Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin
Release Date -  August 16, 2016
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In this honest, frank, and funny debut novel, four best friends make a pact during their senior year of high school to lose their virginities—and end up finding friendship, love, and self-discovery along the way.

To be honest, the sex pact wasn’t always part of the plan.

Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive, ever-evolving To Do List. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too, they embark on a quest to do the deed together... separately.

Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months.

Alex has already done it. Or so she says.

Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot.

And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles.

Will everything go according to plan? Probably not. But at least the girls have each other every hilarious, heart-warming, cringe-inducing step of the way.

From debut author Lindsey Rosin, Cherry is a coming-of-age, laugh-out-loud tale of first times, last chances, and the enduring friendships that make it all worthwhile.
When I first stumbled across Cherry in the publisher's catalog I was immediately intrigued. It was pitched as American Pie but teen girls were the ones making the pact to lose their virginity. I was curious about how it would translate and if the novel would work. Luckily, Lindsey Rosin has written an empowering, and important novel that just also happens to be funny.

The friendship in this novel was probably my favourite aspect of the entire novel. The girls are supportive of each other. They push each other to be better and are not in constant competition with each other. They genuinely care about each other, and that bond shines through all of their scenes together. Their rituals, and group texts, and even the pact itself is more about the bond they share and wanting to let each other be part of their experiences. It may seem strange in a novel about sex that friendship would be the focus, but it really is.

This novel tackles the topic of losing your virginity from the female perspective. One of the the elements this novel gets so right is that none of the girl's stories are the same. None of them have the same experience with their first time. Some are awkward, some are sweet. Some are life changing, and some leave them wondering what the fuss was all about. Sex also means different things to each of them and each of them have sex with their chosen person for their own reasons. There are also varying levels of enjoyment which was refreshing. This showcases that sex is different for everyone, and means something different to everyone which is incredibly important. This novel really highlights that there is no 'normal' when it comes to sex, and that fact should be celebrated. This novel also features a bisexual character discovering this part of herself as part of her sexual journey.

The frank discussion about sex, from masturbation to orgasms and everything in between, serves as a great jumping off point for conversation. This is a a perfect novel for an older teen book club because of this. It doesn't make sex or talking about sex something shameful. It encourages dialogue, consent, and readiness. It also looks at safe sex and protecting yourself as something that is part of the sex conversation.

The biggest message this book offers, however, is the notion that you are not defined by your virginity. Females in society are often shammed for enjoying sex, or called a tease if they aren't ready and willing. This novel simply states that it should be on your terms. You attach the value to it. It can mean what you personally want it to, but that is not all you are. It's a healthy, positive message that encourages the embracing of female sexuality on our own terms.

The only minor issue I had was that it took a little while to fall into the pattern of the writing style. Once I did, however, the pages flew by. Your commitment is rewarded because the message of this novel is so incredibly worth it. It's a minor element that didn't impact my overall enjoyment of the story.

Cherry is a sex positive book that examines sex through a female perspective. It is a book that every young girl should read simply because it inspires so much discussion and reflection. It is the type of book I wish would have been available to me when I was a teenager. I am curious to see what Lindsey Rosin tackles next, but this fun, heartbreaking, second hand embarrassment inducing, smile causing novel is definitely worth the read. 

1 comment:

  1. A book that's sex positive and focused on female friendship? That sounds awesome! Great review :) So glad you liked this book! :D

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles


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