Cherry Money Baby

( 1 )

Overview

Hollywood glitz collides with workingclass aspirations in this satirical tale of an impulsive starlet and a sharp-witted small-town teen.

Cherry Kerrigan loves her simple life, her family’s tiny trailer, even working at Burrito Barn. Forget college — she’s marrying her sweetheart from next door. But here comes Ardelia Deen, a glamorous starlet who sweeps Cherry into a world of fast cars and penthouse parties. Now Cherry’s small-town life just seems so . . . small. When Ardelia ...

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Cherry Money Baby

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Overview

Hollywood glitz collides with workingclass aspirations in this satirical tale of an impulsive starlet and a sharp-witted small-town teen.

Cherry Kerrigan loves her simple life, her family’s tiny trailer, even working at Burrito Barn. Forget college — she’s marrying her sweetheart from next door. But here comes Ardelia Deen, a glamorous starlet who sweeps Cherry into a world of fast cars and penthouse parties. Now Cherry’s small-town life just seems so . . . small. When Ardelia drops a bomb of an offer — one involving a baby — Cherry knows her life will change forever, no matter what she decides. John M. Cusick focuses his signature wit on Hollywood royalty and the wide-eyed dreams of Small Town, U.S.A. in a novel about discovering who you are . . . and changing your mind.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While working her usual shift at the Burrito Barn, Cherry Kerrigan rescues a choking customer, an A-list movie star who is in town to shoot a film. Ardelia Deen is so grateful that she gives Cherry her Alfa Romeo, and so impressed by Cherry’s unvarnished perspective that she makes her a paid consultant; Cherry will help vet potential surrogates to carry the baby the actress desperately wants. Cherry, who is at ease in grimy sweats, comes to realize many things, including the importance of appearance. The candidates “chatted on... while their outfits whispered subliminal messages: I’m reliable. I’m spiritual. I’m relaxed. I don’t care what you think.” Author/literary agent Cusick (Girl Parts) gives Cherry a sarcastic and often profane voice. The supporting cast—Cherry’s blue-collar father, her chill boyfriend, and Ardelia’s caustic manager—round out a plot that continually surprises. Cherry is a highly memorable character, prone to violent outbursts but possessing a strong moral compass, a rare smalltown girl who isn’t consumed by anxiety over getting into college or out of town—even when she has the chance to dip her toe into the pool with some big-time celebrities. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
The supporting cast ... round out a plot that continually surprises. Cherry is a highly memorable character, prone to violent outbursts but possessing a strong moral compass, a rare smalltown girl who isn’t consumed by anxiety over getting into college or out of town—even when she has the chance to dip her toe into the pool with some big-time celebrities.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
VOYA - Laura Perenic
Content with her small-town life, Cherry's days of work, school, and family abruptly change after a chance encounter with famous actress Ardelia Deen. As the new "It girl," Cherry attends parties and hangs out on a movie set. Being pulled into Ardelia's social life means helping Ardelia to fulfill her wish to be a mother, going so far as to interview prospective surrogates. Cherry's ability to read people is incredibly telling as Ardelia is surrounded by vapid socialites and scheming social climbers. Eager to maintain their friendship, Cherry enters the Hollywood scene with alternating moments of caution and recklessness. Cherry is a study in contrasts. She is beautiful, with a dirty mouth. Cherry is thoughtful but has a filthy mind. Readers will relate to all the conflict in Cherry's life. She both loves and hates the family trailer, and loves her boyfriend, Lucas, while worrying she is too young for marriage. Cherry Money Baby represents new-adult fiction with a female protagonist tackling adult concerns like college and a career, although her choices seem limited to staying in town and working at the Burrito Barn. Young adult and new adult readers will relate to Cherry's evolving personality and life plan. Told with a proliferation of curse words, frank talk about sex and drugs, and a smattering of other vulgarities, Cherry Money Baby is best suited to a public library. Reviewer: Laura Perenic
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
After years of being nagged about her unfulfilled potential, Cherry anticipates graduation and freedom. Though her father wants her to go to college, she would rather settle down and marry her high school sweetheart, Lucas. That is about the only traditional behavior Cherry exhibits in this riveting novel about what happens when a small-town girl goes Hollywood. She’s without artifice, painstakingly loyal, extremely impulsive and embraces risk. Her speech is peppered with profanity and she describes herself as crazy. She is the only girl brave enough to date someone whose skin color is not the same as hers, to speak her mind when she encounters injustice, and to rescue a choking Burrito Barn customer by using the Heimlich maneuver. By saving the life of mega movie star Ardelia Deen, Cherry finds herself launched into the glamorous scene reserved for the rich and famous. Ardelia showers her volatile savior with clothes, a vintage sports car, and parties where she mixes with the movie world’s elite. But these trappings of wealth give way to something more complex as Cherry is drawn deeper into the undercurrents of Ardelia’s relationships and the pressures of celebrity. A story in three acts, Cusick’s novel is at turns a parade of stereotypes based on socioeconomic status, and an inventive examination of class, race, relationships, drug use, and pregnancy. Cusick skillfully portrays a memorable young woman grappling with her identity, values, and dreams in the face of tremendous pressure. Cherry’s story will resonate with older teens as they watch her life unfold in unexpected ways. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis AGERANGE: Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—Foul-mouthed, short-tempered Cherry Kerrigan, 17, knows exactly what she wants from life. She's in love with the boy next door and plans to marry him as soon as she's through with high school. Her father has higher hopes for her; he wants her to go to college and rise above their trailer-park lifestyle. After her town's cola plant gets turned into a movie set, Cherry winds up performing the Heimlich maneuver on the star. Her father is completely supportive of the resulting unlikely friendship between his daughter and the British starlet. Ardelia Deen, raised amid the British aristocracy, finds Cherry's straightforward approach to life refreshing. She hires Cherry to help her in the search for a surrogate mother for her child. Cherry gets inevitably drawn into the lifestyle of the rich and famous and begins to question her own aspirations as Ardelia demands increasing amounts of her time. Things come to a head when Cherry's family loses everything after her weed-smoking brother, who is supposed to be in her care, accidentally burns down their trailer. Riddled with guilt, she considers Ardelia's offer of $250,000 to be the one to carry her child. At Ardelia's mansion in England, however, events force Cherry to rethink the direction her life is taking. Cusick has created an unlikely role model in sassy Cherry and added generous amounts of humor to her story. —Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA
Kirkus Reviews
A small-town girl is tempted by money and status in this intriguing, character-driven work. Defying the stereotype, proud, fiercely loyal Alice "Cherry" Kerrigan is perfectly fine being the one who doesn't get away. She's deeply in love with Lucas, her boyfriend and neighbor in the trailer park where she lives with her dad and stoner younger brother, and the two plan to marry once they graduate and stay in their hometown. However, when Cherry saves the life of choking movie star Ardelia Deen, it sets into motion a host of events that shake Cherry's faith in herself and her decisions. There is plenty to like in this novel that maintains a mostly light tone while it riffs on weighty questions about class and the pressures of fame. Not least of all is Cherry's incisive wit: "Hey! Fucking…Barney Fife! I'm talking to you!" she yells at a security guard who mistakenly thinks that Lucas is harassing her, presumably because he is black and she is white. But the already somewhat fantastical plot stretches even further when it turns out Ardelia is looking for a surrogate mother to have a baby for her, and eventually, suspending disbelief becomes too noticeable a chore. Smart and often funny but ultimately overly complicated. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763655570
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 972,543
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John M. Cusick is the author of Girl Parts and a literary agent representing young adult and middle-grade fiction writers. About Cherry Money Baby, he says, “Class is a touchy subject in this country. I wanted to explore how our assumptions about money, sophistication, and self-worth can cloud our vision.” He lives with his girlfriend in Brooklyn.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    cherrystar

    Kills two birds a vole and a mouse

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