Cherry Money Baby – John M. Cusick


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.


It wasn’t Hollywood glitz, it was British society. There were no working-class aspirations, just deadbeat, dead-end ones. There were no wide-eyed dreams to “get out of this town and do something,” no Eliza Doolittle stories or anything else.

I felt kind of let down by this ending, although I know it couldn’t have happened any other way.

When I read the description for this book, I thought it would be really great. Cherry sounded funny, sassy, and like a perfect southern sweetie. But this book wasn’t set in the south, Cherry spent a lot of time learning about the “good life,” and there was a LOT of angst. It was kind of about the American Dream (but with a British twist). Cherry kicked butt. At the same time, there were a lot of odd relationships that didn’t seem to turn out all that well. I felt kind of unsettled by everything.

I think my main issue was my inability to connect with Cherry. I didn’t feel like I was a part of her story, I felt like I was watching a series of events happen with my hands over my eyes. I felt unsatisfied with her choices. I wished she wanted more, more, more. While she may be all noble for her way of life, you can’t help but understand why people do what they do when they are able to… not that I sympathized with Ardelia, either.

I think that was my main problem. I didn’t take a liking to Cherry, Lucas, her Dad, Ardelia, Maxwell, or Spanner. If ever, I kind of enjoyed Vi and Stew, but even they had major flaws. I suppose that’s how characters SHOULD be depicted, but it was hard to stay interested in something without being invested in the characters.

Related Reading

  • Starstruck – Rachel Shukert (for a real Hollywood-starstruck kinda deal)
  • Corner Gas (TV show)
  • Rules of Summer – Joanna Philbin
  • The Spectacular Now – Tim Tharp
  • Such a Rush – Jennifer Echols

Rating: 2.5/5


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