Cherry by Lindsey Rosin

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: August 16th, 2016
Pages: 386
Song I Read While Reading: Dreamer by Mokita
Rating: 4 stars

To be honest, the sex pact wasn't always a 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 were 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 surprised, but once they all admit to wanting to lose their V-cards too, the embark on a quest to do the deed together... separately.

Layla's got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking months.
Alex has already done it. Or so she says.
Emma does 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, heartwarming, cringe-inducing step of the way. 

If I could pull an Oprah and throw this book at every single person I know and say "YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE" and "YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE", I would die happy. Scratch that, if I could calmly sit down with every closed-minded person on this entire earth who doesn't like this book because it features sex, whack them across the head, then proceed to explain in explicit detail why kids should be reading this, then I could die happy.
I can't even express how important this book was. Not only is there a kick ass girl squad in here, complete with weekly frozen yogurt trips, a hilarious group chat, and unbelievable amounts of open support for each other, but sex is depicted in here realistically and fun. I read this disgusting review on Goodreads from this guy who basically shat all over Cherry because the girls were "vain and shallow and vapid" and Rosin didn't correctly "portray the emotional and physical consequences of what happens afterwards, and, while were at it, at least one of them should have suffered an STD because they were screwing every guy they could find." I'm paraphrasing, but that's literally what he was getting at. I was, and still am, livid. Why should every girl suffer a bad sexual experience? I don't know about him, but I definitely read, and see, way more books that do talk about teen pregnancies and STD's and basically anything that relates badly to young adults having sex, over books that convey the healthier side: consensual, fun, and rewarding.
Why is this so taboo? Why do parents think "Hey, if I don't bring it up, my kid won't go through it." Why do guys find it so unbelievable for a woman to enjoy masturbating and sex? It's human nature. It's biology! I've gotten the "but they're too young!" statement so many times that I'm surprised my eyes haven't fallen out of my head from rolling them so hard. Kids today are literally having sex in middle school. Hell, a girl I knew in high school got pregnant her freshman year. Whether the parents like it or not, it happens. So wouldn't it be better to make them realize that not only is it normal to feel what they're feeling, but it's okay? Going through puberty is awkward enough as it is, so let the poor kid realize that having a boner or wanting to touch yourself is okay. 
As you can see, I get super worked up about this sort of stuff, I'M SORRY. Now here's my actual review:
Cherry was wonderful. It was honest and awkward and funny and basically makes you want to run to your friends and hug them. There was SO many moments when I teared up because these four girls truly loved and supported each other. There was no slut-shaming or judgements. Instead, the girls were curious and empowering, encouraging each other to embrace their explorations in themselves and in others. Whether that was sexually or mentally, Rosin pulled it off: the story flowed easily from chapter to chapter, effortlessly balancing this pact with the other aspects of their lives: school, sports, family dynamics, and the other contributing factors that can make being in the brain of a girl absolutely insane. They all felt real and relatable on some level, since I could picture myself in the place of any of the girls.
Endearing, diverse, thoughtful, and empowering, Cherry is a fast read that leaves a surprising impact.

"Is it just me or does it look like he's trying to swallow her entire head?" Savannah whispered, so as not disturb the horny couple.
"I guess this is unequivocal proof that two sexy people kissing is not an automatically sexy situation," Emma whispered back."

"My mom says that having a feeling of déjà vu means you're exactly where you're supposed to be."

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