After being kicked out of a fancy New England boarding school, Cyd Charisse is back home in San Francisco with her parents, Sid and Nancy, in a household that drives her crazy. Lucky for Cyd, she’s always had Gingerbread, her childhood rag doll and confidante.
After Cyd tests her parents’ permissiveness, she is grounded in Alcatraz (as Cyd calls her room). But when her incarceration proves too painful for the whole family, Cyd’s parents decide to send her to New York to meet her biological father and his family, whom Cyd has always longed to know.
Summer in the city is not what Cyd Charisse expects – and Cyd isn’t what her newfound family expects, either.
The long-awaited sequel to Gingerbread!
Now that Cyd Charisse has returned home from her summer in New York City, she’s got a new mission: to reclaim her true love, Shrimp, the hottest pint-size artist-surfer in San Francisco. Yes, he broke up with her before she left San Francisco — but Cyd has grown up over the summer, and she doesn’t plan to let Shrimp get away that easily this time around.
Besides her relationship with Shrimp, Cyd is attempting to keep the new peace at home with her mother, who is bugging her about college applications — even though Cyd’s idea of life after high school involves bumming on the beach with Shrimp.
Told in Rachel Cohn’s fiercely individual voice, Shrimp continues Cyd Charisse’s story with all the verve and wit of the original.
When Cyd Charisse moves from San Francisco to start a new life in New York City, she leaves behind her family – and her true love, Shrimp. She wants to find a cool job, the city’s best caffeination and most perfect cupcake, and a hot new love. But the reality of CC’s new lift hits some unexpected obstacles, including a broken leg that renders her immobile; the joy and aggravation of sharing an apartment with a roommate who’s also an older brother; and a tasty selection of guys – none of whom measure up to Shrimp.
Then, just when CC starts to get her new life on track, her old love returns. Shrimp has given up on his plans to live and surf in New Zealand – and arrives in NYC with nothing to do other than to be with CC. And this time, CC is determined that she and Shrimp will not repeat their old mistakes.
This third book about reformed hellion Cyd Charisse is just as unforgettable as Gingerbread and Shrimp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What inspired you to write these books?
Well, first there’s the real Cyd Charisse – clearly! Ever see the dance fantasy sequence in the movie Singin’ in the Rain? If not, do! The “real” Cyd Charisse, who was famous both as a dancer and an actress, is in this movie and she is incredible.
I loved old movies when I was a teenager, and spent a lot of time at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, where I grew up, reading about old movie stars in Life and Photoplay magazines from the 30s, 40s and 50s, as well as watching flicks at the (now gone) Biograph, Circle and AFI Theatres in DC. I also loved the way the letters “Cyd Charisse” looked together; like if I were an artist, I would want to paint those letters together, they look so cool.
Gingerbread was originally inspired when I was living in the Bay Area and my friend Rob Coffman, genius artist extraordinaire, sent me a card he’d made picturing this bizarro girl wearing combat books, with a doll trailing from her hand and a caption that read, “My dolly’s not feeling so good.” I had always imagined a character named Cyd Charisse, and suddenly there she was; and I happened to have baked some gingerbread the week before, so that particular word was on my mind.
Shrimp was inspired by the many readers who wrote to me asking what happened to Cyd Charisse after she returned home to San Francisco from her summer in New York City: Could she get along with her family? Would she get back together with Shrimp? I was curious about those questions myself, so I decided to write Shrimp to figure it all out. For more information about the inspiration for Shrimp, please check out the “Why Shrimp?” piece I wrote about the book for amazon.com.
As I completed writing Shrimp, it was clear to me that Cyd Charisse’s story was far from finished. I knew if I wrote one more book about her, it would be called Cupcake, in tribute to CC’s stepfather’s nickname for her (and maybe her sweet tooth, too), and it would explore her first year living on her own in Manhattan. Conveniently, cupcake shops started popping up all over the city while I was considering writing a last CC installment, and so Cupcake turned out to be inspired as much by wanting to explore CC’s post-high school life as by her author’s “market research” sampling of many, many cupcakes while writing about CC’s transition. (For the record, I give the highest ratings to the cupcakes at Baked, Billy’s Bakery and Robicelli’sin NYC, and Cake and Art (best! cupcakes! ever!) and Yummy Cupcakes in LA.)
Q: Will there be any more books about Cyd Charisse after Cupcake?
No. CC’s grown up and I think we’re both ready for her to live her life on her own. I do have a vague idea that I might like to one day write a book about CC’s younger sister Ash when she becomes a teenager, but I have no firm plans to do so in the immediate future.
Q: Can you recommend other books like Gingerbread, Shrimp and Cupcake?
I have so many books I’d love to recommend to you, I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on – see what I mean? So to keep this list reasonable, please let me suggest that if you’ve enjoyed the books about CC, I bet you’d also like any books by these authors: David Levithan, Patricia McCormick, Jaclyn Moriarty, Libba Bray, Markus Zusak, Cecil Castellucci, Megan McCafferty, Melissa Kantor, Melina Marchetta, Holly Black, Sarah Dessen, E. Lockhart, Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han and Melissa de la Cruz. Happy reading!
For more specific book recommendations, please check out this link.
Q: Dude, did the covers for the CC books change??
Yes, the book covers were recently updated. These are the old ones, if you’re feeling nostalgic.