Friday, 20 August 2021

Cherry Crush (The Chocolate Box Girls #1) by: Cathy Cassidy

 Genre: Middle grade, contemporary 

Published: September 2, 2010 by: Puffin 

Pages: 272 

Rating: 5/5 stars 

CW: bullying, divorce 

Cherry and her father, who happens to be a chocolate maker, are moving to Somerset to live with her father's girlfriend and her tight-knit daughters. Adapting from being an only child to having sisters proves to be troublesome for Cherry, especially since the eldest sister, Honey, is less than thrilled by Cherry's presence. Cherry strikes up a friendship with Honey's boyfriend Shay, but Honey is determined to break up the duo. Along her journey in a new town, Cherry deals with secrets from her past and the reality that her whole family life is about to change. 

I never knew this book existed until a lovely booktuber Olivia @ Olivia's Catastrophe recommended it. I'm Canadian, so I'm not always too familiar with British middle-grade books, however I am a sucker for any books that take place in England. I just love the setting that's created and the books tend to be really light and fluffy. This book was no exception. It was adorable, with lovable characters, a unique premise, and such a joyous setting. I am so happy I picked this up and I am determined to find the rest of the books in the series. 

Cherry's father is a chocolate maker. When Cherry moves to Somerset, her father combines forces with Cherry's new stepmum who runs a Bed and Breakfast. The result is a lot of delightful imagery of sweet treats and a running theme throughout the series that ties each of the sisters as "The Chocolate Box Girls." I love food imagery in books, especially anything to do with baking or sweets. This book almost gave me the same comfort that watching The Great British Bake Off does, in the sense that the dessert imagery was just so comforting and sweet. (Pun intended!) I loved the running concept of the chocolate. 

This book has some incredibly likable characters. Cherry is so determined and imaginative. She even has a pet goldfish who she talks to! I also loved getting to know her new sisters, Skye, Summer, Coco and even Honey. Although Honey is very intense as she gets to know Cherry, I could totally see why she acts the way that she does, and her development was awesome to see. There's a lot of sisterly love in this book, which is another trope that gives me so much joy. 

I loved that this book is able to stay comforting and light-hearted, while still dealing with difficult topics. Cherry is bi-racial and dealing with the fact that she doesn't really know her mother's side. Honey is dealing with the divorce of her parents and a difficult romantic relationship. All of the girls are dealing with a new blended family. Cassidy dealt with these topics in a way that kids will understand and relate to, as well as in a way that is relatable to older readers as well. 

Middle-grade isn't my main genre, however I do love picking up middle-grade books from time to time, especially when I need a pick-me-up. This book gave me all of the comfort that I needed at the time that I read it, and I just know that I will love the other books. The only problem is, as this is a British series, I cannot find these books anywhere in Canada, not even on Amazon. However, I'm not going to let that stop me, and one day I will find the rest of the series. Canadian readers deserve all of the joy from this series too!

Have you read Cherry Crush? What did you think? 

Emily @ Paperback Princess


  1. I loved Cathy Cassidy as a kid! Not sure I read this one, but I know I read Dizzy - which is about a girl whose mother's a hippie, and yes, I could relate!

    The OG and Queen of UK Middle Grade is Jacqueline Wilson - so many awesome books! Well worth the read if you get the chance :)

    1. I will totally check out Jacqueline Wilson's books, thanks Cee! I never thought that UK-based middle-grade books would be a specific genre I enjoy, but here we are, lol. I just think they're so delightful.

  2. Oh wow, what a throwback! I loved this book when I got it as a new release! So glad to see you enjoying it now.
    This review was a delight to read, so I hope you manage to get your hands on the rest of the series! :)

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Sabrina! I checked and the Book Depository has them, so I think I may get them from there. I don't plan on a UK trip any time soon, so shipping is my best bet haha!