“One serving of frozen yogurt later, sex was no longer simply a daydream or a wet dream or a piece of juicy gossip that happened to somebody else.”
If the idea of reading a YA contemporary based around sex makes you blush, cringe, or shake your head, then you should probably skip Cherry. However, if you are into the idea of a young adult novel that deals with mature themes (and be warned – this isn’t just a subplot in the book..the entire basis of this novel is about four girls making sex pact), then you’ll probably like this.
Layla, Zoe, Alex, and Emma are in their senior year of high school. Best friends, they do pretty much everything together – so when Layla sits down at a table one day during their weekly frozen yogurt hang out and declares that the girls should enter into a sex pact together – each of them losing their virginity before graduation, they’re all on board. Things should be easy for Layla…she’s ready, and her boyfriend of two years has been ready for a long time. Zoe is the shy girl with frizzy red hair and the ability to blush even thinking about the word sex. Emma will do pretty much whatever…so she’s up for the challenge. Alex has told everyone she already had sex a few years back, but in reality, that might have been a lie. So which girls are going to have sex before they graduate, and what types of new relationships and friendships will form?
The novel is broken into chapters that count down until graduation day, such as “169 days to graduation…” and “100 days to graduation…” I found this format to be pretty interesting actually. Each chapter features a section about each girl, instead of giving them their own chapter – the narration was in the third person, which was nice, because it made it easier to keep track or who was doing what throughout the book. While I usually like first person narration, I really appreciated the third person in Cherry.
The book also features a character who is interested in the same sex; I believe that the way that the gradual self discovery with this character happens was written very well. While I did have a bit of time getting into this book in the beginning, because the characters seemed to lack a lot of depth or really make a lasting impression, by the middle of this book I loved all four of them and was completely hooked on what was happening in their lives. At first I thought it was going to be confusing, dealing with four different characters who seemed to be kind of similar, but it’s amazing to see just how different they become and how much they learn about themselves by the time their sex pact deadline ends and they graduate. If you’re like me, and really, really get excited for a book with plenty of character growth, then you might want to check into this, because there is just so much of it.
When I finished reading Cherry, I put the book down and thought, “Finally! A young adult novel that isn’t afraid to talk about sex – it isn’t a forbidden subject for once, and it’s amazing!” Lindsey Rosin has opened up a new area of young adult fiction – a path that many YA authors seem to overlook or pass over, and it’s incredible. It shows that the genre doesn’t really have to be incredibly prudish, as it seems to have been. Yes, I know that many teenagers’ parents aren’t too keen on their kids reading about sex…but many sixteen and seventeen year old readers are beyond mature enough to read about this type of situation, so honestly, I see no problems. There are plenty of other novels out there if this isn’t your cup of tea, right?
“Apparently, maybe, there was a limit to every sort of thing.
Even love, she thought.
Maybe, she hated to think, especially love.”
Cherry is a YA contemporary that brings out a lot of emotions and thoughts after reading. At times it was the sweetest romance – especially with Layla and her boyfriend, Logan, and at other times I felt like crying right along with certain characters when things weren’t looking so great. I wished I had a pint of Ben and Jerry’s to go along with this book!
If you like contemporary YA romance, and don’t mind the more mature themes that this book deals with, then I hope you plan on giving it a try, because it was a really great read!