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by Rachel Cohn
ISBN 0689866135 / 9780689866135 / 0-689-86613-5
Publisher Simon & Schuster Merchandise &
List price $6.99
› Find signed collectible books: 'Shrimp'
After a summer in New York to get to know her bio-dad and her Other Family, the oddly named Cyd Charisse of Gingerbread has returned to senior year in San Francisco, given her eponymous rag doll to her little sister, and rolled up her sleeves to pursue her short but gorgeous surfer ex-boyfriend Shrimp in the firm belief that their relationship can be returned from "just friends" to its former status of "true love." A spoiled suburban princess with pretensions of Goth, CC has up to this year been so tediously self-involved that she has not even been willing to commit to having girl friends. But now she has Asian semi-lesbian punk Helen and Shrimp's folly Autumn. Despite their good advice, and that of her gay half-brother Danny, her wise elderly friend Sugar Pie, her shallow but glamorous mother Nancy and her nice stepfather Sid-dad, Fernando the chauffeur, and even his godson, the boy CC calls Alexei the Horrible, CC stubbornly continues to believe that her fate lies with Shrimp. This slim plot, loaded with pop culture, current teen speak, fashionable food, and much switching of sexual gender preferences, is punctuated with spats and making-up between the various characters, assisted by uncharacteristically tactful and sensible intervention by CC. In the end the author pulls a switch with a wedding (but whose?) and a tearful redefinition of true love that leaves room for a sequel.
Rachel Cohn's thoroughly unlikable Cyd Charisse is evocative of Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicholson of Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging, but without the redeeming wit, and the San Francisco setting recalls the passion for L.A. of Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat, but without the mythic sweetness. However, fans of chick lit will embrace this super-trendy book with open arms. (Ages 12 up) --Patty Campbell [via]