Friday, April 1, 2011

Gingerbread (Cyd Charisse #1), by Rachel Cohn

Gingerbread was written by one of the authors of Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (which was one of my favorite reads this year) and there was a quirky love story in this one too, but Gingerbread ventured into deeper waters with a controversial topic at its center and language a bit more suited to adults.  I wasn't bothered by either of those things personally, but some people might be, so I feel it's important to note.  This book tells the story of a 16-year-old girl named Cyd Charisse and, interestingly enough, her doll named Gingerbread.  Many think 16 is too old to carry a doll around, but Cyd doesn't care.  She is a young woman wading through the murky waters of adult life, which isn't always as pleasant as some children would think as they eagerly race towards it.  Cyd Charisse is still in high school and her life should be mostly carefree with major concerns being midterms and school dances, but it's a bit more complicated for the protagonist in this story.  She carries the burden of a secret so painful she trusts it to no one.  After her attitude and behavior get her in trouble yet again, her mom and step-dad suggest Cyd Charisse go to New York City to finally get to know her biological dad.  Cyd can't wait to go and get away from all her problems in San Francisco and escape the cold Pacific air, however it's not all roses with her bio-dad and half-siblings.  Life isn't easy and the older we get, the more complicated our decisions become.  Cyd is forced to find that out before her time perhaps, but her decisions shape her and whether or not you agree with her choices, I don't think you'll ever forget the person she becomes because of them.  Rachel Cohn does a fantastic job of writing in a unique and expressive way and the characters she has created for this series are so animated and seem to come to life as a result.  If there was ever a wild child inside of you or if you ever wanted to get to know one of those colorful souls a bit better, this book might be for you.  I found Gingerbread to to be bold, fresh, distinctive and also sweet, just like the baked namesake.  The only thing I was missing was some gingerbread to eat while reading it.  I highly suggest buying or baking some before starting this book so you'll be more prepared than I was, because I can't stop thinking about gingerbread loaves or gingerbread cookies now...  Mmmm...  I would recommend this book to any fans of realistic fiction, chick lit, family stories, coming-of-age or YA in general. 

Favorite things:  Rachel Cohn's spirited writing style and her courage to incorporate a controversial topic, the shifting family dynamics that Cyd helps inspire with her personal growth, the loud cover art, the gritty characters, the element of realism and one of the coolest dolls ever: Gingerbread.

Criticisms:  the language wasn't what I would consider YA and some of the subject matter wasn't either, but since I'm adult, it didn't bother me.

Overall:  5 out 5 stars!  I bought the next one in this series already.  :)


  1. I absolutely loved this series. I read the first two a long time ago, and within the last year I read the third one. They are definitely in my to-be-bought list.

  2. This is such a well-written review. I love how you described this book and now want to check it out for myself. Great work!

  3. Bekka - I look forward to reading the next two now. Thanks for sharing your opinion and giving me hope that they will live up to the quality of this one. :)

    Marla - Thank you so much. I really like writing and I love sharing my opinion, so I guess blogging is the perfect outlet for me! I should've done this sooner, I just never knew others would enjoy reading my words as much I enjoy writing them. (^_^)

  4. Been looking at this book sitting on my library shelf for a long time. Now I'm going to have to pick it up. I've read other stuff by her, but not this one. Great review.


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