14-year-old Cherry and her dad move to the other end of the country to live with his new girlfriend and her four daughters. Welcomed into their creative, confident family, Cherry begins to understand herself and her past, and that her habit of embroidering the truth does nothing but harm in the end. Her difficulties with the eldest sister, only sixth months older than herself and also finding it hard to relate to this new situation, add a further dimension to the story, the first in a series (‘The Chocolate Box Girls’) which will reflect the stories of each girl in turn.
Think Jacqueline Wilson without the angst; Hilary Mackay without the verve – this is highly readable, safe stuff, dealing with an all too common scenario, the realities tempering the romance of the situation. A tiny taste of boyfriend trouble excites interest, but is kept very low-key – this is much more a story of the developing self than of real boy-girl relationships.