This is an amazing novel. Full of heart, Cherry’s got an ending that’ll leave you simultaneously satisfied with the story, wistful, a little lonely and sadly reminiscent. All the feels, as they say — in the best way. A highlight of Rosin’s novel is the sex positivity. She emphasizes safe, consensual and informed sex. It’s rare to find a novel in any genre that accurately portrays the often awkward realities of sex. And the cherry on top? The book also includes wonderful messages emphasizing self-love, the importance of female friendships and body positivity. Truly a fantastic read.
Layla, Alex, Emma and Zoe have been friends forever. Now they’re seniors in high school, and graduation looms ominously. Layla is the organizer. Her life revolves around plans, to-do lists and her long-time boyfriend, Logan. Alex is the athlete. She’s determined to break records this year in track and gets bored easily when it comes to boys. Emma is the artist. She loves photography and often uses her lens as a filter to hide her quirks from the world. Zoe is the drama geek. She’s awkward, shy and uncomfortable around boys. When Layla reveals her senior year to-do list to the group, it inspires the them to form a pact — together (but not “together” together) they’ll lose their virginity before graduation. But the best laid plans are no match for the roller coaster that is high school. Luckily, no matter what senior year throws at them, they’ll always have each other. (SIMON PULSE, Aug., 320 pp., $17.99, ISBN: 9781481459082, HC, 14 & Up)