Last week, Street had the chance to sit down with Lindsey Rosin, a Penn alum and TV writer. Today, we review her debut novel, Cherry.
Cherry follows the story of a group of four friends in their last semester of high school who decide to carry out a sex pact, you know, like we all did. And it’s not your average sex pact , where just having sex fulfills the pact. Each girl needs to “firework” (Ed. note: Or as we know it, orgasm.)
Layla, the planner of the group, has a boyfriend named Logan who is more than willing to help her with this. But this sophomore named Vanessa that none of the girls, but all of the boys like, is deliberately flirting with Logan.
Zoe is the late bloomer, who just got boobs. She really doesn’t think she’ll be able to carry out the sex pact, but we all know that the boobs are definitely going to help. She’s also stuck in a frustrating cute athlete vs. theatre nerd love triangle.
Emma, star photographer and yearbook team member, has a weird obsession with people’s lips, and she has a kind of appreciation for Nick, the editor–in–chief of the yearbook, and his lips. Savannah, however, the new girl at school and on staff, also has nice lips. Drama.
Alex, the track star, is working to break the school track record before she goes to Stanford. She gets bored of boys quickly, literally mid first makeout session sometimes. She’s also the only one of the group who’s had sex… or has she?
The novel is about so much more than this sex pact and being a teenager, though.
“I think what it’s really about is female friendship and the time of your life at the end of high school where everything is such a big deal and so important,” Rosin said. “It’s a lot about feelings.”
While the novel was written for teenage girls, it has been getting rave reviews from not only teenagers, but also older women as well. It’s not hard to see why.
Rosin manages to capture the panicked and prematurely nostalgic feeling almost exclusive to second semester of senior year and present it in a way that's believable, despite the unusually trite premise of the novel itself. The confusion commonly associated with sex and female sexuality is portrayed honestly. Bullying and the tendency to judge others quickly are put on display as well, while the characters’ responses are portrayed with specificity and nuance.
If you’re looking for a quick and immersive novel to read, definitely check out Cherry, even though it’s a young adult novel. It’ll have you laughing and crying and feeling nostalgic all at once, and you’ll be as invested in these girls’ sex lives as you were with yours in high school.