Saturday, 4 February 2017

Review: Cherry by Lindsey Roisin

Publication Date: August 16 2016
Publisher:  Hot Key Books
Source: Received Copy In exchange For Review

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There's a first time for everything . . .

Layla, Alexis, Zoe and Emma are four best friends with not a lot in common. Well, except one thing . . . But they're determined to lose 'that thing' by the time they graduate high school. Yes, the time has come to Do It. To make love. To have all the sex. It's momentous, it's huge, it's important and it's life-changing. Or . . . is it?

Although each of the girls sets out with a pretty certain idea of what the Big Moment will be like, as they'll discover, life doesn't always work out the way you expect. And in their search for something huge, important and life-changing, they'll discover that they already have it - in each other.

Cherry is one of those novels you read and you just sort of wish you could go back n time and hand it to your younger self. Cherry is a novel about a group of friends who make a pact to lose their virginity before they finish secondary school. The novel has been described as "american pie but with girls" and I think that is probably the most accurate description of the novel. 

Cherry was also one of those novels that you can read and find yourself in, something happens and you're like "oh my god that is literally me". I found that happening often and feel that so many readers could identify with this novel too. The theme of the novel is not only about losing your virginity and having sex for the first time but also about friendship, relationships and discovering yourself. 

Female friendships are written so well in this novel as is the feelings of change one has before leaving secondary school. I loved the way the novel accurately portrays female friendships and the dynamics of the group of girls was perfect. I loved the frankness with which they discussed sex and sexuality and thought the group chats and selfies were so funny and something lots of teens could relate to nowadays. Sometimes I felt some of the characters blended and melted into each other but I still really enjoyed the novel. 

I think this novel is set just before one of the most poignant times of a young persons life, the change from secondary school to university or college. The time before this huge change can put such pressure on a young person and can really feel like the "end all" of the life you've known prior to this. The pact was designed almost as a last thing for the group of girls to do together as a group before they all went their separate ways with life. I think the novel delves into the mindset of what this time is like for a teenager very well and also encompasses the finality of ending your time at school. 

Something this novel does very well apart from having realistic characters, friendships and themes is it's portrayal of sex. Sex in YA is still slightly taboo.
The novel portrays a lot of things in a very honest and open manner from female friendships, school, sex, consent, first time sex awkwardness and contraception are all covered so very well in this novel. The novel doesn't get too graphic about sex but it also does not do the whole Hollywood romanticism film idea of fading out before the sex begins and fading in afterwards. Its an honest and real portrayal of first times, the awkwardness and the not great times that come with losing your virginity. 

Overall, this is a real and important novel about teenagers growing up, sexual identity, changes, consent and female friendship. I'd recommend this novel for mid-teens and even older. 

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