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Cherry Money Baby

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  492 ratings  ·  99 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
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  492 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
* 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
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
Jules Hucke
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, favorites
When I was in high school, I dated a dude who was a few steps up the socioeconomic ladder from me. He recognized the ways this disparity affected our interactions, but I did not—until he pointed it out to me. I remember it hit with a wallop to realize class was a thing, and that your standing affected your behavior, your outlook and your life plans. Once I was aware of it, I realized my blue-collar roots showed in almost everything I did and said.

Cherry Kerrigan goes through this same social awa
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, requested
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
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
If "3" here at Goodreads truly means, "I liked it," and not some fair-to-middlin', lukewarm response, then this 3 of mine means good--Cherry good! Cherry is real, Lucas is real, and when I'm pulled into characters' lives without doubting their truth or believability (especially when young adults have just enough adult and foibles mixed in the perfect combo platter), I'm a fan.

I liked Cherry's volatility, and I liked her practicality and dependability. I enjoyed the premise that her celebrity c
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tommy Wallach
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Anna Kay
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Brigid Keely
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
"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
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
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
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Michelle Stimpson
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
How many times have I told students, "Go to college so you can get a better paying job so you can have a better life?"

Sometimes I catch myself at it, because I don't really believe that's true. Go to college, if you want. Get a job you love. Create the life you want. That's better advice.

Because what if living in a trailer park, working at the Burrito Barn, and marrying your high school sweetheart is everything you've ever wanted? That's what Cherry thinks when her Dad tells her to go to colleg
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.
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.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-fic, 2013-reads
Wasn't crazy about this book, but maybe I'm taking it too seriously. ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started out fine. The characters are fine. Nothing exceptional. Maybe that's why I put it down one day and didn't pick it up again until a year later when I decided it was time to get to the unread books on my shelf. I forced myself to pick this one up first.

I read most of it, but near the end wasn't interested enough to want to finish it. I did, though. I'm no quitter.

I think maybe it's the plot structure. It didn't seem to build for me. It felt like unrelated incidents stitched toge
Emma-Kate Schaake
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2018
Cute and entertaining. The first section, “Cherry” felt the most authentic and I liked Cherry’s spitfire and contentment in her life. “Money” was entertaining but felt a little hollow with the movie star who happens to latch on to her to change her life. I didn’t like or approve of the ending in “Baby,” although I do appreciate how it validates the joy in any kind of life, anywhere; free of expectations.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Don't waste your time on this book. It starts off strong then turns into a mess that doesn't make any sense. It tries too hard to be deep and teach the reader a lesson about life but there is no lesson. ...more
Smit Zaveri
Perfectly good filler read!
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, let-down
I have a lot of problems with this book. I mean a lot. First off, the books basically say that when you stereotype people and base judgments on their outward appearance that you will always be right (unless you happen to be a supporting character in the story, but even then you still fit your stereotype). I hate that. Cherry gets a job from Ardelia to help find her a mama to carry her baby (because she can't have babies *cough cough*). Anyways, Cherry is able to contribute to the process by pass ...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
Ellice Y.
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
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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),
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is such an interesting book. On the one hand, I was interested in it because I think issues of class are really important and difficult to deal with sensitively. On the other hand, it's not the kind of book I'd normally be drawn to, because you do see the main character experience something of a downward spiral, and I always prefer an upswing. (I tried The Fortunes of Indigo Skye, for example, but couldn't bring myself to read very far in; but that was also because I had problems with the v ...more
Eugenia (Genie In A Book)
*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
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: High School Students, adults, parents
Cusick's lighthearted tale follows Cherry, a teenager living with her father and brother in a trailer park, as she spends her days at school, her afternoons at her job at the Burrito Barn, and her evenings with her next door neighbor sweetheart, Lucas. Cherry is foul-mouthed and sassy and doesn't want to change a thing (even though she's secretly scared to death of what's going to happen after graduation). One day, she saves a glamorous girl from choking on a burrito, only to find that she has s ...more
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
When I was thinking last night about how Cusick writes his female characters, a Jack Nicholson quote from that film As Good As It Gets came into my head: "When I write a woman, I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability." Thinking of this quote makes me laugh, and just so you know, this isn't Cusick's technique. Well, as far as I know. But the title character of Cherry Money Baby seems a little more complex than that.

Cherry is a small town girl living in a small town world. (A
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, own-arc
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
Carrie G
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a perfect example of why you shouldn't go into books with preconceived notions...

After reading that first five pages of this book, I turned to my husband and I said, "I just don't get it. And I don't trust it. I don't understand why adult male authors try to write YA books about female main characters, and, conversely, why adult female authors try to write YA books about male main character. How can they truly KNOW what it feels like to be a teen of the other gender? And, in this c
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Children's and YA authors interested in reviews 1 7 Nov 02, 2013 10:05AM  

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John M. Cusick is the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (Candlewick Press).

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