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Review: Popping the Cherry (Aurelia B. Rowl)

The Deets:

Audience: YA
Pages: 250
Publisher: September 19th 2013 by Carina (Harlequin UK)
ISBN: 9781472018052
Genre: contemporary 
Source: my own copy


Popping the CherryYou only get one first time . . .

From driving tests to relationships, Valentina Bell thinks she’s a failure, with a big fat capital F. At this rate, she’s certain she’ll be a virgin for ever. So Lena’s friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect man first time.

Yet somehow disastrous dates with bad-boy musicians and fabulous evenings with secretly in-the-closet guys aren’t quite working out how Lena planned.

Soon Lena’s avoiding Operation: Popping the Cherry to spend time with comforting, aloof Jake, her best friend’s older brother, who doesn’t make her feel self-conscious about still clinging to her V card. But could Jake show Lena that sometimes what you’re looking for most is right by your side?





It's not what you think. Sort of. It kind of what you think-- the title is obvious-- but it's not teenage smut. There is actually very little of that in the book (and it was handled tastefully). 

One of the major hangups I had with Popping the Cherry was the lack of good editing. I found so many punctuation and grammar errors throughout that it started to get on my nerves.

Then there is the matter of the characters themselves. Valentina is a major wuss. I just could not believe how spineless she was when it came to standing up to her friends' stupid ideas for her life. If you can't put your own needs first, you really can't expect anyone else to do it. It took an entire book of screw-ups for Valentina to finally decide she had had enough trouble and heartache. That's the only point in the story where so becomes assertive and tells the idiots to bug off.

If it's not clear yet, I have some issues with the "friends". Pains in the arse are a better term. They do a good job of depicting high school stupidity, I'll give them that. But they were also so horribly selfish without even realizing it. They practically forced Valentina into agreeing to a crazy scheme. They never said if she didn't comply they would end the friendship, but I certainly got that feeling.

The characters weren't a total loss though. Jake and Nathan are probably the saving grace of the book, and thank goodness for that. Jake had a sense of mystery which made me keep reading. I really wanted to learn more about him, and that was about it. Nathan was a fun addition. I certainly enjoyed his perspective on things too. 

I picked Popping the Cherry up for a few bucks on Amazon. I'm a bit disappointed I paid for it, but it wasn't a whole lot. I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you're in the  market for a quick, slightly irritating read with good male characters.  The girls in this book will make you want to jump up and slap someone.

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