by Rachel Cohn
This is one of those books I picked up thinking it was something else. The title gave me the idea it was a fairytale in a modern setting, Hansel and Gretel perhaps. Nope. Gingerbread is about a spoiled, rebellious teen named Cyd from a wealthy family. She gets herself kicked out of boarding school and goes home to her mom, stepfather and half-siblings in San Francisco. They can't stand her sarcasm, tantrums and constant rule-breaking, so she gets sent to New York to her biological father. Cyd has been longing to meet him again. She still hangs onto a doll he gave her, which she named Gingerbread and has conversations with. Only of course, when she gets to New York, Cyd discovers her father isn't everything she remembers or expected. She has to do some growing up and realize that both sides of her family have their flaws and admirable qualities.
The dialog and slang in this book is sharp and quick-moving. Cyd's sarcastic observations on everything is pretty amusing. She thinks she's cooler than everybody. She wants to push people's buttons, do forbidden things and flaunt her bad-girl persona. What I really didn't get was that after getting pregnant and secretly having an abortion (which I would think is a traumatic experience) she doesn't wise up at all but keeps messing around with boys. I was a bit surprised at some of Cyd's attitudes, but maybe that's the whole point. It's a good, quick read if you want to get inside the head of a conflicted teenager who feels vulnerable but doesn't want to admit it.
Rating: 3/5 ......... 172 pages, 2002