Cherry Money Baby
By John M. Cusick
(Candlewick, Hardcover, 9780763655570, 400pp.)
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
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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 of fast cars and penthouse parties. Now Cherry’s small-town life just seems so . . . small. When Ardelia drops a bomb of an offer — one involving a baby — Cherry knows her life will change forever, no matter what she decides. John M. Cusick focuses his signature wit on Hollywood royalty and the wide-eyed dreams of Small Town, U.S.A. in a novel about discovering who you are . . . and changing your mind.
John M. Cusick is a literary agent for authors of young-adult and middle-grade novels and the author of Girl Parts, his debut novel. About Cherry Money Baby, he says, "Class is a touchy subject in this country. I wanted to explore how our assumptions about money, sophistication, and self-worth can cloud our vision." He lives in Brooklyn.
The supporting cast ... round out a plot that continually surprises. Cherry is a highly memorable character, prone to violent outbursts but possessing a strong moral compass, a rare smalltown girl who isn’t consumed by anxiety over getting into college or out of town—even when she has the chance to dip her toe into the pool with some big-time celebrities.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)