Cyd just got kicked out of her posh east coast boarding school and sent back to San Fransisco to live with Nancy her mother and Sid dad her step father Storming around the house and generally causing trouble, it s a tense situation The only things that liven it up are her surfer boyfriend Shrimp, her old lady pal Suger Pie, and Shrimp s brother s coffee house Java the Hut But then she gets confined to her house for bad behavor and Shrimp thinks they need to go on a break.Cyd finally goes to New York City to be with her biological father, Frank dad, and to meet the half siblings she s never known, Danny and lisBETH.The beauty of this book is Cyd her outlook on life and how she views the people in it She s cynical and hilariously funny and really, I think she would hate me, but I want to be her best friend This is a book I couldn t put down and I had already picked up the sequel before I had even finished the first book I knew I would want to read it. I Will Be As Wild As I Wanna Be After Getting Tossed From Her Posh Boarding School, Wild, Willful, And Coffee Addicted Cyd Charisse Returns To San Francisco To Live With Her Parents But There S No Way Cyd Can Survive In Her Parents Pristine House Lucky For Cyd She S Got Gingerbread, Her Childhood Rag Doll And Confidante, And Her New Surfer BoyfriendWhen 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 Trading In Her Parents For New York City Grunge And Getting To Know Her Bio Dad And Step Sibs Is What Cyd Has Been Waiting For Her Whole Life But Summer In The City Is Not What Cyd Expects And She S Far From The Daughter Or Sister That Anyone Could Have Imagined Some character names ShrimpSugar PieHoney PieGingerbread Which is a doll And is treated as a human being That s all you need to know.I couldn t stop picturing talking food With a doll.I seriously feel my idiocy augmented after reading this book Brain dead. This book grew on me A lot Points to the reviewer who said Cyd Charisse the narrator sounds just like blech Juno At first the quirky factor was really getting to me Oh and the snarky factor But look, now I m saying things like quirky factor and snarky factor Next thing you know I ll be saying Burr ito when it s chilly out Why the teen me would like Cyd Charisse she doesn t want to go to college she is frank about her sexuality she has issues she s whip smart she is disturbingly codependent go team she drinks 35 mochas per day she likes to role play that she s helen keller she self identifies as a freak The adult me is annoyed with her back talking and total disregard for her privilege e.g., Listen you little fool if you have a trust fund, GO TO COLLEGE even if you spend all four years doing bong rips Do not put 50 dollars down the garbage disposal even if your bio Dad is buying your affections.I appreciated that while Cyd Charisse has issues about having an abortion, they aren t of the this is my punishment for being sexual variety I also appreciated her early oughties spooky kid fashion.This is a fun read The writing has a lot of style On to the sequels I m glad I read Gingerbread without reading other Goodread reviews first I m not sure I would have picked it up Instead, I got this novel from the library after reading Nick Norah s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan I really wanted to read by both authors Other reviewers mention that the main character Cyd Charisse is a whiny, obnoxious, spoiled brat I could see that perception, because at times that s how she comes across on the surface But I actually see her as a deeply wounded young girl trying way too hard to be grown up and unsure of herself and confused about the love that is clearly in front of her There are lots of good reasons for these perceptions, some of which are her fault, but most are circumstances beyond her control She goes through many painful experiences, some that are bound to get under peoples skins and rattle them deeply She has an abortion at age fifteen I think it s good to ruffle feathers It makes people think CC is a flawed character but she most definitely can and is lovable Her boyfriend Shrimp is truly an interesting character He is likable with plenty of his own struggles CC s mom and step dad are much better people than the way CC portrays them but a lot of teens have difficulty seeing the positives of their parents and highlight the negatives She has a dad who has ignored her most of her life and a half brother and a half sister whom she s never met until she goes to spend time with her biological dad She s also confused about her feelings toward her half brother and half sister born to her mom and step dad Life is truly crazy and confusing for CC In Gingerbread, CC grows up but doesn t have all the answers Personally, I find this book takes a lot of tough situations, dumps them on CC and forces her to cope Given the circumstances, I m not sure if others would fare so well Life can definitely be messy.Since CC s life continues in the second of the series, I ll continue my perceptions in my review of Shrimp. Cyd Charisse is what I sort of was in highschool except I didn t have money, I couldn t decide if I was a total slacker or desperate to be somebody , and I didn t get into trouble She s also a lot cooler and thinner than I was and outspoken OK, she s nothing like me I really liked this one, Cyd s voice is funny and genuine and she holds it together pretty well for someone who s aborted a baby and then gets dumped by her dream boyfriend almost a year later not the baby daddy She tests her limits with her parents in San Francisco, finally pushing them to send her to stay with her biological father in Manhattan who she hasn t seen since was five and meet her two grown half siblings Lots of growing up ensues Actually, I d give this 3.5 stars.After reading the Cohn Levithan collabs Nick and Norah s Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely s No Kiss List, I developed some sort of thirst for reading something that is written solo by Rachel Cohn I m no stranger to David Levithan s solo books Boy Meets Boy, The Realm of Possibility, The Lover s Dictionary, etc so I recognize his distinctive writing prowess even if he s working with partners Gingerbread is the first book that quenched the said thirst, and after finishing it, I think it s safe to conclude that the best thing about Cohn is that she has a special way of molding unforgettable main characters that resonate with many young readers.Meet Cyd Charisse a ragdoll toting, ex shoplifting, and well caffeinated sixteen year old girl fresh from being kicked out of her posh boarding school She s that lovely but spunky punk next door who has a penchant for carving patterns on her skin with a razor and an innate need to go wild When her rebelliousness gets seriously out of hand, her parents have no other choice but to send her off to New York City and spend three weeks there with her biological dad, Frank Cyd s perfect image of a fantasy relationship with her bio dad and half sibs starts to crumble when the real thing is thrown to her face Plot wise, there isn t much that happened in the book It reads like an informal journal of a very snarky antiheroine who s dealing with commonplace teen problems Honestly, I find the first half of this book a tad slow I m trying to figure out if Cohn is setting up a wiggle room for character development or she s just letting the readers delve deeper into Cyd Charisse s cranium of not so clean but honest thoughts I learned by the end of the novel that it s both, since the readers can easily tell how Cyd has grown a lot after she comes back from New York.Readers who are familiar with Norah Silverberg from NNIP will notice that her traits are somewhat channeled to Cyd Charisse, though the latter is not a music geek and her potty mouth is sealed with a filter There s a lot that she bellyaches about, her hormones meter usually explodes under the slightest hunk pressure, and most of her thoughts are extremely obnoxious Then here comes the dichotomy factor there is something in her that will magnetize a portion of the readers hearts especially if they are young girls I think it s the same way a lot of readers don t like Holden Caulfield yet there are still legions who can relate to him in a deeper level they are recognizing something in that character that reminds them of themselves Usually, this something is not nice, and characters that mirror such things are commonly tagged as unlikable.The supporting characters, like the plot, are generic The clich d portrait of a dysfunctional family is there, with each member not inflated into weighty fullness They re not exactly cardboard cutouts, but they re still shy of a couple of big steps from being considered well fleshed out.As for the themes, it s all about the teenage life Family misunderstandings, peer pressure, romance, and serious repercussions of being careless in sexual relationships are touched But since this is a coming of age novel, finding one s true self and growing up are at the apex of it all.I did not enjoy did as much as I did Nick and Norah s, but it s entertaining enough to make me want to grab the next book in the series, Shrimp. What can I say Cyd Charisse was the kind of protagonist I haven t read before She absolutely bursts off the page If the book had been about her, had spent time developing both sides of her family, it would easily have been four stars.I mean, how many sex addicts the girl spends A LOT of time thinking about boys and sex , doll touting teenage characters are there My biggest problems with this book were spelling mistakes Yikes, my copy was rife with them the lack of time spent with the doll I needed to understand the bond between CC and Gingerbread especially throughout high school, especially at boarding school Shrimp Oh god, I hated Shrimp He was a deadbeat loser with nothing that made him likeable, made you want to root for him I was SO hoping that any of the other boys that crossed the pages would replace that douche.I wish, wish, wish this book could go back in time and delve deeply into CC and her family, her life, but with a different love interest and a lot attention to spelling. Cyd Charisse is a snarky, punky, not 100% likeable, sexual, boy crazy, confused teenage girl All those adjetives are incidently how I would describe the book itself, pretty convienant and now only half the work of writing a review haha.Cyd is living with her parents in California after being booted from boarding school where she got in trouble for stealing amoungst other things and also had an abortion not known to her parents She is having a tough summer, controlling parents, being dumped by her sole mate Her parents decide it s time for her to actually meet her real dad frank seing as she has only met him once when she was little in New York She flies out to live with him for two weeks, but we hardley see him at all She spends time with her brother It s a little odd the story that is.I just expected from Rachel Cohn I m not impressed I don t think I would have liked this in High School either.2.5 stars I will probably give the 2nd book a try just to see if Cyd is going to grow and if the story is going to evolve. It s interesting to see all the negative reviews on this book about Cyd s behavior Maybe you missed the point, but the fact that she can t let go of anything is the point There s obviously a lot of emotional trauma throughout the book, and yes she s whiny sometimes, but I don t know if you remember what it was like when you were an adolescent, but it s a fairly accurate picture.I might read the sequel, but this was just a fun short read.