The Cilantro In Apple Pie by Kimberley Nadine Knights

January 9, 2017
Published By: Howling Wolf/ Ravenwood Publishing May 5, 2016
Format Read: Kindle Edition (322 pages)
Genre: Contemporary/ Young Adult
Series: Book One  of Untitled Trilogy
Source: Author Request
The Cilantro in Apple Pie
Fragnut. Confused? Well so is everyone else at Lumiere Hall Prep when sixteen-year-old Rubie Keane rolls in from Trinidad and Tobago talking her weird lingo. Not that she minds the culture confusion; she's determined to leave the past behind her and be overlooked—but a certain stoic blue blood is equally as determined to foil her plans.

Gil Stromeyer's offbeat personality initially makes Rubie second-guess his sanity, but she suspects his erratic outbursts of violence mask a deeper issue in his troubled, charmed life. Despite his disturbing behavior, a gradual bond forms between the two. However, on the night of the annual Stromeyer gala, events unfold that leave Rubie stripped of her dignity and kick Gil's already fragile world off its axis.

Both their well-kept secrets are uncovered, but Gil's revelation proves that sometimes the best remedy for a bad case of lost identity, is a dash of comradery from an ally packed with flavor.



This was a unique story about a platonic friendship, featuring a memorable protagonist from Trinidad. I have to admit it took me a while to get through the first 25% of the book. I wanted to take a chance on this book because of the diverse characters, although I don't usually read contemporary young adult books. I was unsure of where the book was going because of a slow start and alot of characters being introduced right away. However as I kept reading, I enjoyed picking up on the Trinidadian slang, and the wit of the protagonist Rubie. Rubie and Gil were well fleshed out characters that I enjoyed learning about.
"We get screwed over so people can pat us on the back and say, that's life, YOLO. But you know what? I don't accept that. I do not accept that."
This is a coming of age story  but the author didn't shy away from addressing real issues, such as death, illness and racism. Rubie is thrust into a different country and culture where most of the kids at her high school are very privileged. She has to deal with teenagers who don't value her differences but finds an unlikely ally in Gil. Gil has some serious dark issues, and I was happy to see a change of perspective in the book when we  get to see the world through his eyes. Their relationship was hard to accept because it is platonic, but the author does a great job of describing a realistic friendship with the opposite sex.

I enjoyed reading about smart, funny, and defiant Rubie, and I wish there were more protagonist like her. Although it did take me a while to get into the story it was well worth the read. The ending wraps things up nicely, and every detail of this book was well though out. I enjoyed some of the psychological discussion, as well as a decent description of cricket. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy contemporary's but are looking for a fresh perspective and diversity.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Kimberley Nadine Knights knew when she kept willingly opting out of parties so she could stay home and write instead, that she was destined to be an author.

Born and raised in the tropical twin islands of Trinidad & Tobago, when this Caribbean girl isn’t creating new plotlines for her ever growing lineup of fictional characters, she spends her time strumming her guitar to indie rock songs and snapping once in a lifetime photos halfway across the globe in countries such as Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and France.

She's an avid fan of The Walking Dead series and firmly believes that The Food Network should consider her being a judge on the next Chopped challenge.

"The Cilantro in Apple Pie" is her debut novel.

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