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Popping the Cherry

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Librarian's note: This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN: 1472018052 (ISBN13: 9781472018052). You only get one first time . . . 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 Librarian's note: This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN: 1472018052 (ISBN13: 9781472018052). You only get one first time . . . 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. 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


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Librarian's note: This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN: 1472018052 (ISBN13: 9781472018052). You only get one first time . . . 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 Librarian's note: This is an alternate cover edition for ISBN: 1472018052 (ISBN13: 9781472018052). You only get one first time . . . 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. 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

30 review for Popping the Cherry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Desere

    There are many firsts in life for all of us but undoubtedly the one that will always stand out is our first time with yes unfortunately sometimes the right one sometimes the wrong one. Some are lucky to have the first time go off without a hitch and it even lasts a lifetime, but others will tell you that loosing their virginity just plain sucked, either due to the setting being wrong, the guy or girl being the wrong one, just about anything can be blamed. The new read from author Aurelia B Rowl There are many firsts in life for all of us but undoubtedly the one that will always stand out is our first time with yes unfortunately sometimes the right one sometimes the wrong one. Some are lucky to have the first time go off without a hitch and it even lasts a lifetime, but others will tell you that loosing their virginity just plain sucked, either due to the setting being wrong, the guy or girl being the wrong one, just about anything can be blamed. The new read from author Aurelia B Rowl tells the story of Valentina, all her first's have been a disappointment from driving to any first in any relationship they all failed somehow so what she is worth is debatable. Her friends decide to intervene and create Operation : Popping the Cherry in order for Valentina to find the right guy to loose her virginity to and have the perfect first time, no failures allowed. Valentina however finds herself rather wanting to avoid the whole Operation and instead finds herself spending more and more time with her best friend's older brother ( talk about the ultimate fantasy for we all know that best friend's brothers are usually so tempting) and as the a deep friendship forms the web of finding the one and holding onto friendship becomes more and more entangled. This was a fabulous read, I very much enjoyed the author's touch of giving each and every chapter a little theme, it let me know what was coming next yet at no stage was it predictable in the sense that I see the chapter title and think "Ah okay so that's what's most likely going to happen". I loved the how the author gave me enough insight into each characters point of view to bit by bit layer back their emotions and finally emerge as one. But as it happens in some reads of this nature the authors tend to give a little too much insight and it ruins the story for me, as am all too quickly able to figure out where it is going, Aurelia B. Rowl did not push too far nor did she give too little for me to grasp onto, the perfect dose of he thinks, she thinks, okay they think. Yes, in this read I could tell that Valentina and Jake are meant to be but the author kept it almost secret drawing it out and letting it all burst with a explosive finish. I enjoyed the backdrop settings and found the dialogue a mixture of emotional and deep understanding and delightfully intriguing. The character of Valentina was fabulous s! The author really let her perspective of the situations shine through and Jake was the ultimate gentleman genuine perfect hero material! I am taking away a message of when getting to the first time for anything , take it slow. When the time is right you will know it , and even if you make the mistake of thinking it is the right time and it turns out it is not you will have the memory of knowing that you tried whether it's driving, kissing, jumping, sex no matter it will all fall into place eventually, just don't ever give up. What you seek might be right in front of you. I highly recommend this read for all fans of young adult reads, you will take away a powerful message of life has it's up's and down's but it also presents opportunities worth waiting for and the memory of terrific brilliantly written characters. Excellent work Aurelia ! 5/5 star review " Popping the resistance to love"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claire Robinson

    What a pleasant and enjoyable surprise. I have to admit I went into this book with very little in the way of expectations, and I am happy to say how impressed I am by the whole book. Aurelia has given us a well developed, sometimes funny, sometimes a little sad story of a well adjusted teenage girl (Lena), and detailed how she deals with the fact that she is the last person in her circle of friends to lose her virginity, and the adventures she goes on with the aim of losing it. One thing that is What a pleasant and enjoyable surprise. I have to admit I went into this book with very little in the way of expectations, and I am happy to say how impressed I am by the whole book. Aurelia has given us a well developed, sometimes funny, sometimes a little sad story of a well adjusted teenage girl (Lena), and detailed how she deals with the fact that she is the last person in her circle of friends to lose her virginity, and the adventures she goes on with the aim of losing it. One thing that is a BIG plus for me about this book is it's about a girl in the UK, who is going to college in the UK. It was great to see words like "git, bugger and arse" pop up, the good old Indian Takeaway, parties down the pub and so on. It was a refreshing change to all the US college romances etc that you usually get (and I love them as well, so no hating on me :-) Jake, well he was just hotness on a stick, not a bad boy, no motorbike, or tattoo's (well none are mentioned), just a good old fashioned, well-mannered guy. "Boring" you say...."Hell no!!!" says I, it's a refreshing change to read about a well behaved painter/decorator who acts like a gentleman, and I loved every minute of it. Nathan was a hoot, I wanted to slap Gemma at points, Flick is the sort of friend everyone need to have. Popping the Cherry, is a warm, friendly, easy to read and wholly enjoyable book, I really hope too see more from Aurelia B. Rowl in the future. ARC provided by Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tilly Currer (Hardcore Heroines)

    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 near 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

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    Originally read September 2013 but Goodreads deleted my review for no reason and with no notification! This was a great read. It's one of those books I'll turn to when I need cheering up but want something with a little substance - a happily-ever-after that isn't plain sailing. Popping the Cherry is fun and flirty but also has serious moments. And it has a message which I wholeheartedly agree with - it doesn't matter what everyone around you is doing, be yourself or you'll get hurt. The characters a Originally read September 2013 but Goodreads deleted my review for no reason and with no notification! This was a great read. It's one of those books I'll turn to when I need cheering up but want something with a little substance - a happily-ever-after that isn't plain sailing. Popping the Cherry is fun and flirty but also has serious moments. And it has a message which I wholeheartedly agree with - it doesn't matter what everyone around you is doing, be yourself or you'll get hurt. The characters are pretty much your typical young adults - in college, wanting to grow up so fast but still not quite ready to be an adult yet. I love that awkward stage. I liked Lena, but her best friend Gemma turned into a bit of a bitch. The plot wasn't unexpected, in fact I pretty much knew what was going to happen. But when I pick up a book like this that's what I want. I have to admit, the "I'm not strong enough to control myself around you" bit angered the feminist part of me, it's a pretty bullshit excuse from any guy. For me, this book sits between YA and NA. I was reminded of Sarra Manning who is pretty much my go-to for writing like this.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Popping the Cherry is a fantastic New Adult that kept me flipping the pages to see if Lena (Valentina) and Jake could get it together. The first thing that grabbed and made me want to read this novel was the title. Yep, couldn't resist a title like that. Aurelia B. Rowl has written a hilarious, beautiful and heart touching story about a girl’s first time. I give Rowl praise for showing the real teens/young adults of today, but I give the author a standing ovation for giving me and all readers a Popping the Cherry is a fantastic New Adult that kept me flipping the pages to see if Lena (Valentina) and Jake could get it together. The first thing that grabbed and made me want to read this novel was the title. Yep, couldn't resist a title like that. Aurelia B. Rowl has written a hilarious, beautiful and heart touching story about a girl’s first time. I give Rowl praise for showing the real teens/young adults of today, but I give the author a standing ovation for giving me and all readers a female character that is strong and true to her own heart and who stands up for herself. Well done, Aurelia B. Rowl for giving us girls a strong and beautiful heroine like Lena and a wonderful melt-your-heart guy like Jake. Lena is seventeen, and in few more months she will be eighteen and she’s still a virgin. When her best girlfriend, Gemma, finds out this bit of information, she calls together an intervention with all Lena’s girlfriends and formulates: Operation Popping the Cherry. Lena goes along with this great plan because after all, whose still has their v-card at eighteen? The list of guy candidates are chosen by her girlfriends. There’s only one problem for Lena, and it quickly becomes a very big deal when the only guy she really wants is not even on the list. And if her best friend knew the guy Lena really wanted, all hell would break loose. Jake, oh Jake, yeah he had me swooning. I fell in love with Jake when he answered Lena’s damsel in the distress call. Jake is twenty-one and knows what he wants and who he loves, but how to get Lena before any other guy does is becoming his own operation to save and protect the virgin he cares for. Oh how I wish all girls could have a hero like Jake. Popping the Cherry stole my heart for Lena and Jake’s hilarious, heart-melting and crazy romance. I highly recommended Popping the Cherry for getting your forever love the first time. My Favorite Popping the Cherry quotes: “Well that’s open to debate,’ he said. It sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, and I hate the thought of you throwing yourself at guys just to try and get laid. Christ, I’d do you myself if I thought it would keep you safe.’ ‘Now that’s true friendship,’ I said, cracking under the severity of his tone. **** ‘Actually, Zac. You’ve gone up even more in my estimation.’ “Excellent.’ His smile reached all the way to his eyes. ‘And on that note my shift is about to start, so I’d better get my arse out of the pool. I’ll see you at nine, yeah?’ ‘Yeah.’ I watched him haul his rather fine arse out of the pool. **** ‘Uh-oh. It’s not the T-O-T-M, is it?’ ‘What?’ I missed the clip for the seatbelt and smashed my knuckles instead. ‘You're not supposed to ask a girl that, you know, unless you’re sleeping with her maybe.’

  6. 4 out of 5

    Roxanna Cross

    I received this book as gift for an honest review. This book was a struggle to read due to the over abuse of comas, the more often than not omitted words within sentences and the fact that entire sentences tended to be duplicated. The one that jumped out the most at me was in chapter twenty where an entire paragraph was doubled up. All in all the writing had my fingers twitch, my eyebrows cringe and my teeth grind. **Spoiler Alert** On to the plot line – Operation: Popping the Cherry was an interve I received this book as gift for an honest review. This book was a struggle to read due to the over abuse of comas, the more often than not omitted words within sentences and the fact that entire sentences tended to be duplicated. The one that jumped out the most at me was in chapter twenty where an entire paragraph was doubled up. All in all the writing had my fingers twitch, my eyebrows cringe and my teeth grind. **Spoiler Alert** On to the plot line – Operation: Popping the Cherry was an intervention Valentina (Lena) Bell’s circle of closest friends put together when the seventeen year old girl was dumped by her boyfriend because she didn’t want to have sex. Author, Aurelia B. Rowl, made it clear that Lena wasn’t on board with this plan. Yet, she accepted to go along with it because to her, her friends made it seem it was losing them or her virginity. With Operation: Popping the Cherry in full swing Lena finds herself in one disastrous situation after another. The one constant good thing, her beacon of light, turned out to be her best friend’s older brother Jake. Inevitably, she falls more and more for this off-limits guy and when her secret operation blows up the internet and turns viral even her beacon fades. Facing summer vacation as a miserable and broken girl she desperately clings to the plan attaching herself to Zac; a handsome lifeguard that saved her from drowning during one her over-the-top situation due to her crazy-no-longer secret operation. No matter how much she tries to give herself to this new relationship she just can’t… her heart is with someone else. After yet another traumatic event occurs Lena finally… yes finally, grew a back bone and called an intervention of her own abandoning the silly operation and losing her best friend right along with Jake in the same process. Eventually her best friend returns bearing gift and apology. Tentatively, they mend their friendship. Even Jake reaches out to her, but she’s not ready, willing to put her heart back on the line and ignores his overture. Jake is not so easily deterred and crashes her eighteen birthday with the perfect gift in tow. The couple reunited all is right in the world. With the exception of Lena’s still intact virginity, after all seeing as the book is centered on Popping the Cherry; it’s only natural that Aurelia leads us there. It doesn’t happen overnight. Which is great because that would have been too cliché. However, when the grand event does occur I find that the writing of it was rushed and didn’t truly capture the essence of that pivotal moment making the entire book fall flat.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Popping the Cherry was an adorable coming to age story of a young girl named Valentina Bell, whose virginity became the main subject among her friends. Her friends have decided that its time for Lena lose her" virgin status" and hence Operation Popping the Cherry comes about. Operation Popping the Cherry has a list of potential male candidates but one man has caught her attention, her best friend's older brother, Jake. Lena tries to d ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. Popping the Cherry was an adorable coming to age story of a young girl named Valentina Bell, whose virginity became the main subject among her friends. Her friends have decided that its time for Lena lose her" virgin status" and hence Operation Popping the Cherry comes about. Operation Popping the Cherry has a list of potential male candidates but one man has caught her attention, her best friend's older brother, Jake. Lena tries to deny the attraction but she is finding it very hard to stay away from him. Through this project, Lena discovers that giving away her virginity to a random guy was not what she wants. She wants her first to be special. Jake became the epitome of the male hero. He was always there to help Lena whenever she found herself in trouble. This coming of the age story was a quick, fun and adorable love story between two young adults realizing their feelings and attraction for each other. Lena and Jake's story was a reminder that sometimes the person you seek might be standing there all along through the good and hard times. The book also delivers a simple and direct message to it young adult readers that there is nothing wrong in taking it slow and waiting till you know you are ready. Popping the Cherry

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenny / Wondrous Reads

    Popping the Cherry is a new eBook-only NA title from British author Aurelia B. Rowl. It's a fast, fun read with an underlying serious tone I wasn't expecting, not to mention some great male characters and, for the most part, believable situations. As can be gleaned from the title alone, Popping the Cherry starts off being about Lena and her wish to lose her virginity so she can catch up with her friends. They concoct Operation: Popping the Cherry, which entails Lena going on dates with guys off a Popping the Cherry is a new eBook-only NA title from British author Aurelia B. Rowl. It's a fast, fun read with an underlying serious tone I wasn't expecting, not to mention some great male characters and, for the most part, believable situations. As can be gleaned from the title alone, Popping the Cherry starts off being about Lena and her wish to lose her virginity so she can catch up with her friends. They concoct Operation: Popping the Cherry, which entails Lena going on dates with guys off a shortlist. Although this is the catalyst for numerous things that happen in the book, it isn't actually the main focus of the story. It's always there, but not always at the forefront. I liked Lena, though I did wonder how so many bad things could happen to one person. The situations she got herself into weren't always the most realistic, and a scene at a party was the final straw for me - it served the plot where the relationship with Lena and Jake was concerned, but I can't believe one girl could have three close calls in the space of a few weeks. Speaking of Jake, the main male character and older brother of Lena's best friend, he was quite lovely. He was basically a knight in shining armour, always showing up and helping Lena sort herself out. He was also kind, thoughtful, chivalrous... pretty much the perfect guy, but sadly the kind who only seem to exist in novels. His relationship with Lena was my favourite part of Popping the Cherry, and I'm glad it went in my preferred direction. Popping the Cherry covers many things, from peer pressure to girls being aware of their surroundings, and it's a good read for older teenagers who may find themselves in similar situations. The writing is as good as most other NA titles on the market, the characters are all memorable and the author does a great job of tapping into her target market. I'll be on the lookout for more from Aurelia B. Rowl - I'm always happy to read more British New Adult! 3.5/5

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Elizabeth

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Aurelia B. Rowl.) 17-year-old Valentina just got dumped because she wouldn’t have sex, so now her friends are determined that she needs to lose her virginity. Will ‘Operation: Popping the Cherry’ be a success? Or should Lena wait for things to happen naturally? This was an okay story, and I liked how it ended. Lena was an okay character, but she did need to stand up for herself a little more, and sto (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Aurelia B. Rowl.) 17-year-old Valentina just got dumped because she wouldn’t have sex, so now her friends are determined that she needs to lose her virginity. Will ‘Operation: Popping the Cherry’ be a success? Or should Lena wait for things to happen naturally? This was an okay story, and I liked how it ended. Lena was an okay character, but she did need to stand up for herself a little more, and stop letting other people push her around. I didn’t blame her for being annoyed at her friends and their little intervention where her virginity was concerned, but I wish she’d told them that she was happy waiting, rather than being forced to go along with their plans. The storyline in this was okay, although it wasn’t 100% what I expected. I thought the storyline strayed a bit from the main ‘popping the cherry’ theme, and did stray onto more serious territory, which I wasn’t really expecting. The romance was one of the main storylines, and I have to say that I got really frustrated! I wanted Lena to stand up for what she wanted more – why go out with guys you don’t like when you know which guy you really want? And even if she wasn’t sure about Jake, why not flirt a bit and take advantage of the fact that he wanted to spend time with her? And when he is flirting back that is a good thing! Don’t push him away when you don’t really want him to go! The ending was okay, and there were some important lessons that Lena learned, I just wish she had had a bit more self-confidence. Overall; okay story about peer-pressure and virginity, 6.5 out of 10.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suze Lavender

    Lena's boyfriend has broken up with her, because he thinks she's too frigid. She's also failed her driver's test, so she isn't very happy and feels like a failure. None of her friends are virgins anymore. They want her to loosen up, so they've organized an intervention. They've come up with Operation Popping the Cherry. Lena has to have sex before her birthday and they've selected several candidates already. There's a list and even though Lena can add her own guys she has to start doing some ser Lena's boyfriend has broken up with her, because he thinks she's too frigid. She's also failed her driver's test, so she isn't very happy and feels like a failure. None of her friends are virgins anymore. They want her to loosen up, so they've organized an intervention. They've come up with Operation Popping the Cherry. Lena has to have sex before her birthday and they've selected several candidates already. There's a list and even though Lena can add her own guys she has to start doing some serious dating. Unfortunately things aren't going smoothly and Lena finds herself in dire situations more than once. There's only one person she really likes and that is Jake, her best friend's brother. Unfortunately he's also off limits. Does Lena continue with the plans her friends have got for her or will she abandon the operation and wait for real love? Popping the Cherry is a sweet novel. Lena is a wonderful main character. She's smart and she's honest. She also regularly finds herself in embarrassing situations, but she doesn't let anyone get to her, I really liked that about her. Jake is a wonderful guy and there's a lot of chemistry between him and Lena, which is one of the best features of this book. Popping the Cherry is a great read! I liked Aurelia B Row's writing very much, because she knows how to make her readers feel what her characters are feeling. Lena has to fight some difficult battles, sometimes with a little help, and she also has some tough decisions to make. I really liked the ending, the finale is original and amazing. Last, but not least, the cover of this novel is brilliant and so is the story! They're a perfect match and I highly recommend this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katey Lovell

    Popping the Cherry starts off with a challenge for Lena. The only one of her group of friends who is still a virgin, Lena hopes to 'pop her cherry' before her 18th birthday. The girls set about making a list of possible candidates for the job in hand. However, it isn't long before things get out of hand and Lena is forced to learn lessons in both life and love... Being completely honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. It sounded like it could be a frivolous teen read, a bit of a Popping the Cherry starts off with a challenge for Lena. The only one of her group of friends who is still a virgin, Lena hopes to 'pop her cherry' before her 18th birthday. The girls set about making a list of possible candidates for the job in hand. However, it isn't long before things get out of hand and Lena is forced to learn lessons in both life and love... Being completely honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. It sounded like it could be a frivolous teen read, a bit of an American Pie type tale, and as a thirty-something I'm not really the target audience. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Popping the Cherry and would definitely class it as cross over fiction. The plot was much more than a high school coming-of-age tale and I felt the variety of emotions Lena experienced throughout the book showed the diversity of the tumultuous teenage years. Aurelia B. Rowl also captures the pain that can be caused by bullying and peer pressure, reminding me of some of the more negative experiences of my adolescence. On a lighter note, if you're looking for a new book crush then you could do much worse than Jake (or indeed Zac). Lena's best friend's brother, Jake is level-headed, thoughtful and devilishly attractive. What more could a girl want?! Romantic and humorous, Popping the Cherry encapsulates how it feels to be a teenager. Thank goodness I am well past that now! I would have absolutely loved this book in my mid/late teens and am sure that the target audience will devour it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5/5 I have to be honest and say that it took we a while to get used to the characters. For me the UK setting and close age to my oldest daughter freaks me out a little bit. The attitude that virginity is something to be ashamed of and disposed of at the earliest convenience really annoys me. Saying that this book did portray the emotional side of a physical relationship really well, something that is often neglected and I feel should really be discussed with teens alongside the physical within 3.5/5 I have to be honest and say that it took we a while to get used to the characters. For me the UK setting and close age to my oldest daughter freaks me out a little bit. The attitude that virginity is something to be ashamed of and disposed of at the earliest convenience really annoys me. Saying that this book did portray the emotional side of a physical relationship really well, something that is often neglected and I feel should really be discussed with teens alongside the physical within the sex education lessons. Told in first person narrative from Valentina’s perspective. Not only does it deal with relationships but also the differing attitudes to sex and how much peer pressure plays a part in the decisions teens make. An uncomfortable thought for a mother of a 13 year old. The romance within the story is cute and heart-warming but it plays a secondary role to the peer pressure and cyber bullying so prevelant to todays youths. Popping the Cherry is a character driven, coming of age story dealing with many of the topical issues faced on a daily basis by teenagers. The setting and characters were realistic and well portrayed, however, I did think some of the incidents within the plot felt a little like over-kill. I would have no problem recommending this book to older teens, the narrative isn’t explicit and it provides a lot of insight into more than just thte physical aspects of intimate relationships.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maryline M's Bookshelf

    This review was first published at M's Bookshelf - http://mssbookshelf.blogspot.be First things first: I really like this cover. It's playful, lovely bright colors... the cover really "pops" ;-) I was horrified by the whole Operation: Popping the Cherry. What kind of friend would organize something like that? At first I was even more shocked when Lena actually agreed on going along, but then again... I can relate to feeling the odd one out when it comes to cherries at 17, so maybe it does sound li This review was first published at M's Bookshelf - http://mssbookshelf.blogspot.be First things first: I really like this cover. It's playful, lovely bright colors... the cover really "pops" ;-) I was horrified by the whole Operation: Popping the Cherry. What kind of friend would organize something like that? At first I was even more shocked when Lena actually agreed on going along, but then again... I can relate to feeling the odd one out when it comes to cherries at 17, so maybe it does sound like a decent idea, when it's proposed to you by your best friends "for your own good"? I still think it's a very shitty thing to do. I loved the spark and tension between her and Jake and I liked that Aurelia took her time: their relationship didn't feel rushed - although at one point Lena and Jake were taking it SO slow I felt like screaming at them for their self-sabotage. Maybe the "romantic birthday gesture" from Jake was a bit over the top, but I have to admit that I, at 17, would have given anything for a moment like that; so it was rather cute. I really wished I had read this book when I was 17. It's just perfect. It's such a sweet romance, every girl's dream - but it's the fact that Aurelia really gets what it's like to be 17 right now, that makes this story so great.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kew

    I devoured Popping the Cherry. I found myself picking it up at every opportunity and reluctant to put it down again. Aurelia B. Rowl's characters kept me enthralled from the beginning. Valentina - or Lena to her friends - is fast approaching eighteen and still a virgin. Her friends stage an intervention to help her find the right guy to pop her cherry. Of course the plan goes awry as these plans always do. What I loved about the story was the situations Lena finds herself in mirror real life sit I devoured Popping the Cherry. I found myself picking it up at every opportunity and reluctant to put it down again. Aurelia B. Rowl's characters kept me enthralled from the beginning. Valentina - or Lena to her friends - is fast approaching eighteen and still a virgin. Her friends stage an intervention to help her find the right guy to pop her cherry. Of course the plan goes awry as these plans always do. What I loved about the story was the situations Lena finds herself in mirror real life situations I think we've all encountered at some time or other. Consequently I felt everything along with Lena - from the frizzle of attraction for the delicious Jake to the social mortification of - sorry, no spoilers! I really enjoyed the dynamic between Lena's friends and would enjoy follow-on stories about each of the girls. The only critique I'd offer is we get to see the story through Jake's eyes too late in the book. Would have loved to have had his point of view much earlier. I highly recommend Poppy The Cherry if you're looking for a book to take you on the ride of teen romance, to make you feel every high and low. You wont be disappointed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Luna

    Popping the Cherry was going to be my holiday read but I actually read it before I went away. It was only going to be the first few chapters and before I knew it I was halfway through the book. I really liked Lena and after the Richard Winsor reference it just got even better. Finally a girl who with excellent taste! My first impression of Popping the Cherry, fun and cute, is accurate – however there is so much more to this story. What happens to Lena on her first date effects the rest of the stor Popping the Cherry was going to be my holiday read but I actually read it before I went away. It was only going to be the first few chapters and before I knew it I was halfway through the book. I really liked Lena and after the Richard Winsor reference it just got even better. Finally a girl who with excellent taste! My first impression of Popping the Cherry, fun and cute, is accurate – however there is so much more to this story. What happens to Lena on her first date effects the rest of the story. Jake is the nice guy but if it wasn’t for the initial rescue I don’t think I would have been nearly as invested in Lena and his relationship. Not only does Lena fall for him, I think I did a little too. The ending of Popping the Cherry was a bit sweet but then again by that time I wanted that ending and I imagine other readers will agree. Popping the Cherry didn’t disappoint, it exceeded expectations – a lot!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katlyn Duncan

    Popping the Cherry was an adorable story about a girl whose virginity is the topic of much discussion with her friends. So much so that they enroll her in Operation: Popping the Cherry, giving her a list of potential male specimens to see if she can just "get it over with". But in Lena's case she only has eyes for one, and he is the forbidden fruit, her best friends big brother. I enjoyed this book so much! Lena was a great narrator. I loved her friends. And goodness did I love Jake. I look forw Popping the Cherry was an adorable story about a girl whose virginity is the topic of much discussion with her friends. So much so that they enroll her in Operation: Popping the Cherry, giving her a list of potential male specimens to see if she can just "get it over with". But in Lena's case she only has eyes for one, and he is the forbidden fruit, her best friends big brother. I enjoyed this book so much! Lena was a great narrator. I loved her friends. And goodness did I love Jake. I look forward to reading more from Aurelia!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    This was a pretty good book. I loved Lena. This was a story of a girl pressured by her peers to lose her V-Card. She had some close calls, but she finally came to her senses. She finds friendship and true love. This was a refreshingly sweet story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vanya D.

    NOTE: I received the book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. When I read the premise of Popping the Cherry, I thought "Man, this sounds so good! So new and different!" It turned out to be just that - a fresh NA romance story, that had nothing to do with the usual, too cliched 'girl meets guy at college and they hook up right away' crap. No. Unfortunately, there was another problem that bothered me out of my wits, and consequently lowered my rating. It was the writing style. I know thi NOTE: I received the book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. When I read the premise of Popping the Cherry, I thought "Man, this sounds so good! So new and different!" It turned out to be just that - a fresh NA romance story, that had nothing to do with the usual, too cliched 'girl meets guy at college and they hook up right away' crap. No. Unfortunately, there was another problem that bothered me out of my wits, and consequently lowered my rating. It was the writing style. I know this is too subjective to even matter to the majority of readers out there, but I just couldn't submerge myself in the story because of the way it was written. It wasn't the catch-your-attention-and-keep-it-till-the-end kind of thing. I was largely distracted a lot of the time, and with a hand over my heart I confess - I had to skim over the pages to keep reading. On numerous occasions. There's nothing I hate about books more than not being able to keep my attention to the page. I mean, badly written books have me dnf-ing them almost right away, so I don't waste time on them. But books with potential, which turn poor somewhere around the middle... gosh! They infuriate me! I'm not saying you'll experience the same problem, but... keep it in mind. Anyway, the summary of Popping the Cherry had me hooked, so I gave it a try. And I was sort of happy I did, even if it didn't totally win me. So, Popping the Cherry is a book about Valentina (Lena) - a college student who is still a virgin. (Congrats for this by the way!) However, this is the very reason why she can't keep a boyfriend for more than several months. Her friends decide to take the matter in their own hands and make her a list of candidates to 'pop' her cherry. Lena's surprised to say the least. Then she decides to give it a try and that unleashes a whole bag of trouble. She meets new guys, and some old ones, but who will be the lucky one? I liked the theme of peer pressure that Aurelia Rowl has incorporated in this novel. I mean, it's a pretty important one, seeing how many girls and boys give in to it every year. And I'm not only talking sex here. It's totally general. If you want to be accepted, you have to follow the group. It's a pretty stupid trick, but it's quite manipulative, so kids (and not only) use it a lot. It's the reason why Lena did the stupid list too. Another theme that really spoke to me was that you don't really have to look for love - it will find you instead. I've experienced it myself, and I know exactly how strong the power of love is - it makes you abandon yourself completely and if you're not careful, that could be the end of you (both literally and figuratively). Now, I don't want you thinking that just because the writing style bugged me, I would disregard the characters. Not at all. I actually liked them. They were all unique and had a certain depth that made them realistic. For example, Lena wasn't just an empty headed girl who went completely with her friends' plan. She tested the waters first, and when things got shady, she pulled away. I call this cautious and smart. At times she ended up making mistakes - but who doesn't? That only made her more realistic. What I liked the most about her though, was that her character developed. By the end of the novel, she wasn't the insecure girl who was afraid to speak up her mind. She was confident about what she wanted and how she wanted it. I was impressed. The knight in shining armor - almost literally too - was called Jake. He was Lena's best friend's older brother, who was super mature. He had one major flow, which sort of delayed the development of the romance - he was full of pride. But it suited his character and I just loved it on him. I liked how he was right there when Lena needed him, even though she didn't always see it. In other words, Jake was special. Nathan, a friend of Lena's was the funny one in this novel, and I seriously enjoyed his company. All in all, Popping the Cherry was a nice read. Not the best, but it could be enjoyed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I had not previously heard of this book until the author contacted me regarding a review request. After a quick look to find out more I decided that I HAD to read this book. From the minute I began reading Popping the Cherry I was hooked, I love that the book is so British, even down to all the British swear words and slang. The characters were instantly likeable and believable, and I found myself falling into the pages and not wanting to come up for air. The protagonist Valentina (Lena) has just I had not previously heard of this book until the author contacted me regarding a review request. After a quick look to find out more I decided that I HAD to read this book. From the minute I began reading Popping the Cherry I was hooked, I love that the book is so British, even down to all the British swear words and slang. The characters were instantly likeable and believable, and I found myself falling into the pages and not wanting to come up for air. The protagonist Valentina (Lena) has just had her heart broken by her boyfriend. Her friends Gem, Chloe, Flick and Piper are there to pick up the pieces, and also assist in project: Popping the Cherry. They want Lena to add to their list of eligible boys from school, she has to date them, and on her birthday, sleep with one of them. When ensues is a lot of crappy dates, meeting Mr Wrong before finally finding Mr Right. But this project is not as easy and simple as it looks on paper. Alice, Lena's arch nemesis, has her claws set on getting Lena back for making her look a fool in front of others, and her payback is the worst thing that could happen to Lena.....but I'm not going to spill on what it is. Personally I loved how Lena took no crap off Alice and stood up for herself, I think Alice deserved it just from the few sentences she manages to get out before being humiliated. Now, lets get back to the list of eligible boys. The first one we meet is Sean, who although is very polite towards Lena, he is the perfect match for Flick. The next boy we meet is Hayden, a sexy goth/emo boy, who is also in a band. However their first date is a total disaster. I went into ;Popping the Cherry thinking it would be a light read, but when Lena is left stranded and then chased I completely changed my mind. As she was going through all of this I found myself scared, afraid, nervous and worried for Lena. I wanted to pick her up and hug her and make it all better for her. Jake, Gemma's brother, is Lena's knight in shining armour, and I was relieved that she had someone who could come to her rescue, make her feel safe, comfort and calm her. The more we get to know him the more I liked Jake, especially since he has a complete set of The Lord of the Rings on DVD. We quickly learn of his feeling for Lena, but with her mind set on following her list, will Jake get a chance to show how he feels, or will he be relegated to the sidelines, only allowed to watch on as Lena tries to make a choice. Popping the Cherry isn't all rainbows and flowers, and it has parts that really makes you think about different situations, and about how peer pressure can affect you in such a big way. While the 'project' initially starts off as fun for most of the girls involved, it soon turns sinister, ensuring everyone involved rethinks their own actions. Underneath all the drama though there is a feeling of real friendship and real emotions. I even found myself sorting characters into 'like' and 'dislike' categories in my head according to what they did within the pages. Popping the Cherry was a quick read but one that I thoroughly enjoyed and I would not hesitate in picking up another book by Aurelia.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    When I was offered the chance to be part of Auerlia B Rowl’s blog tour for novel Popping The Cherry, I was really looking forward to reading the novel. I love young adult/new adult books and it’s been a while since I’ve read a YA/NA novel. I liked the idea of Valentina AKA Lena popping her cherry, and I though it would be like Cora Carmack’s fabulous novel Losing It. But, it wasn’t. It wasn’t like Losing It at all, and unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the novel as much as I wanted to, mostly because When I was offered the chance to be part of Auerlia B Rowl’s blog tour for novel Popping The Cherry, I was really looking forward to reading the novel. I love young adult/new adult books and it’s been a while since I’ve read a YA/NA novel. I liked the idea of Valentina AKA Lena popping her cherry, and I though it would be like Cora Carmack’s fabulous novel Losing It. But, it wasn’t. It wasn’t like Losing It at all, and unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the novel as much as I wanted to, mostly because I wasn’t sure the book knew what it wanted to be. Popping The Cherry is touted as a Forever for the 21st Century, but I haven’t actually read Forever so I’m not 100% sure it is. I suspect it is not, though. I can see the similarities from reading both synopses, but they’re really not the same at all. I wanted a fun, cheery read about losing your virginity, I didn’t want a read that showed that peer pressure is alive and kicking and people will happily go along with it for no reason whatsoever. I felt the whole virginity intervention to be slightly insulting, and I was disappointed that Lena didn’t tell her so-called friends that it was a stupid idea and she wasn’t going to do it. Being a virgin isn’t something to be embarrassed about, and it made me so sad that Lena’s friends were so adamant she had to pop her cherry ASAP. Maybe that was meant to be the point, that Lena was a sheep and that being a sheep is wrong, but I don’t know. Another thing that I found utterly bizarre is there are a series of incidents that Lena ends up being part of – things that I found to be so, so farfetched. How on Earth can one person find themselves stranded in the middle of the road and chased by two men, potentially drowning in a swimming pool, and then getting into a sticky situation with a boy. I could have maybe accepted one of the situations, but three just made the book feel untenable. Lena just found herself all the time in these unimaginable situations, she was a magnet and it felt as if the novel was trying to be a YA/Crime hybrid novel and that’s not what the synopsis promised and it just made the plot seem disjointed with all of these events occurring. What I did really love about the novel, though, was the friendship between Lena and Jake. Jake was an amazing character and I wished Lena had been a bit more mature when it came to Jake because there were times their little age gap seemed like such a bigger one. I could’ve read a whole novel dedicated to just Jake, he was a brilliant character and he made the book for me. I was hoping for such high things of Popping The Cherry and I was so disappointed that it didn’t really work for me, because I really wanted it to. I’d definitely read one of Aurelia’s books again, but Popping The Cherry just tried too hard to do too much, and I was disappointed that it spent more time on the crime-y aspect than it did on Lena’s quest to lose her virginity, something I didn’t really agree with in the first place, if only for the whole peer pressure aspect, when really it should have done the opposite, showing that despite Lena’s pressure, she would stand up to her friends. Sadly not.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    3.5 Stars Seventeen year old Valentina "Lena" Bell has just failed her driving test and has been dumped by her boyfriend, the reason being she wouldn't have sex with him. She thinks she is the only virgin still out there, a fact that she isn't too happy about, yet afraid to do anything about. Her friends Gemma, Flick, Chloe, and Piper decide it is time for some intervention and convince her that the best solution to the problem is to get laid. Thus Operation Popping the Cherry commences. Lena ha 3.5 Stars Seventeen year old Valentina "Lena" Bell has just failed her driving test and has been dumped by her boyfriend, the reason being she wouldn't have sex with him. She thinks she is the only virgin still out there, a fact that she isn't too happy about, yet afraid to do anything about. Her friends Gemma, Flick, Chloe, and Piper decide it is time for some intervention and convince her that the best solution to the problem is to get laid. Thus Operation Popping the Cherry commences. Lena has a list of potential cherry poppers and her friends haven given her until her 18th birthday to get her cherry popped, losing her V card. Her best friend Gemma is all over this and plays matchmaker, coach, and instigator. After a date with a potential cherry popper goes bad, Lena finds herself in the middle of a potentially dangerous situation, which Gemma's brother Jake rescues her from. She and Jake just click and she really likes him, but of course he is off limits because he is Gemma's brother, older, and of wouldn't be interested in her, or so she thinks. Jake really seems to like Lena to, even giving her driving lessons, and seems to always be there when she needs him, yet she still considers him off limits. One thing leads to another, a potential cherry popper becomes a best friend, and in the meantime her arch nemesis Alice causes trouble of epic proportions. She continues her quest for the perfect popper, yet despite the great guys out there, she only has eyes for the one she can't have, and the one she can't have thinks she doesn't want him. Lena makes choices, some good, some not so good, but in the end will she give in the peer pressure and give it up, or will she wait on true love? Popping the Cherry is a cute and fun romance. There is a lot of British humor in the story, which was also entertaining. While fun, the author also touches on some serious issues, including bullying and giving into peer pressure. I liked Lena's character and enjoyed watching her develop throughout the story, though she did frustrate me a little regarding Jake, but by the end she had transformed into a mature young lady. I loved Jake, and he and Lena had great chemistry. While I liked Lena's friends, Flick was my favorite. Gemma, Jake's sister, was the main obstacle in them getting together, which made me not like her as much. I also really ended up liking Nathan, potential popper turned friend, and he was truly a really good friend to Lena. Then there was Jake's grandmother, who was a hoot. Jake really outdid himself and ended up being totally swoon-worthy. I enjoyed the romantic aspect, and as far as the sexual aspect goes, the author has written it in such a way that I would consider it suitable for older YA readers (15-17), as it does not go into explicit details. Overall, Popping the Cherry is a fun story that isn't to heavy, yet incorporates a good message for teens at the same time, and is something that I think would especially appeal to that age group.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie

    Ahh, this book was exactly what I needed. After trawling through a bunch of difficult fantasy novels, I was more than ready for this easy-to-read, light-hearted bit of contemporary romance. It was so nice reading a Brit book too - the voice is so different to a US one, but I often forget just how much difference it makes, what with the market being flooded with US fiction. As I'm taking part in the British Books Challenge this year though, I'm doing my best to read and plug as many good UKYA boo Ahh, this book was exactly what I needed. After trawling through a bunch of difficult fantasy novels, I was more than ready for this easy-to-read, light-hearted bit of contemporary romance. It was so nice reading a Brit book too - the voice is so different to a US one, but I often forget just how much difference it makes, what with the market being flooded with US fiction. As I'm taking part in the British Books Challenge this year though, I'm doing my best to read and plug as many good UKYA books as I can. Thankfully, books like Popping the Cherry make my job easy - as soon as I read it, I wanted to tell you all about it. Lena is a great MC for starters. She's so blessedly normal. She's at college studying for her A-levels, but she doesn't really know what she wants to do. She has friends, but she's not uber-popular. She's not geeky, she's not beautiful, she doesn't have that much self-confidence but she's not a complete wall-flower. She's a virgin, which is kind of the point of the book, but she's not a prude. She has a great voice, and I loved reading her story. Lucky Lena is also surrounded by a bevy of brilliant characters. Her group of friends are spot-on - I can just imagine those girls at college together, Rowl brings them all to life so well. Even the peripheral characters - the parents and other students - are excellently done. Some authors don't seem to realise the importance of secondary characters, but Rowl clearly does, and she does her job with aplomb. And then there's Jake. Ah, Jake. He's a builder by trade, he's 21, he's Lena's best friend Gemma's brother. There are so many reasons why he shouldn't work for Lena, somehow he does. He's not just a builder, he's a director of his father's company, and he's got vision. At that age, a few years difference is definitely a good thing in my mind - girls mature so much quicker than boys, that at 17, college boys are best avoided. The thorny issue of Gemma is more problematic. But is all this relevant anyway? Can Jake really be a contender for Lena's affections? He's definitely not on her cherry-popping list, so he's off-limits, right? Rowl does breathless romance very well. There were so many moments in this book that had my stomach clenching, butterflies tripping around my insides. It really brought to life those heart-stoppingly awkward but beautiful moments when two people start to realise that there is something more between them than friendship. It's not plain-sailing by any means. Lena runs into more than her fair share of trouble, but luckily there's a certain someone there ready to act as knight-in-shining-armour. By the time I got to the end I was fairly screaming at the book to make it happen already, but that's all part of the fun. The ending itself was a little soppy, but in a nice way. A perfect blend of teen issues and fun romance, Popping the Cherry is exactly my kind of book, and I hope it is yours too. More reviews at http://escapeintowords.blogspot.co.uk

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brenda- Anderson

    This book is a really cute fun read! After reading the second chapter I was concerned. I'm not in favor of peer pressure and felt like she was getting it from her friends in the very start of the book. Lena felt it was either give up her virginity or give up her friends. In reality it isn't really like that. Her friends love her and are just trying to open her eyes that the first time is rarely what we are all brought up to expect. That's clearly seen when you keep reading. So keep reading! I qu This book is a really cute fun read! After reading the second chapter I was concerned. I'm not in favor of peer pressure and felt like she was getting it from her friends in the very start of the book. Lena felt it was either give up her virginity or give up her friends. In reality it isn't really like that. Her friends love her and are just trying to open her eyes that the first time is rarely what we are all brought up to expect. That's clearly seen when you keep reading. So keep reading! I quickly got over feeling how I felt and saw it for what it really was, young women being young women telling a friend a cold hard truth and plan to help. More like a misguided trainwreck of plan. I'm sure many of us have done the same, loosing sight of the romance behind loosing our virginity or being let down when it wasn't what we hoped. Her friends saw sex as I and a lot of my friends saw sex at that age. It's one of the many endearing things that made me fall for this book. It's perfect for girls or young women during that time of life when you just don't know if you should follow the crowd and give it up or keep waiting for Mr.Right. All the characters to me were interesting. I bet Nanna could have some awesome tales to tell. Her friends are wonderful too in their imperfect ways. In fact I'd love to read a book on any of them. They are British. Even with several friends over the pond I still had to use the kindle dictionary to see what some of the words meant. It was either that or risk waking said friends since I always get the time zones mixed up.Yes, if I don't know a word I have to know it type of person. haha Most are pretty clear in their meanings. Poor Lena is a tough girl from the start. However, she like most of us are stubborn, often misguided, and have some emotional growing up to do. It makes her loveable and relatable to many I think. She faces some major and minor mishaps other young women find themselves in from time to time and IMO makes some pretty good choices on some of them. Jake, well you really have to read the book to get to know him yourself. I was surprised in how Popping the Cherry turned out to be an amazing coming of age tale! It would make one heck of a romantic comedy movie with a little bit action tossed in if it were ever a book to movie.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brandi Kennedy

    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 ag 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. Please see my full review at: http://authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.c...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsey O'Halloran

    Author Aurelia B. Rowl has got British teenagers spot on in this young adult novel. Many young adult novels do not portray realistic teenagers and instead focus on unrealistic experiences and love. Protagonist Lena Bell is desperate to lose her virginity. None of her friends are virgins anymore and she can’t quite connect with them in the same way anymore because of her not having had sex. I found the conversations and actions between Lena and her friends to be really realistic and I could reall Author Aurelia B. Rowl has got British teenagers spot on in this young adult novel. Many young adult novels do not portray realistic teenagers and instead focus on unrealistic experiences and love. Protagonist Lena Bell is desperate to lose her virginity. None of her friends are virgins anymore and she can’t quite connect with them in the same way anymore because of her not having had sex. I found the conversations and actions between Lena and her friends to be really realistic and I could really picture them all sitting around talking about Lena and her ‘situation’. Not only does the book deal with the aspect of virginity in teenagers but also peer pressure which I thought was an important thing to address. Rowl shows that teenagers can feel forced to do something they’re unsure of due to their friend’s experiences but she also shows that teenagers should think for themselves rather than following the pack. While I thought the idea for Popping the Cherry was a fun read, it wasn’t completely realistic. The time span of the book isn’t too long but so much happens to poor Lena. She encounters many situations which I doubt would ever happen in someone’s life let alone in such a short space of time. I also don’t think some of the situations needed to be as dramatic as they were and they could have been toned down a little bit and still worked. Love interest Jake was a wonderful character. A little older than Lena, he had more experience with relationships and was there to make Lena feel more like herself, rather than feeling like she should be someone else. Jake really was the perfect gentleman, always being there for Lena when she needed him and he was sweet as hell as well. He was definitely one of my favourite aspects of this book. Overall, Popping the Cherry is a fun, quick read but with a really important subject for teenagers. A great read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Wilson

    This book is a coming of age story so is ideal, I'd suggest, for readers ranging from late teens upwards. Valentina Bell, or Lena, feels like she is bad at everything. She fails her driving test, she fails at keeping herself safe, and she fails at relationships. Her friends decide to perform at intervention and come up with Operation:Popping The Cherry. They create a list of guys they think would be ideal for her and she sets about working her way through the list. Along the way there are plenty o This book is a coming of age story so is ideal, I'd suggest, for readers ranging from late teens upwards. Valentina Bell, or Lena, feels like she is bad at everything. She fails her driving test, she fails at keeping herself safe, and she fails at relationships. Her friends decide to perform at intervention and come up with Operation:Popping The Cherry. They create a list of guys they think would be ideal for her and she sets about working her way through the list. Along the way there are plenty of disasters, but one of the 'relationships' ends up in Lena finding Nathan. I absolutely loved Nathan in this story as he is the kind of best friend everyone should have. I dare you not to fall in love with Nathan as I did. For part of the story it feels like Lena's friends are forcing her to continue, but for the story to work, and the ending to be what it is, this needs to happen. Through all of her adventures there is one constant in Lena's life, Jake. Jake is the brother of one of Lena's friends so is out of bounds as far as she is concerned. But Jake being there ends up becoming a problem for Lena as she develops feelings for him. But according to the terms of the list she has, Jake wouldn't be an option, even he was available to her! This is a story of friendship, teenage angst, and the trials and tribulations faced by teenagers the world over. In my job I have worked with children ranging from babies up to teenagers, and I feel that the author manages to get inside the head of teenagers very well. It is a well written story which I read in one sitting so it definitely held my attention. I look forward to the next book and finding out exactly what happened to Malice, as that was one of the questions I had for the author when I finished reading the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jackie (Jackie's Book World)

    *Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World Blog :)* Popping the Cherry was a humorous and fun read. I felt that I really got to know the characters really well and it was a page-turner! I couldn't put it down, especially in those scenes with Valentina (Lena) and Jake. Aside from that, I felt that the book was very well-written and developed. The subject of losing her virginity becomes the center attention when Lena's friends come up with Operation: Popping the Cherry, which lists candidate *Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World Blog :)* Popping the Cherry was a humorous and fun read. I felt that I really got to know the characters really well and it was a page-turner! I couldn't put it down, especially in those scenes with Valentina (Lena) and Jake. Aside from that, I felt that the book was very well-written and developed. The subject of losing her virginity becomes the center attention when Lena's friends come up with Operation: Popping the Cherry, which lists candidates that she could potentially lose her v-card to without any attachments. Lena has always felt left out when everyone else seem to be ahead of her and it becomes her mission to lose her virginity no matter what. But the more she starts to get involve with other guys, she realizes that she has a major crush on Jake, her best-friend's older brother. The more time they spend together, the closer they get. It wasn't always that way, but with Operation: Popping the Cherry in the way, it makes it harder for her to accept her feelings for Jake without hurting her best-friend in the process. After a series of unfortunate events, Valentina realizes that it doesn't matter what other people think or do, it's what she does for herself that makes a difference. This was also the message that I got after finishing reading the book. It's important to not rush in to things that one is not ready for and to do things for ourselves rather than for what other people might think it's right. Overall, this coming-of-age story truly became one of my favorites that I will recommend everyone else to read it. *ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    6 Stars if I could! Popping the Cherry by Aurelia B. Rowl sucked me in from the first page. I’m not much of a fan for books written in first person, but there are a few which have hooked me and held me hostage, and this did exactly the same thing. Popping the Cherry begins with poor Valentina ‘Lena’ just having failed her driving test and having been dumped by her steady boyfriend for not giving up her V card. I was on par Lena’s emotional grid from almost the first page. The author drew me in wi 6 Stars if I could! Popping the Cherry by Aurelia B. Rowl sucked me in from the first page. I’m not much of a fan for books written in first person, but there are a few which have hooked me and held me hostage, and this did exactly the same thing. Popping the Cherry begins with poor Valentina ‘Lena’ just having failed her driving test and having been dumped by her steady boyfriend for not giving up her V card. I was on par Lena’s emotional grid from almost the first page. The author drew me in with stellar writing and had me instantly relating to Lena as a fully fleshed, flawed and sympathetic character. After her friends slap Lena with an intervention, giving her until her eighteenth birthday to lose her virginity, I could not put it down. I devoured this in two days, between pulling an almost all-nighter last night and making every second of my lunch hour count today. Lena’s emotional journey was heart breaking, almost shocking, funny and moreish. The growing love and friendship with her best friend’s brother, Jake, had me flipping through the pages at record speed, while not skipping a word. Even though the chapters were themed and I thought I could guess what came next, I didn’t get one scenario right. I don’t want to give too much of the story away as it ruins the fun. I will say Popping the Cherry is breath taking, addictive and extremely alluring. I read and read in a race to the finish but at the same time didn’t want it to end. Well done Ms Bowl. Can’t wait for your next book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Smithjamest

    Originally published on www.justthisteenager.blogspot.co.uk So basically this story revolves around the degrading of sex to a meaningless act - an act that if you haven't ever performed it - you're a virgin - it means you're uncool, abnormal, frigid. Popping the Cherry exaggerated normal life in order to portray how the world is based on images and how people present themselves, and how people perceive something as the way to do it and feel if they don't do it that way they're a total failure. Alth Originally published on www.justthisteenager.blogspot.co.uk So basically this story revolves around the degrading of sex to a meaningless act - an act that if you haven't ever performed it - you're a virgin - it means you're uncool, abnormal, frigid. Popping the Cherry exaggerated normal life in order to portray how the world is based on images and how people present themselves, and how people perceive something as the way to do it and feel if they don't do it that way they're a total failure. Although there was occasionally grammatical issues and the odd weird story twist Rowl's novel came together pretty well and made for an easy stimulating read. It isn't like the storyline implies - all about sex - but instead about relationships, drama, expectations, a bit of sex, and well, highschool and the bitchiness it entails! The characters were well developed - I loved Nathan, the gay best friend - and Jake the love interest was suitably saucy and sultry. Although there were a few awkward 'romance' scenes where it failed to deliver real chemistry Popping the Cherry portrayed high school bullying at its worst and also examined the results of peer pressure and how standing up to people can often make for the best result even if it's the most difficult option. All in All it is an excellent debut novel from Rowl and I will look forward to her other books. It was an extremely decent length with multiple sub-plots and created a whole micro-life for the characters. It gets a well deserved 4 out of 5 and I'll undoubtedly read it again. I

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bibliojunkies

    I just couldn’t resist this title. The entire premise sounded fun and to be honest, a disaster in the making so I thought, why not? And it ended up being one of the more delightful books I’ve read all year. Lena is most definitely not thrilled with this plan her friends have hatched. She half-heartedly goes along with it even coming up with a shortlist of guys but she’s not really intent on following through. On her first date that ends awfully, Lena finds herself without a ride home and no way t I just couldn’t resist this title. The entire premise sounded fun and to be honest, a disaster in the making so I thought, why not? And it ended up being one of the more delightful books I’ve read all year. Lena is most definitely not thrilled with this plan her friends have hatched. She half-heartedly goes along with it even coming up with a shortlist of guys but she’s not really intent on following through. On her first date that ends awfully, Lena finds herself without a ride home and no way to contact anyone. Things get decidedly worse as she’s walking to the nearest town to find a bus or a phone when she’s followed and nearly attacked. Luckily she winds up in a shop where the owners come to her aid. When she can’t reach Gemma her best friend, Gemma’s brother Jake comes to give her a ride home instead. It’s from there that they start to spend more time with each other. Like I mentioned earlier, this book is really delightful. Lena’s mishaps in dating are hilarious once you get past the first disaster date after which she opts not go the desperate route. While all her friends are busy with their own thing, Lena and Jake hang out more. And because she’s worried about Gemma’s reaction to that, she ends up juggling her time between the two. It comes down to Lena to figure out what exactly she wants but not before she makes a few mistakes and ruffles a few feathers. I really liked this book. Don't be fooled by the title. I promise the story is really not as crude as the title makes it sound. Instead it’s the perfect balance of entertaining and sweet.

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