Cherry, Baby, Money


Cherry, Baby, Money by John M. Cusick


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 of burrito. Before she knows it, Cherry is getting carried away in the glitz and the glamour that trails behind new friend Ardelia – the parties, the attention, the beautiful car.

Before long though, Cherry starts to realize that, judging by Ardelia, the Hollywood life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when Ardelia offers Cherry a very special job, Cherry’s life is suddenly changed. Does she take the job, and earn some quick cash? Or does she walk away from it all, and live the life she’s always intended to live?

Cherry, Baby, Money, written by author John M. Cusick is a realistic book that focuses on some tough issues, but ultimately misses the mark.

The writing that fills the pages of Cusick’s Cherry, Baby, Money is good. While the pacing is spot on, the third person telling of Cherry’s life simply does not work.  Because of this third person, I found it particularly difficult to really sink my teeth into this book. Relating to the story and to the characters was difficult, as if they were both kept at an arm’s length.

To be honest the narration frustrated me. But not as much as main character Cherry. Though vividly created, I found Cherry to be rude and unlikeable. Her attitude was bad, and the language that flew from her mouth was worse than her attitude.

I could easily overlook the vulgarity, but what I couldn’t overlook was the fact that that language felt forced, detracting from the catchy and often witty dialog. Readers, from the get go will easily come to understand that Cherry is a tough chick, someone not to be messed with. The language wasn’t necessary.

Even though I personally would not consider Cherry, Baby, Money to be an “issue” book, Cusick covers a fair number of issues. From financial to social issues (and almost everything in between) Cusick masterfully maneuvers these issues making them seem all too real and all too familiar. Beyond that, every issue that’s brought up is handing well, without being heavy handed.

The main storyline of Cherry, Baby, Money is captivating. But somewhere along the way, it simply got muddled. By the end, I felt like I wanted something more out of it, something I could at least relate to. While Cusick’s latest book wasn’t for me, it doesn’t mean it isn’t for you. To anyone who has read Cherry, Baby, Money and loved it, let’s discuss!

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