Cherry Heaven by L. J. Adlington, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Cherry Heaven
  • Alternative view 1 of Cherry Heaven
  • Alternative view 2 of Cherry Heaven

Cherry Heaven

4.8 4
by L. J. Adlington

View All Available Formats & Editions

Kat and Tanka J are starting over. The New Frontier is nothing like war-stricken City Five—no battle scars, no memories of their parents. It's a perfect society, where everyone lives in harmony. Or so they say.

There's me, the ghost in the glass, and there's everyone else on the warm side of the windows. If you're really quiet, you'll hear me creeping in


Kat and Tanka J are starting over. The New Frontier is nothing like war-stricken City Five—no battle scars, no memories of their parents. It's a perfect society, where everyone lives in harmony. Or so they say.

There's me, the ghost in the glass, and there's everyone else on the warm side of the windows. If you're really quiet, you'll hear me creeping in the shadows.

Someone else is starting over, too, running on a path perilously close to Kat and Tanka. Can the two girls and their friends uncover the dark secrets of the New Frontier before the unthinkable happens?

The last birthday i ever had, years ago, was the one where I got shot instead of presents. i wasn't killed before and i won't get dead now. run, run as fast as i can, can't catch me 'cause i got a Plan! Don't anyone get in my way.

Editorial Reviews

From the opening of the novel, readers are swept into another world. This is a world where laborers at the Hydro factory are called by their position, where the work is hard and where compassion is unknown. Their plight proves to be the dirty secret in this universe and Bottle Seal 55 (whose real name is Luka) is part of a forgotten group of people. In the past, Luka lived at Cherry Heaven, but her family was torn apart in a war that separated people according to their DNA. Kat and her sister Tanka are living with foster parents who took them in when their parents were gunned down during the war. The family decided to leave the city and move to the New Frontier, the outer edges of civilization, where they hope to avoid the racial profiling that remains even after the war. In the New Frontier, Tanka quickly becomes part of a popular crowd of young people while Kat is haunted by the mystery of the former owners of Cherry Heaven, where they are now living. The novel tells these two stories: the story of Bottle Seal 55, a hunted escapee from the Hydro factory, and her desire to return home to Cherry Heaven; and the story of Kat and Tanka, a story of privilege as they become friends with Aran, whose father owns the Hydro factory and who is keeping a secret of his own. Finally, during the community birthday celebration for Aran's father, the two stories come together as the truth about Cherry Heaven is revealed. Part SF, part mystery, this is a compelling tale of life on another planet where intolerance still leads to discrimination and violence. Age Range: Ages 12 to 18. REVIEWER: Janis Flint-Ferguson (Vol. 42, No. 1)
AGERANGE: Ages 15 to 18.

[T]he last birthday i ever had . . . was the one where i got shot instead of presents. With this sentence, Luka begins the story of her life as "Bottle Seal 56" in the Linveki Hydro Factory. Verbally and physically abused, Luka contrasts sharply with Kat, who, in alternate chapters, describes her move to the New Frontier. Kat and her foster parents, with their favored gene clan designation of Atsumisi, move into Cherry Heaven, a beautiful country home. Soon after their arrival, they hear rumors of the former residents' murders and see mysterious footsteps in the snow. Luka, who burns her despised Galrezi clan designation from her hand with acid, escapes the Factory. Drawn back to her former home, Cherry Heaven, she lies in wait for the man who murdered her family. Only the influence of an old friend makes her spare her former attacker's life. This multifaceted novel's chilling portrayal of gene wars, slavery, and prejudice will haunt readers long after the book is finished. But it is also a skillfully crafted mystery, slowly mounting up evidence toward a heart-stopping climax. Characterization is top-notch. In a society where recreational drugs are legal, Kat struggles to fit in but still resists adopting her sister's habit of controlling every emotion with the pop of a pill. Pathetically scarred, Luka seems virtually unsalvageable, but she eventually is redeemed by the love of old friends. Not always pleasant to read, this book packs a punch in a variety of ways. Reviewer: Nancy K. Wallace
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 14 up.

Several decades ago Ray Bradbury wrote a novel called The Martian Chronicles, which demonstrates that humankind's attempts to find a better world in space would end in failure because they would make the same mistakes on their new planet as they have made on the old one. Kat and Tanka face this same reality as they move with their adopted parents to the New Frontier, a settlement on the outskirts of the new world these girls call home. War cost them their biological parents, but they hope that this new colony will bring peace to their lives. However, they soon find that their new utopia has a dark side too because Quinn Essnid, their leader, has some secrets about the sacrifices he made to create this supposed paradise for his people. The novel has two narratives, one that focuses on Kat and Tanka's experiences in their new colony, and another that is the ramblings of Luka, a girl whose life was destroyed by Essnid and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. The novel, like its predecessor The Diary of Pelly D, continues to liken this future society with some of the horrors of the Holocaust, but Adlington's blending of science fiction with historical allusions continues to make her work a unique reading experience. While Luka's story can be difficult to decipher with its stream-of-consciousness style, readers will likely become more comfortable with her voice as they progress through the novel. Luka, Kat, and Tanka's stories come together at the end and present a more optimistic outlook on the future of humankind than Bradbury's work; Luka's last thoughts are almost too hopeful considering the pain and suffering that consumed her throughout most ofthe book. While the end is a poor denouement, the girls' adventures and Luka's back-story with Essnid make this novel a nice addition to the ranks of dystopian teen fiction. Reviewer: Michele DeCamp

Rebekah Skillen
Cherry Heaven by L.J. Adlington takes the reader to another world where one's life has been determined by the color of the individual's hand stamp. Tanka and Kat, sisters from war-torn City Five, travel in the highest luxury available as they arrive to the New Frontier with high expectations; some are met and some are not. As Tanka and Kat learn to live in the New Frontier, another girl, Bottle Seal 55, is also on a journey, a journey in search of revenge and truth. When the girls' paths cross, decisions will have to be made. Do the sisters have enough strength and courage to stand up for what is right? Is there really a ghost out in the orchard? Are people still considered people even if some in society consider them scum? Adlington delivers the readers a variety of moral themes that must be considered as the multi-layered plot unfolds. Although Cherry Heaven appears daunting at nearly 500 pages, readers of all levels who enjoy science fiction and fantasy will enjoy this novel as well. Reviewer: Rebekah Skillen
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10- Cherries have not been harvested at Cherry Heaven since the shooting deaths of the last owners a decade earlier. Despite their regret at having to relocate from the war-torn five cities to the New Frontier, sisters Kat and Tanka feel somewhat relieved to be living at the outstanding house at Cherry Heaven. Once settled in their new home, they discover that Meander town isn't as peaceful and comfortable as it seems on the surface. Intelligent and inquisitive Kat sees through the facade and questions the events of the past, and ultimately forces the townspeople to face up to the truths of life in Meander. Alternating chapters from the point of view of Kat and a slave girl who desperately wants to escape so she can expose the truth about murders long forgotten make this novel a multidimensional exploration of race, class, adventure, and ethics while remaining a nonstop page-turner. This accessible story, a companion to The Diary of Pelly D (HarperCollins, 2005), provides many opportunities for deeper discussions and thought. With many subtle references to the current worldwide exploitation and discrimination toward certain groups of people, it would be a good cross-curriculum classroom study.-Dylan Thomarie, Johnstown High School, NY

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This disappointing sequel to the compelling Holocaust-themed Diary of Pelly D (2005) lacks the suspense and quiet horror of its predecessor. Ten years after the Galrezi genocide that shook their utopian world, teenaged sisters Kat and Tanka J relocate to the Frontier, a rural community that promises peace and equality. But their new home, located in a cherry orchard, is tainted by rumors of a Galrezi family that was mysteriously murdered there. The sisters' story alternates with that of Luka P, an abused factory worker who has escaped her overseers and is seeking revenge on the people who abandoned her. The stories converge when Luka's true identity is unveiled and her oppressors turn out ironically to be the same Frontier leaders who promised "never again." Adlington essentially recycles the same story and themes as in her debut, and what was subtle there is heavy handed here. Even the stronger sections written in Luka's distinctive voice can't overcome the belabored climax and contrived plot. However, the author does reveal the fates of some key characters from Pelly D's journal, so stock some copies for fans of the first novel. (Science fiction. YA)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 1.41(d)
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Cherry Heaven

Chapter One


the last birthday i ever had, years ago, was the one where i got shot instead of presents.

silence fell after the gunman fired. cherries fell too, fat and juicy in the snow. i heard boots crunching closer as the man came to see how well he'd done.

i shake my head.

those thoughts creep in a place i'm not ready to remember yet, and let's face it—where i come from there aren't any cherries, it never snows, and remembering's Against The Rules.

i come from a bad place. they wanted to keep me there but i had other plans. plans are Against The Rules, of course; in fact, everything's Against The Rules. the crazy thing is (and am i the only one who's ever noticed?) there are no Rules where i come from, not ones they tell you about anyway. you only find out what the Rules are when you break them. i know what you're thinking! you're thinking, that's not so bad if you're smart. you're thinking, why not watch and see what other workers get punished for, then say, whoa, best i don't do the same. that's what you might think if you'd never worked in Factory before. get this: here in Factory, even though the Rules don't exist, they change all the time. somehow Director always has a Rule ready to be broken whenever he feels in a punishing mood.

Director likes Rules. he also likes nice food, fine wines, and working out with weights so he's a lean, mean shouting machine. Director thinks he's young and handsome. is he young? i've forgotten how to count things like that. is he handsome? hardsome more like. Supervisor fancies him almost as much as he fancies himself.she tries to smile at him and looks to see how many buttons are undone on his shirt. while Director's up on his platform, Supervisor walks Factory floor. Supervisor doesn't have crinkly white Hygie socks like us workers. she walks softly softly in her no-sound slippers and you can only tell she's there when she hisses on your neck, letting you know you're almost breaking a Rule just by being alive. when her breath hangs in the air you feel so tense you could crack like a bent bone. you wait there wondering, should i stand still?—cos maybe standing still's Against The Rules. then you think, should i keep on working? only maybe that's Against The Rules too.

Supervisor's good at punishing people: smack 'em, whack 'em, watch 'em cry. one time a girl was hit so hard her eye fell out. i don't know if they put it back in again and i don't know what Rule the girl broke. there just isn't room for someone to know everything, unless you're Director, of course, cos he knows how to brush his own teeth, gloss his own hair, and how to send a spot of spit down from his platform onto whatever lucky worker's walking below. oh yeah, Director knows he's A1 Ace Supremo. except when Bossman calls.

Bossman's the baddest man, and he comes here once a year. Director shivers when the Bossman's shadow's near. maybe he wishes he had a hood to hide his face like i do. he shakes Bossman's gold-shiny hand and waits, and we wait too. will Bossman be pleased . . . ? will he smile his special Bossman smile and pull that envelope from his pocket? yes! he does! we're all ready to flop with relief. Director tears the envelope and looks inside. it's arrived! an invitation to Bossman's birthday. unlike me he gets one every year.

Director loves parties, especially this birthday party. even before the big day he drinks so much wine his eyes almost pop out of his orange-tanned face, and when he makes it back to Factory after the fun, he'll have a hoarse voice and maybe a couple of hickeys on his neck. some years he brings back strings of silver/red streamers. one year he almost didn't show up at all, but that was too good to be true. he was back three days later complaining of a monster headache.

this year Director's more excited than ever about Bossman's birthday. he presses his belly against the platform rails and boasts he's got an invite to the biggest party on the planet. bet you wish you could go! ha ha ha you can't. you'd kill it dead anyway, you funless lumps of mud. d'you think it would hurt to maybe crack your faces to smile every once in a while? c'mon, let's have some music, you soulless little shitzers! sing!

he makes us sing the same tune over and over and no one complains, cos we all remember the time when Bottle Seal 55 forgot the words to Director's favorite song, oh yeah. let's just say she won't be singing anymore, or talking, or working, or breathing, even, so now i'm the new Bottle Seal 55.

no i'm not! i forgot!

they'll have to get a new 55 cos i'm not going to be what they tell me to be ever again. now i'm the girl with the Plan, the girl-who-can, the girl who's breaking the biggest Rule of all. get this—i'm leaving. i've always known i'd go, as sure as high tide follows low. you see, there's something i've got to do.

girl, you ain't got to do nothing, is what Packer 67 always told me. an' if you have, she said, it's this: look small and think small. work your shift, eat your food before some starving shitzer eats it for you, sleep your sleep, then get up and do it all over again.

i do look small.

i bend my shoulders and pull my Hygie hood over my face. i don't talk much, pretending i've got nothing to say. at the end of every shift i peel off the Hygie gloves and rub my hands with Stingo. oh, Stingo! the only smell . . .

Cherry Heaven. Copyright � by L. Adlington. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

L. J. Adlington is the author of The Diary of Pelly D, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She graduated from Cambridge University, and has lived and worked in Japan and Spain. She now lives in York, England, where she teaches hands-on history lessons for museums, schools, and historical sites.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >