Published by Carina on September 19th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
From driving tests to relationships, Valentina Bell thinks she’s a failure, with a big fat capital F. At this rate, she’s certain she’ll be a virgin for ever. So Lena’s friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect man first time.Buy the Book from Amazon UK •
Yet somehow disastrous dates with bad-boy musicians and fabulous evenings with secretly in-the-closet guys aren’t quite working out how Lena planned.
Soon Lena’s avoiding Operation: Popping the Cherry to spend time with comforting, aloof Jake, her best friend’s older brother, who doesn’t make her feel self-conscious about still clinging to her V card. But could Jake show Lena that sometimes what you’re looking for most is right by your side?
A FOREVER for the twenty-first century
I enjoyed Popping the Cherry as a cute romance, but it frustrated me in so many ways. Our main character, Lena (or Tink, as the romantic interest calls her) is at school one day when her friends stage an Intervention to get her cherry popped. Or in other words, to lose her virginity. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with how this happened, as Lena then spent most of the novel on the quest to lose her virginity–or rather as I saw it–to fit in with her friends. Suddenly the premise didn’t look nearly as amusing, but kind of sad for Lena, who’s friends wrote a list titled Operation: Popping the Cherry.
Another thing that annoyed me was her best friend, Gemma. Said best friend does not approve of the actual person she is falling in love with, which is her older brother, Jake. She makes every snide comment and gives no support to Lena but instead pushes her toward disgusting guys who take advantage of her. Gemma came across as superficial and selfish, not once did she even have a reason for Lena and Jake not to be together, and was effectively stopping them both from being happy. The reason I feel so strongly over this is, because of Gemma (and admittedly other reasons), it takes them the entire novel to get together. Which unfortunately, is not my thing. I like it when the characters realise they like each other and, you know, act like adults and just ask the other out. Then maybe have some complications in the relationship later. Sometimes it felt like they were in primary school playground, writing notes and thinking: does he like me? I won’t bother asking, I will sit on my hands and wait for something to happen for the ENTIRE novel.
Honestly, I have never known anyone so inept at reading signals. Sorry for that slight rant there, it was the main annoying aspect of the book, and otherwise it was an enjoyable romance. It wasn’t particularly complicated, but at times it was adorable, and I really liked the way Lena handled some of the situations maturely, unlike other books I’ve read with characters in the same situation. I love forbidden love, and that’s kind of what was in Popping the Cherry, except, I feel like I should’ve been given more reason as to why Jake and Lena couldn’t be together.
Also, there was a huge cliché with the main antagonist, Alice (or Malice, as Lena and her friends call her), was so predictable and boring. She was the Queen Bee that wasn’t satisfied until everyone is bowing before her. Yada-yada-yada. I just find this plot line to be so uninteresting and average. Rowl could have done so much better in that aspect.
I really liked Jake and Lena, it’s a shame everyone around them was so annoying. They should’ve just ignored everyone from the start and done what they wanted. Together, they had a really sweet romance–that may have dragged on slightly–but was adorable all the same.
Rating: 2.5 Stars
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