“After getting kicked out of her posh boarding school, there’s no way wild, willful, and coffee-addicted Cyd Charisse can survive in her parents’ pristine house. When Cyd’s rebelliousness gets out of hand, her parents ship her off to New York City to spend the Summer with ‘Frank, real-dad,’ her biological father. Cyd has been waiting her whole life to get to know her bio-dad and half-sibs, but summer in the city is not what she expects–and Cyd is far from the daughter or sister that anyone could have imagined.”
I like Danny and Aaron. Out of all the characters in this wonderfully weird novel, Danny and Aaron are the only ones who have a semblance of real life people. And that’s fine. I think it works for the novel to have them be normal, because everyone else isn’t.
I also like the fact that we don’t know what Cyd Charisse looks like before we get to know her. Because I think that our acceptance of her oddity would’ve been colored a different way had we known she was beautiful beforehand.
Yes, Cyd Charisse is beautiful. People find her hot, sexy, and she shouldn’t be complaining about a hard life because, as one character puts it, she’s a spoiled little rich girl. And that’s where having presented her as the weird girl that she is first comes into play. By the time we find out how privileged our main character is, we are already drawn to the part where we feel sorry for her.
We’ve already seen the cracks before we were distracted by her beauty.
I don’t think this is the best novel I’ve read. I’m not even sure if it’s something I would recommend to other people. What I do know is that I like what the novel is trying to underline: that in stories, it doesn’t really matter what your character looks like–what matters is the story they’re trying to tell. And if that’s story is worth telling.
Admittedly, Cyd Charisse doesn’t have a very interesting story. But she does have a very interesting way of telling it. And that’s what sold me to the novel. That’s the reason I kept on reading.
If you regularly read the posts I have about books, you’d have already noticed how I favor character studies. Gingerbread is one. Which, I think, is why I didn’t mind the child-like narrative. Why I’m calling the narrative child-like instead of childish.
But the way it develops its character is not through what happens. I already said the story isn’t very original. But the way Cyd Charisse the character accepts her life, the way she processes things? That’s what makes the novel different.
And that is why I liked the book enough not to regret having picked it up.