Slice of Cherry is set in a Portero, Texas known for supernatural activity.
The town’s residents all wear black to avoid drawing the attention from the
surrounding monster community. Residents are known to open doors to other
realities. The Mortmaine, clad all in green, patrol the wild and dark places looking
for monsters and protecting the local residents. The Cordelle sisters live here.
Daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy have discovered
their own violent tendencies as their father awaits execution. Kit and Fancy
find that violence relieves their anger. Kit, the more outgoing of the two, has
a particular talent with a switchblade. After Kit and Fancy attend the annual
wishing ceremony at the Juneteenth celebration in Cherry Glade, they discover
the power of wishes. Fancy discovers she can open a door to an alternate
reality: her “happy place”. This provides them a “safe place” to exercise their
violent talents. But wishes granted can be fickle. “It’s okay to wish for things, but
wishes are fragile, and the world we live in is very hard.’” The girls exorcise their
demons by using their violent skills to help people in the community: taking out
their vengeance on a man who aims to assault them, a man who abuses his son
and wife, and others. As word spreads of their deeds, popular opinion of them
changes. Throughout, the girls meet and develop relationships with two brothers,
sons of their Bonesaw Killer father’s last victim. The boys are as secretive and
troubled as the Cordelle sisters.
Full of fantastical creatures: flesh eating flamingos, monsters with bodies
the consistency of yellow Jello, demonic imps that infest through kisses; Slice
of Cherry is a fantastical hero journey that tracks the transformation of Kit and
Fancy from the broken isolated sisters at odds with everyone to young women
who blossom and rejoin the community. Slice of Cherry requires a more mature
readership. Violence and death permeate the book. But the violence isn’t
the focus of this novel. The real focus is on the relationship between Kit and
Fancy. It focuses on their need both to protect one another and heal their own
brokenness. Readers who appreciate flawed characters who examine their flaws
and rediscover better selves will revel in this read. “It’s not about being saints
or sinners or good or bad, Fancy. It’s about being both. You know? About being
complete.” Ultimately the sisters’ biggest risk isn’t in killing people, it is showing
others “the real you” and opening themselves up to the risks of relationships in
the real world. This book should be dark, dim and brutal but it is not. Instead, it is
hopeful and thoughtful. It is a book that is a fun wild read. But it also lingers after
you’ve finished. Once you get all the way through and think back, the symbolism
unfolds like the moon flowers of the text, revealing more of the mystery.
Editor's Note: Recommended for very Mature Readers (16 and up)
**This is a great book but definitely not for middle school.
Recommended by Alison Cucchetti, Teacher Librarian