Review: 'Popping The Cherry' by Aurelia B Rowl

edited to reflect new cover
*About The Book*
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 forever. So Lena's friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect first time. 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?

*My Review*
This was a book that I picked up largely because I love Aurelia. I've chatted back and forth with her a little on Facebook, and I find that I can't help but like her as a person. Still, without that initial sense of friendship, I might not have read this book simply because it isn't my usual genre. That said, I'm completely won over and so glad I took a chance on Popping the Cherry. Aurelia did a truly amazing job creating a lovable young character that felt real.

Initially I wasn't sure how I'd feel about a book that implies a certain pressure to have sex whether you're ready or not. I spent the early parts of the book a little annoyed with Lena for being ashamed of being a virgin, and a lot annoyed with her friends for making her feel that she had reason to be ashamed.

As an old fashioned conservative mother of two girls, I was disappointed - and more than a little afraid for my own young daughters - when Lena gave in to her friends "intervention" and agreed give "Operation: Popping the Cherry" a try.

But as a woman who was once a young girl, I could relate to Lena on so many levels, and as a mother, I was proud to see Lena hold onto her standards. She may have agreed to Operation; Popping the Cherry, but never once did she cross the line or overstep her own personal boundaries. She stood up for herself, for her standards, and for what she felt was right or wrong. Did she make some mistakes along the way? Sure she did - she's a teenager!

As the book moves along, though, a long-time acquaintance with her best friend's older brother suddenly takes a much more serious turn for Lena when she needs rescuing from a dangerous situation. Jake is right there with her, strong and supportive with no pressure and no awkwardness. Fighting their budding attraction, Lena and Jake find themselves spending more and more time together, which complicates Operation: Popping the Cherry - and Lena's long-time friendship with Jake's sister, Gemma.

Reading this book brought back so many memories, and by the time I read the last page, I was enthralled with all of the characters (except for "Malice," Lena's completely obnoxious arch-nemesis), impressed with their strengths, and completely in love with the innocent-yet-sexy romance between Lena and Jake.

I loved the characters, I loved the concept behind the story, and I loved Aurelia B Rowl's ability to give a believable voice to a teenaged girl. The only thing I could find fault in was the editing - there were several very noticeable errors missed in the editing process. But all in all ...

Will I be on the lookout for 'A Girl Called Malice', the sequel to this sweet-yet-steamy read?
You bet I will. In the meantime, 4 stars for Popping the Cherry.
Want to give this book a shot? One-click it easily on Amazon.

*More About Aurelia B Rowl*
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