Author: Lindsey Rosin
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy via NetGalley for review purposes.
Four girls – Layla, Alex, Emma, and Zoe – make a pact to lose their virginity before they graduate. Layla is determined to lose it to her boyfriend Logan, so she’s sure she’s got in in the bag. Alex has already done it, or she says she has. Emma is not seeing the fun or the fuss in the pact, but why the hell not? And Zoe can’t even say the word orgasm without turning red and bursting into giggles. But along the way they encounter new relationships, new loves, remember the importance of their friendship, and they are led on a path of self-discovery.
I’ve seen reviewers describe Cherry as American Pie for girls. I’ve never seen it, but I can totally see where the comparison comes from.
Anyway, I LOVED this. Cherry is honest, blunt and fun. Fair warning, Cherry does feature a lot of sex, foreplay, and talk of masturbation and orgasms, which they call ‘fireworks’, so if that isn’t your thing, I’d avoid this… BUT, it is very sex-positive & I would say suitable to older teens & the first time I’ve seen such sex-positivity in YA and I think it’s done really well. The girls never get shamed, and they support and lift each other up.
You would think because Cherry is a book about 4 friends trying to lose their virginity that there would be a lot of romance involved. But Cherry is a book that is heavily focused on friendship. Their friendship is really great – I love their conversations and they are HILARIOUS. Their dynamic is great, and each character feels well rounded and distinct individually but they also work so well together as well. Rosin showed the differences in the girl’s actions and approaches towards sex, and their different experiences, which was a really great insight. There is also a great f/f relationship, so that is also a positive.
Cherry openly discusses a lot of important sex-related questions and fears a lot of girls face, but sex is always treated as something fun and positive which I think is largely missing in YA.
Overall, Cherry is very sex-positive, very female driven and there is a lot of female empowerment, and a lot of girls supporting girls. Highly recommend.