Adult LiteraturePower of Three
PoisonLiterature of the 2000sThe Polity

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