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by Ali Liebegott

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A tender, unforgettable story about being young and broke in America, and the conjoined hearts of love and addiction.See more details below


A tender, unforgettable story about being young and broke in America, and the conjoined hearts of love and addiction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Liebegott's third book (after 2007's The IHOP Papers) follows self-proclaimed "sirma'amsir" Theo, a lesbian with a Marine-style haircut who is often mistaken for a man, as she tries to reinvent herself by leaving home. Driving cross-country from San Francisco to New York, her plan is to leave behind alcohol, smoking, and gambling for good. Theo is joined by Cary Grant, a pit bull formerly abused during illegal dog fights by a local gang. After a three month layover in Yonkers, she finally fulfills her ambition of living in New York City, but unable to completely let go of the cigarettes and booze, she is pulled by her vices to Atlantic City and the dream of the big win. Though plagued by numerous issues, readers will still find Theo enormously likeable with her generous nature and wry wit. Liebegott snares the reader in Theo's peculiar thinking from the start, whether through the chaos she feels after falling off the wagon or the anticipation of trying to hit the jackpot. Despite (or because) of all her flaws, it's impossible not to root for Theo to have a happy ending. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

". . . frank, funny and painfully realistic . . . Liebegott has unleashed a book that’s part road novel, part portrait of a would-be artist as a young woman and part unabashed romance."—Josh Davis, The Rumpus

"Ali Liebegott’s books evoke a life-affirming sensation that comes from embracing the pendular. Her ability to hit the right tone is scientific, almost violent in its precision—a single word or observation, well-placed, can have a reader crying or laughing aloud."—Evan Karp, Bomb Magazine

"Cha-Ching!, [Liebegott's] latest novel, is one of those books that cause you to look up, blinking, realizing that you’ve read 75 pages and your coffee is cold. It’s a rush of offtrack betting, impulsive road trips, liquor-fueled make-out sessions, and the sort of low-end jobs that are invisible in most fiction but everywhere in Liebegott’s work."—San Francisco Magazine

"Cha-Ching! is a rush - the clatter of youth on the angry move, the rattling of dreamy gambles in crappy apartments, the desperate crash of falling for someone despite the million reasons why and the bang! bang! bang! of our tender hearts."—Daniel Handler author of Why We Broke Up

"Cha-Ching! is so raw with need that I found myself itching that addict's itch to chase the seemingly impossible."—Karolina Waclawiak, deputy editor of The Believer and author of How to Get Into the Twin Palms

"An open-hearted, deeply romantic story about a fucked-up dyke, her pit bull, her search for love, her tenuous grasp on hope, a pretty girl and the literal spin of the wheel."—Sarah Schulman, author of The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

". . . fresh and compelling . . . the novel offers a subtle and compassionate depiction of addiction and its cycle of despair-and-hope, too."—Charlotte Bhskar, Zyzzyva
"Cha-Ching! is an addiction story without recourse to self-help and redemption. It’s a romance built not from exchanging vows, but traumas, drugs, and fluids. You had me at the puke on my sheets. The characters are always making something out of nothing—a dime into a jackpot, a shitty apartment into a home, a blank sky into a declaration of love. It’s gruesome. It’s hilarious. It’d make a puppet out of the hardest of hearts."—Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, HTML Giant

"[Ali] Liebegott continues [her] winning streak with her third novel Cha-Ching!, tracing the life and times of compelling lead character Theo, a restless lesbian with a military hairstyle (which makes her gender-ambiguous enough to nickname herself "sirma'amsir") . . . There is a lot to relate to in Liebegott's cleverly addictive novel. Readers will wonder what happens next to Theo and Cary Grant. Will the love she finds be everlasting, or will her addictions get the best of her? Theo is an engaging character, and she will linger in the imagination long after Cha-Ching!'s final page has been turned."—Jim Piechota, The Bay Area Reporter

"Cha-Ching! is a rare novel, a smart page-turner which honestly delves deep into the screwed-up heart of one young working-class dyke. At a moment when novels about social outcasts and the downwardly mobile are rarely published, Liebgott has hit a home run with this tender, funny, and moving book, which examines the profound difficulties of being young and gay, and carving out a new home in an indifferent world."—Jeff Miller, Cult Montreal

"Liebegott . . . writes with easy-going, straightforward style and without a whiff of pretension. . . . Set in depressing casinos and grimy apartments, Cha-Ching! is a surprisingly optimistic, sweetly funny tale--and Theo is a heroine you might have more in common with than you think."—Shelf Awareness

"Ali Liebegott’s captivating second novel Cha-Ching! [is] a realistic but tender portrait of the affectionate and relentlessly hopeful butch-dyke heroine Theo."—Shameless magazine

"Cha-Ching! is about being young, looking for love, trying to build a future, losing everything a few times, and praying for luck in Atlantic City. It's also a witty, engaging read that deserves to be called a must-read."—Gabino Iglesias, Verbicide Magazine

"In her honest, raw and, at times, tenderly humorous narrative, Liebegott leaves the reader asking the question: how much is it all really worth?"—Elizabeth Coleman, Art Animal

"Addictive!"—Marcie Bianco, Velvet Park

"In the game of American-life-on-the-go hopscotch, Ali Liebegott's heroine Theo just jumped a square ahead of Dean Moriarty. . . . The author's fine writing about gambling is as good as I ever read, including Dostoevski's and the Barthelme Bros. In the end, love, in whatever twisted, pallid form, a love that has little to do with sexuality, is the only answer. . . .Wonderful book."—Andrei Codrescu, author of So Recently Rent a World: New and Selected Poems

"Ali Liebegott chronicles the ups and downs of Theo’s life, which should resonate with everybody—the time in your life when you felt the need for wild abandon—also, unfortunately, the time when you couldn’t stand up for yourself very well."—Kathleen Hennrikus, New York Journal of Books

"Cha-Ching is a moving coming-of-age tale, funny and heartbreaking, compassionate and real. . . [a] well-paced, well-written, and well-conceived story."—Eleanor Bader,

"The biggest pleasure of this book, besides the companionship of the sensitive Theo, is its language. Liebegott's style is mordant and naturalistic - seemingly effortless - and shot through with the most incredible sadness."—Katie Haegele,

"Her language is haunting."—Amos Lassen, blogger

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Product Details

City Lights Books
Publication date:
City Lights/Sister Spit
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
3 MB

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