From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–Foul-mouthed, short-tempered Cherry Kerrigan, 17, knows exactly what she wants from life. She's in love with the boy next door and plans to marry him as soon as she's through with high school. Her father has higher hopes for her; he wants her to go to college and rise above their trailer-park lifestyle. After her town's cola plant gets turned into a movie set, Cherry winds up performing the Heimlich maneuver on the star. Her father is completely supportive of the resulting unlikely friendship between his daughter and the British starlet. Ardelia Deen, raised amid the British aristocracy, finds Cherry's straightforward approach to life refreshing. She hires Cherry to help her in the search for a surrogate mother for her child. Cherry gets inevitably drawn into the lifestyle of the rich and famous and begins to question her own aspirations as Ardelia demands increasing amounts of her time. Things come to a head when Cherry's family loses everything after her weed-smoking brother, who is supposed to be in her care, accidentally burns down their trailer. Riddled with guilt, she considers Ardelia's offer of $250,000 to be the one to carry her child. At Ardelia's mansion in England, however, events force Cherry to rethink the direction her life is taking. Cusick has created an unlikely role model in sassy Cherry and added generous amounts of humor to her story. –Cary Frostick, Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
When expert burrito-roller Cherry Kerrigan hops over the counter at Burrito Barn to save the life of a choking woman, she has no idea what she’s setting in motion. Grateful Ardelia Deen, a movie star filming near Cherry’s trailer home, repays Cherry for the gesture by giving her a sweet car and a cushy job offering a down-to-earth perspective on the women Ardelia interviews as possible pregnancy surrogates. Inevitably, a friendship develops, offering Cherry a glimpse at life beyond what her small-town, hardworking family and boyfriend can offer her—and beyond any previous aspirations she has held. There’s a lot going on in this novel, which is by turns breezy and deadly serious. The interplay of class and wealth, choice and chance drive Cherry’s actions, but trust and betrayal, homelessness, interracial relationships, and pregnancy also play into the narrative. Seeing the greater world at Ardelia’s side may not change Cherry’s direction very much, but it helps her move there with greater confidence, secure in who she is. Grades 8-11. --Heather Booth