Cherry Money Baby
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Cherry Money Baby

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  245 ratings  ·  65 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Candlewick Press
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Fangirl by Rainbow RowellThe Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackThe Burning Sky by Sherry ThomasUnited We Spy by Ally Carter
YA Books - Publishing September 2013
60th out of 85 books — 177 voters
Ethereal Fury by Jessica O'GorekAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillThe Earth Dwellers by David EstesAntigoddess by Kendare BlakeThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
New YA September 2013
25th out of 103 books — 73 voters

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Community Reviews

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* This is an ARC Review*

So glad this title caught my eye even though I haven't previously read anything by John Cusick. The best thing about Cherry Money Baby? The surprises. What you think will be a book about a poor, white trash girl struggling to make it out of her hick town actually turned out to be a a really amazing study of class, with some interesting nods towards celebrity culture, all wrapped up in a extremely well written, likable protagonist with a sarcastic, witty, funny voice. You...more
Ashley (Loves Books)
**This review will post to Ashley Loves Books at a later date.**

I’m not sure this book was anything like I expected, though I have absolutely no idea what I initially expected! It sounds like it’s going to be a predictable novel about a trashy white girl who suddenly gets exposed to the big, wide world and how it messes up her life. And sure, I guess you could trivialise it down to that if you really wanted – but it’s actually SO much more. It’s about who you are because of where you are, becaus...more
Cherry is a typical small town girl. She lives in a trailer with her dad and brother. She works at a local fast food place where she is the best damn burrito roller in the business. And, she has a sweetheart who lives right next door. She never really gave much thought about the rich and famous, until a celebrity causes her world to change in a whirlwind. Cherry has to decide on what she really wants in life, and with who.


This was an okay book, it just wasn't what I expected.

+I did like that...more
Tommy Wallach
A really great YA book from my man, JMC, who writes about women with an accuracy that tells me he either a) grew up with lots of sisters, or b) is, somehow, part girl. Cherry is a fantastic protagonist, smart but flawed, trashy and lovable, and her story of choosing rags over riches is an interesting and novel one. Wonderful turns of phrase abound, not to mention a Sondheim-themed chapter title, which basically earns a 4 out of 5 for me right there. Go read it.
Brigid Keely
"Cherry Money Baby," by John M. Cusick, is a YA novel about a young woman from a small town and the life choices she makes.

I won this book from a Good Reads First Reads contest.

I grew up in a small town, and I've lived in other small towns, and I hated it. Haaaaated it. When I refer to moving to a small town, words like "dragged" and "horrible" and "if I had no other choice" and "ugh" are part of the conversation. But a lot of what I hate about small towns are exactly what other people love. I a...more
Cherry is the epitome of modern day white trash...she lives in a trailer, bleaches her hair, does badly in school, works in a fast food joint, has a pothead for a brother and a black boyfriend who is a "graffitti artist". Cherry couldn't be more of a stereotype. She has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to "rich people" until she saves the life of a celebrity actress. Next thing you know this actress adopts her like a puppy, whipping her off to parties, giving her an Alfa Romeo and eventually...more
"Cherry Money Baby" was an interesting novel. It encompassed many conflicts that a teenager would come across in their life. The main character Cherry is a senior in high school. College to her at that point was not very important, and she feels, like naive people her age, that life can still be grand even if she limits her future. Of course, the people she encounters in her life help to change to her, whether for worse or for better. But in the end, if was Cherry's relationship with actress Ard...more
I enjoyed this book. Someone needs to read it quick so I can talk about it with you!

So here's the last sentence of the first chapter:

This is what Cherry discovered about herself: while her brother hid in his room, and her father stared glumly into his coffee, it was Cherry alone, seven-year-old Cherry, who, in so many words, told their selfish, disloyal, inconsistent mom to go fuck herself.
Okay. So this book.

It's certainly not one that you warm to immediately. I wasn't sure that I'd read it. But the beginning--it drew me in, despite Cherry's abrasiveness. The constant cursing got a little old, that was for sure. As did the depictions of the relationship with her boyfriend, Lucas. Blech. got better when Ardelia came in, but the whole story just kind of fell flat. It was interesting--that was for certain--but I didn't care for any of the characters, the decisions they m...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
kristin (paper reader)
I think that going into this book I wanted it to be about something more, but it never got to that level. The characters felt like they were missing something, and I was never really sure what should be going on. As much as I wanted to like it beyond the premise, it fell flat.
Karen  Hallam
I really didn't know what I was getting into when I began reading this book. I heard vague whispering from my peers about how good it was. And I must say, it was very endearing. As I read deeper, I realized it wasn't really my typical genre, but the characters hooked me in. The writing was fluid and I zipped through it. I usually want my mind changed, or a new world vision after reading any novel.
And maybe my mind has been changed, because this story about a teen and her body, and the working c...more
Wasn't crazy about this book, but maybe I'm taking it too seriously.
*This review also appears on the blog Chasm of Books*

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

'Cherry Money Baby' tool you small-town teenage girl getting through high school stereotype and turned it on its head. This story is one that is definitely enjoyable to read, told in the witty and sarcastic voice of the main protagonist Cherry. Her life changes when she meets big-time celebrity Ardelia Deen, and suddenly her normal life gets revamped to include m...more
Amy Smith
Cherry Money Baby was an okay book. It followed Cherry Kerrigan's life through the end of her senior year of high school. She becomes an overnight hero when she saves movie star Ardelia Deen's life. Some parts of the book were predictable based on stereotypes that our society has on movie stars. Other parts allowed you to see how people that are in the spotlight view life. It was nice to see how movie stars view being famous. There was a lot of change in characters' personalities. They were not...more
There isn't much that Cherry wants from her life. She's perfectly content to live in a trailer in the wrong part of town. She's completely certain she wants to skip college and marry Lucas, not only the boy next door, but the love of her life. And even though she doesn't love working at the Burrito Barn, she's satisfied.

Cherry's life is simple, and mostly uncomplicated. That is until she meets Ardelia Deen, a top-notch movie star who Cherry just happens to save from choking to death on a piece o...more
Hmm. I felt kind of let down by this ending, although I know it couldn't have happened any other way.

When I read the description for this book, I thought it would be really great. Cherry sounded funny, sassy, and like a perfect southern sweetie. But this book wasn't set in the south, Cherry spent a lot of time learning about the "good life," and there was a LOT of angst. It was kind of about the American Dream (but with a British twist). Cherry kicked butt. At the same time, there were a lot of...more
Review originally posted here at Paper Riot

Cherry Money Baby by John M. Cusick is definitely not a typical YA contemporary. I finished reading it quite a while ago, and honestly, I’m still not sure how to describe it. It kept me guessing, that’s for sure! When I read the premise, I thought it was going to be more “fluff” than anything (I mean, the premise is a small-town girl who is introduced to the glamorous life of a Hollywood actress). I was expecting something more like a fairy tale, a regu...more
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
Cherry Kerrigan is just a small-town girl, working in a burrito place and living in a trailer park with her Dad and little Brother. In love with the boy next door, Cherry is loving her life just the way it is. She doesn't even really see the appeal in leaving for the great world outside the town lines. When Lucas, her sweetheart, asks her to marry him life is just that much sweeter. But when Cherry saves movie star Ardelia Deen (who is in town shooting her latest movie) by giving her the Heimlic...more
I had absolutely zero expectations going into this novel. Cherry Money Baby sounded like it might be good, but it doesn't have a huge hook to reel you in. And that's what it turned out to be, too: there's no one special thing that would make this book amazing, but it's definitely a simple, good read.

I really liked the story of Cherry Money Baby. There is no one plot line that totally hooked me, no one thing I could say this book is really about. It's simply a good story. It develops in a very ho...more
A coming-of-age story

As Cherry Money Baby begins, Cherry Kerrigan is happy with her life. She’s comfortable not having a lot of money, living in a trailer park, and working at the local Burrito Barn. Cherry doesn’t want anything to change, even though high school graduation is looming and her father wants her to go to college. She wants to stay in her small town, with her father and brother and with her boyfriend, Lucas. When Lucas proposes, Cherry is thrilled, because she loves him and can't im...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Cherry Money Baby is a great read. I found myself laughing so hard that I was crying. It is such a great portrayal of real life that it was really refreshing to read. What drew me to this book was the cover. I really love the picture and the vibrant colors on the cover. Once I started reading this book I was so caught up in it that I did not want to put it down. I mean who does not love a small town feel and small town people? I know some would disagree but as you get older you will want a small...more
Sally Kruger
Cherry is happy with her life. She is proud of her work at Burrito Barn because she rolls the perfect burrito every time. School is not really Cherry's thing, but she is getting through it and plans to graduate even if she isn't planning on continuing her education by going to college like her father wants. Recently, her longtime boy friend proposed and she accepted. She knows her life won't be exciting, but there's nothing wrong with predictable and secure.

All that secure predictability changes...more
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog.

Cherry Money Baby was, by far, one of the more challenging reads I’ve experienced this year. And as an adult who reads a lot of young adult books, I must say a huge huge thank you to John Cusick for keeping me on my toes throughout Cherry’s adventures.

It’s not every day you meet a character like Cherry, who lives in a trailer park and has so much potential, and is so content with staying in the same town with her dad, brother, best friend (Vi),...more

Cherry comes from a lower SES family and lives in a small town where nothing particularly exciting happens. When a move crew decided to film there, though, and Cherry happens to save the star’s life, her world gets turned upside down. Ardelia Deen, glittering celebrity, introduces Cherry to her life of parties and money, which makes Cherry question the path she’s chosen for her life.

This book was a pleasant surprise. I certainly wasn’t expecting to dislike...more
this review will go live on the blog 9/10

You know how, sometimes, you'll read a summary and completely misread it? You'll think the book is totally different than how it actually is? That's what happened with me and Cherry Money Baby. Somehow I got it in my head that Cherry and Ardelia were switching places, that Cherry would go off and play the celebrity while Ardelia would hunker down as a normal person.

While I can't fault the book for my clear lack of reading comprehension, I have to admit I...more
Claire Barden
I give this book 3.5 stars. I liked it but did not love it. It might have been the language or whatever, and I didn't particularly like Cherry. I like more "soft" characters, someone who isn't rough and out there and crazy like that. I liked some of the stuff she said and I had moments where I did laugh really hard, but overall I did not like her. She wasn't annoying, and I'm having a hard time explaining it, but I just didn't like her! I mean, I did read the book in less than 24 hours, but that...more
17 year-old Cherry Kerrigan is an expert burrito roller for the Burrito Barn, lives with her stoned brother and mechanic father in the local trailer park, is in an interracial relationship, and has a lot of attitude along with a potty mouth. The star of a movie being filmed locally begins to choke while eating at the Barn and Cherry comes to her rescue setting off a set of circumstances that are eventually out of her control. The liberal use of the "f" word turned me off although Cherry is a str...more
Thoughtful and well-written, CHERRY MONEY BABY is an intriguing exploration of class in America, knowing what you want, and wanting what you have. Plus, main character Cherry is, well, not a "delight," but sharp-witted and frequently funny - a character I wanted to follow. An enjoyable and satisfying read.

*Disclaimer: I am acquainted with the author and received this book for free at BEA.
Oct 09, 2013 Shae/Shelver marked it as dnf
I can't do it. I can't finish this book. There is too much profanity, too much drug use, too much dirty talk. All of that may not bother other people. I don't care. You're free to read this book. But I can't. And I'm SO SAD, because aside from the dreck, it's a genuinely delightful book! That gas station scene was HILARIOUS. I was so excited to get to know Cherry and Ardelia and Lucas. I loved the way John Cusick used Twitter and IMDB and other aspects of social media to contextualize Cherry's s...more
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John M. Cusickis the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (Candlewick Press)....more
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