by Rachel Cohn


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481457651
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date: 11/03/2015
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,065,779
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rachel Cohn is the bestselling author of You Know Where to Find Me, Gingerbread, Shrimp, Cupcake, Pop Princess, and, with David Levithan, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares as well as the tween novels The Steps and Two Steps Forward. Born in Washington, DC, she graduated from Barnard College in New York and has lived on both coasts. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

My so-called parents hate my boyfriend, Shrimp. I'm not sure they even believe he is my boyfriend. They take one look at his five-foot-five, surfer-shirt-wearin', baggy-jeans-slouchin', Pop Tart­eatin', spiked-hair-head self and you can just see confusion firebombs exploding in their heads, like they are thinking, Oh no, Cyd Charisse, that young man is not your homes.

Dig this: He is.

At least Shrimp always remembers to call my mother "Mrs." instead of just grunting in her direction, like most guys my age do. And no parent could deny that hanging out with Shrimp is an improvement over Justin, my ex, from my old prep school. Justin got me into trouble, big time. I'm so over the Justin stage.

Not like Sid and Nancy care much. I have done my parents the favor of becoming more or less invisible.

Sid, my father, calls me a "recovering hellion." Sid's actually my stepfather. You could say I hardly know my real father. I met him at an airport once when I was five. He was tall and skinny and had ink black hair, like me. We ate lunch in a smoky pub at the Dallas­Fort Worth airport. I did not like my hamburger so my real dad opened his briefcase and offered me a piece of homemade gingerbread he had wrapped in tinfoil.

He bought me a brown rag doll at the airport gift shop. The cashier had made the doll herself. She said she had kept the doll hidden under her cash register waiting for just the right little girl. My real dad gave the cashier a one-hundred-dollar bill and told her to keep the change. I named my dolly Gingerbread.

Nancy and I were on our way to San Francisco to become Sid's family. My real dad was on his way back to New York, to his real wife and family. They don't know about me.

I'm fairly sure that my real dad's wife would not mind that I make scissors cuts on my arms and then pick the scabs. His real wife probably makes fresh gingerbread every day and writes Things To Do lists and does her own grocery shopping instead of having a housekeeper and a driver do everything for her, like Nancy does.

Nancy only met Justin once, at the expulsion hearing. The headmaster told her Justin and I were caught fooling around in a room loaded with Jack Daniels and prescription bottles. In flagrante delicto were the words the headmaster used. I failed Latin.

Nancy said Justin was from a "wonderful Connecticut family" and how could I shame her and Sid like that. It was Justin who was selling the ecstasy out of his dorm room, not me. It was Justin who said he pulled out in time. Sid and Nancy never knew about that part.

Nancy came into my room one night after I returned home to San Francisco. Sid and my younger half-sibs were at Father's Night at their French immersion school. "I hope your friends use condoms," Nancy said, which was funny because she knows Shrimp is my only friend. She threw a box of Trojans onto the lace-trimmed four-poster bed that I hate. Shrimp is a safety boy, he takes care of those things. If it had been Shrimp back in boarding school, he would have come with me to the clinic.

"Can I have a futon on the floor instead of this stupid princess bed?" I said. The thought of my mother even knowing about contraception, much less doling it out, was beyond comprehension, much less discussion.

Nancy sighed. Sighing is what she does instead of eating. "I paid ten thousand dollars to redecorate this room while you were at boarding school. No, you may not, Cyd Charisse."

Everybody in my family calls me by my first and middle name since my dad's name is pronounced the same as my first name. When she was twenty years old and pregnant with me, Nancy thought she would eventually marry my real dad. She named me after this dancer-actress from like a million years ago who starred in this movie that Nancy and real-dad saw on their first date, before she found out he had a whole other life. The real Cyd Charisse is like this incredibly beautiful sex goddess. I am okay looking. I could never be superhuman sexy like the real Cyd Charisse. I mean there is only room for so much grace and beauty in one person named Cyd Charisse, not two.

Nancy fished a pack of Butter Rum LifeSavers out of her designer jacket and held them out to me. "Want a piece of my dinner?"

Copyright © 2002 by Rachel Cohn

Table of Contents

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Gingerbread 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 165 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i started reading shrimp and got to the 4th or 5th chapter and they were recapping thing that i had never even read so i went to the library and asked about it and come to kind out the first book was gingerbread as i started to read it and i fell in love with it it had its high point when i needed it and the low points when it need the low points its easy to fall in love with shrimp and his no care surf boy attitude and the way they express there love is diffrent but sweet i just love it you just have to read it yourself
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For years now this is still my favorite book. Cyd charisse's character is so completely herself, a little tough on the outside, but so sweet and geniune inside. This book makes you laugh and love the characters and each dynamic between them. Even as a teen novel, it holds enough about life and sweet love that any age will enjoy it. The subsequent books are just as great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to read this book, and I was very dissapointed. This book was so bad. I felt like there was no plot at all and when the author could makenthe book interesting, she didn't do anything. The book is basically about a girl wandering around NYC doing nothing. Would not tell a friend to read this EVER
Kasia_S More than 1 year ago
When one thinks of Gingerbread, heady spices and molasses-like sweetness comes to mind, the book however was a literary equivalent of Angel Food Cake - fluffy, light and sweet enough to entertain but not overly filling. It's something that I can read in one sitting and then get up without a headache, possibly ready to begin the next book in the series. Young Adult fiction has come a long way, reading books about disgruntled sixteen year olds are certainly easier than being one all over again and even though I am no longer a teen I certainly remember how tough it was. Standing strong against the ripping winds of corruption and negative influences while dealing with feelings for boys, parents and especially how I saw myself was no walk in the beach and even though I had a blast growing up I am relieved to be done with it.

For Cyd, living with her step dad Sid and mother Nancy and her younger half siblings in San Francisco is more an a nuisance than paradise. Her richly decorated home, stylish mother, lenient step father and her relationship with her new awesome boyfriend Shrimp are slowly crumbling up into a black hole that she has dug up in her past, the spoiled relationship with her then boyfriend Justin who got her hooked on his dark lifestyle and got her pregnant without giving her any support. After her life changing decision to write her own future Cyd becomes even more cynical, witty, sarcastic and sometimes warm and human on her quest to fix her broken relations with her parents, Shrimp and her biological father in New York. Her last memory of him was when she was five years old and him giving her a doll that she named Gingerbread, carrying it with her to this day. The visit to the East coast opens her eyes in more ways than she has imagined and it's up to her to either find the light or slink away into the shadows with no helping hands to pull her up. The mystery of her parents split, her other half siblings and potential new boys are lined on up the horizon for the reader to grab onto and enjoy. It's all up to her whether she wants to grow up and change or act like a spoiled brat.

The writing was easy to read and made the book flow like an express train. I enjoyed the brief glimpse of Cyd before she was with Shrimp and how her current situation evolved. This isn't deep fiction but a fun romp though pages filled with growing pains and emerging roots of maturity. I'm all ready reading the sequel "Shrimp" and cannot wait to find out what happens when Cyd is back in San Francisco after her life changing summer in New York. This book is like a nice, light slice of cake; it's no dinner but still fills you up.

- Kasia S.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first it took me a while to get what was so speacial about the day that she was talking about in the book, but once you get there, its amazing. Gingerbread has a lot of different topics. like abortion, like what or how you feel afterwards, what could happen with the relationship with the guy who got u preggers, new boyfriend who you r in love with, meeting ur biological father..for like the second time. and other stuff. its too complicated to write it all down. lol. but seriously....READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!! u won't regret it. i promise!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I originally wanted to read Shrimp because my friend loved it, and when i read what it was about down at the bottom it said 'sequel to Gingerbread' and i got them both at the library and loved gingerbread. really, i loved Cyd & Shrimp. ':
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was awsome i couldn't put it down!!!!! it was that good. i've never realy liked reading until i read this book! and i love how rachel writes her books! i hope i can write a book as good as she does! way to go rachel keep it up!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cyd Charisse is far from your perfect child and model student. After getting kicked out of her up scale boarding school Cyd is forced to move back to San Francisco with her family. In San Francisco however Cyd¿s old behavior and wild side are not acceptable. Cyd struggles to make things work at home with her controlling mother and her step dad, but when things get tough at her house she has the comfort of her new boyfriend, and old doll gingerbread. Gingerbread has been Cyd¿s best friend since her biological father gave her the doll as a child. After a lot of adjusting Cyd was getting comfortable with her life in San Francisco but began to go on another downward spiral after her boyfriend decided they should see other people. This caused Cyd¿s rebellious and wild side to come back, and after a long discussion between Cyd¿s parents, and a plane ride across the country Cyd was sent to New York City where her father lived. Cyd¿s parents thought she might benefit from getting away and spending some time getting to know her real father and half siblings. Surprisingly Cyd Charisse was not angry at her mother and father for deciding on this for she had been dreaming for this opportunity all her life. While in New York Cyd Charisse learns many things about her family and also discovers many things about herself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is a good book about true things it is a great book
Guest More than 1 year ago
really fresh and a fun read. well written, hilarious. i want more!!!!!!! Cyd Charisse and her bf shrimp make a great couple while it lasts.... Sugar Pie is def. my fave character.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG this book saved my life...litterally. I was jumping of the Empire State Building and this book broke my landing, thus saving me. No but really this book is truley amazing, you can get through it really fast and you are still left wanting more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gingerbread is an ¿unforgettable¿ book. It¿s an enormously exceptional novel with numerous ups and downs leaving the audience with countless up coming ideas. Rachel Cohn did a marvelous job creating the perfect image of a sassy metallic spoiled combat boots- wearing 16-year-old that will be ¿as wild as she wants to be!¿ Gingerbread is not just your average teen book. It¿s filled with life-related situations, and drama that you personally encounter with in your life. The protagonist¿s voice in the book is what keeps you hooked on and wanting to keep the pages turning. Her character as a 'recovering hellion' changes dramatically throughout the whole hardback. Cyd Charisse is just like one of your friends. The unveiling of Cyd begins as an obstinate adolescent rebel. After being kicked out of a fancy boarding school, she moves back to San Francisco with her parents. There Cyd meets the only two people she can count on: her new surfer boyfriend, Shrimp, and an elderly woman she met while doing community service, Sugar Pie. Let¿s not forget her long time best friend Gingerbread. A rag doll her biological father bought her the first time he saw Cyd at an airport. Now she realizes that she faces a lot of problems Cyd Charisse tries to escalate a good relationship with her mother, but they just end up arguing ferociously with each other. All she longs for is to be reunited with her real father, Frank, even though she hasn¿t seen him in years. Her parents finally send her off to get reacquainted with her biological father, when they had enough of her roguish antics. When she arrived at New York City, she found out that her perfect step family was very different from what she expected, especially her step siblings. Danny has a gay partner and they own a cafe. Rhonda is rude, and initially hostile. The whole experience was astounding. Cyd fooled around with her dad¿s driver. In addition, she even ran into her ex boyfriend who was the one responsible for the abortion she concealed from her family. Recurring back to San Francisco again, sophisticated Cyd finally discovers the reality about her father, family, love and herself. It¿s an engaging fiction about a teenager coming to stipulations with her family and relationships. There are various memorable and affectionately drawn character's emotions which were engraved in a vibrant and pragmatic fashion. Rachel Cohn did a superior task establishing the characters in her best novel yet. Gingerbread will appeal more to complex young adults with a taste for romance, drama, sex, and drugs. I absolutely loved it! It was one of the most fascinating novels I ever read with amazing descriptions. You feel like you are one of the characters in the book every step of the way. Cohn did a mind-blowing job getting the one most important thing she wanted us to know across: The hardships of a rebel teen can be over come with effort and the surrounding of the people who love you the most.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i read this i was like wow this is the best thing ever. i could definely relate to this because i am basic the same what and it was cool to get it from a different persective than how it normally goes. I also like this book because it shows a side of teenagers that is labeled as not cool or to rebellious for people to read. Its cool that it was different
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was slow at first, but as I kept reading it got better and better. A great story for girls.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Girl, you look like trouble.¿ That girl is Cyd Charisse, the protagonist of Rachel Cohn¿s book Gingerbread, the first novel of a two-book series. Sid is also the name of her stepfather. Cyd¿s biological father, or as she calls him ¿Frank-real-dad,¿ lives in New York with his two children. Cyd hardly remembers him now: she¿s only met him once when she was five, at the Dallas Fort-Worth airport. Frank bought her a dolly at the airport and Cyd named her Gingerbread. Now she is faced with many problems and her boyfriend, her friend Sugar Pie, and Gingerbread are all she¿s got. When Cyd¿s mom finally has enough of her mischievous antics, she sends Cyd to New York to spend three weeks with Frank-real-dad. While there, she finally discovers the truth about her father, her family, and love. The question is, does she like it? Rachel Cohn did an outstanding job creating the characters in this book. I felt that I was experiencing every scene as though I was right there with them. The characters were very realistic because the transitions that they made throughout the book were believable. I loved Gingerbread because while I was reading it, I felt like I knew Cyd and her family not as a reader, but as a friend. The characters emotions were written in an animated and realistic style. The result is a kinetic energy that keeps the pages turning. While I was reading Gingerbread I felt happy, sad, outraged, humbled, and even overjoyed at times. Any book that can make you feel all those things qualifies as a classic. Gingerbread is a great read for any teen girl looking for a unique teen read. I am very much looking forward to reading the second book of the series: Shrimp. Like a gingerbread man, I will run as fast as I can to buy the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was responsible for catapulting me into getting more serious about becomming a writer. Its a beautiful book, with a variety of flawed characters all trying to survive in their flawed world. I cheered for Cyd even when she mentioned her not so good past, and continued towards a not so good future. The author did a magnificent job writing this story, making you like the characters you were supposed to like, making you hate the ones you were supposed to hate, and making you yearn for your very own Shrimp.
jadore.tu on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I absolutely loved this book. At times I could relate to Cyd Charisse, but at other times, it was mass chaos that was just plain entertain. I am in love with this entire series... although I haven't read Cupcake yet...o.O
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Cyd Charisse thinks her life is finally starting to come together. She got in big trouble at her New York boarding school, but she's home in California now spending the summer with her dreamy new boyfriend Shrimp. She volunteers at a nursing home and is about to start a job at her boyfriend's brother's coffee shop. And then she gets in trouble. Again. And her mom decides to send her off to spend some time with her recently widowered biological father. Cyd Charisse can't believe how quickly things have fallen apart, but her trip to New York will give her the chance to get to know some of her family and to find out answers to questions she's always had about her parents. And maybe it'll give Cyd Charisse the chance to finally come clean about some of her secrets. I tried to read this book last year and couldn't get into it, but now I have no idea why. I totally loved it. Cyd Charisse is a great character, very teen-angsty but also smart and loving. I can't wait to read the sequel!
lellis04 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Gingerbread is a very high interest, quick read book. The quirky narrator is Cyd Charisse, a teenager who has definitely seen a lot of trouble. She carries a doll around, has had an abortion, has a potty mouth and daddy issues. Cohn does a great job with voice in this book. Charisse is hilarious and a free thinker, and sounds just like any teenage girl you may hear telling stories in the hall at school. It feels as if she is a good friend, telling you a story¿with a little embellishing along the way. She has a lot of flaws, and she is not afraid to tell you all about them. This book is probably written at about a 5th grade reading level, but it is definitely not appropriate for elementary school. There is quite a lot of cussing, talk of an abortion, and on page sex. I get a lot of reluctant high school readers in the library that ¿have¿ to get a book for SSR Mondays at my school. Whenever I recommend this book, they come back asking for more. This book is like a chick book for bad girls. Technically, it is the sequel to Cupcake, but it definitely stands alone.
simplykatie on LibraryThing 7 months ago
didn't really enjoy this one. i would much rather re-read "nick and norah's infinite playlist."
rebachin on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I think I am a very forgiving person... at least when it comes to books. I usually say that I really liked x and y about such and such book but I was a bit miffed by z. This book has left me miff-less. No miffing to report here. Short and sweet - the book... not at all the main character. But, the absence of "sweet-ness" in Cyd Charisse is probably one of the things about her that endears me to her. The premise: The book is about this girl who carries around a doll named gingerbread which her real dad gave her at the airport one year and she¿s kept it ever since for a reminder of her dad who she never sees. My thoughts: Rachel Cohn's definitely got a cool style going for her in her writing. This is the first book of hers that I've read but I have watched Nick and Norah... and I will read the next two books about Cyd Charisse Shrimp and Cupcake to test out my theory. But it goes something like this: Illustrate a moment in time for a character and make you feel the impact of the moment, don't drag it on forever, make it short and simple, but include enough backstory to add dimension to the character... and make 'em irresistable.
chibimajo on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Cyd's relationship with her boyfriend becomes a little rocky after she gets in trouble again, and gets kicked out of boarding school. Because of this, her mother sends her off to spend time with her biological father, which Cyd would be happier about if he didn't live in another state. It revives memories of her last boyfriend and the 'problems' he caused, her reason for all her bad behavior. Things get a little easier when she finally confesses and starts to get over her ex.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hibari More than 1 year ago
This book is classified as a teen book but I think that readers of all ages will enjoy it. I am a man well past his teen years and I thought it was a great book. Just because it is about a girl in high school it should not stop anyone from reading this book. Many times I have read books that were from a genre in which I don't match the targeted profile but have enjoyed them immensely. Highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its so wonderfull TT TT O But i got confused on how she loves her dad so much when she never met him If i were in thatv situation id tell all of the dads side of the family "get away wierdo i dont know u stop trying to hug me how do u know my name stalker MOMMY A CREEPY GUY KEEP TRYING TO TELL ME HE IS MY DAD!!!!!!!"