After being kicked out of a fancy New England boarding school, Cyd Charisse is back home in San Francisco with her parents, Sid and Nancy, in a household that drives her crazy. Lucky for Cyd, she's always had Gingerbread, her childhood rag doll and confidante.
After Cyd tests her parents' permissiveness, she is grounded in Alcatraz (as Cyd calls her room) and forbidden to see Shrimp, her surfer boyfriend. But when her incarceration proves too painful for the whole family, Cyd's parents decide to send her to New York to meet her biological father and his family, whom Cyd has always longed to know.
Summer in the city is not what Cyd Charisse expects -- and Cyd isn't what her newfound family expects, either.
I really loved this book right from the first page. Cyd Charisse is such a fun character with a very unique voice and personality. She really had me laughing. Especially as she's so bold and at the same time really quite vulnerable. She gets kicked out of her East coast boarding school for bad behaviour and is sent home to San Francisco. Her only friends are an old woman in a nursing home and her short, surfer-boyfriend, Shrimp. Cyd Charisse's relationships with her mom and step-father (Sid and Nancy!) are tested beyond the limit and she's sent off to her biological father in New York.
Oh Cyd Charisse. She's off-the-rails a bit, with the sex and the attitude, but you can see how much it stems from the events that led to her getting kicked out of boarding school and her weird family structure. What Cyd Charisse is going through? The only YA novel I've ever read which has dealt with it in this way. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, even though it's told quite early on. But I approve. And I loved the journey that Cyd was on.. even with her confusing familial relationships and the decisions and mistakes that those around her made, she was able to grow up a little bit and put things more into perspective.
I love being surprised by a book like I was with Gingerbread and I cannot wait to read the other book in this series, Shrimp and Cupcake. More Cyd Charisse please!