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cherrybombbookcover.jpgCherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend, and to Living Life Like a Rock Star
Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna
Simon Spotlight Entertainment

Dear Cherry Bomb,

You insult my intelligence as a woman.

Hoping you are well,

Caitlin Elgin

At first I thought Cherry Bomb was a mildly amusing concept. A self-improvement sort of book for those of us ladies wishing for a bit of dating advice and who need a bit more rock ’n’ roll in our lives. It had such potential! School young ladies on a bit of hard rock that’s badly needed in a world of bad scenester haircuts and lousy emo bands. However, it turns out it’s a book based on one of my least favorite things in the world- stereotypes. I hate stereotypes, and while, yes, I do know that they exist for a reason, I still find it silly that people purposefully go out and try to fit them, or write books on how to be one.

I find that some of the author’s advice just isn’t very good. Need to feel better about your sex appeal? Go to amateur night at a strip club! Because that’s not sleazy, dirty, or filled with people ready to exploit your insecurities and shove dirty dollar bills down your g string. Yes, strutting your stuff on a stage for dirty strangers is EXCELLENT advice for young women.

There’s also extensive bits on how to get backstage at an event, and once back there, woo whoever it is that’s back there. Ok, this sounds good in theory, and it’s a decent concept on how to get back stage (fake it till you make it, I’ve seen it happen), but what Cherry Bomb fails to attend to is what happens what you get back stage. I mean, Borzillo-Vrenna does mention that you should be prepared to get kicked out, but what about the poor girl that goes out to try these tips and finds herself humiliated by security, by a member of the band’s staff, or worse, by the very rock idol she was expecting to meet? What the book seemingly suggests is that it’s not only easy to sneak back stage, but that also once one gets back there, it’s all parties and fun times. What if the idol she was trying to meet was having a bad night and didn’t want to see anyone and has her thrown out? It’s like watching Marion Jones get stripped of her medals for steroids- she was lovable, talented, and had a dashing smile. And it all came crashing down in an instant. The same could be said of an experience in which your idol treats you like crap. You’d feel betrayed.

The few high points of the book include tidbits from various performing artists and celebrities. Samantha Maloney of Peaches fame gives excellent tips and tricks on how to throw down a drum beat. Dita Von Teese gives cheeky tips on her specialty- the art of the strip tease. Louise Post of Veruca Salt talks about why sobriety rocks (which is funny, because a lot of this book is about going out and drinking). Lisa Loeb gives advice on being a good hostess (tell me you wouldn’t want to go to one of her grilled cheese parties!), and Betsey Johnson talks about breast cancer awareness. All valuable (mostly) insight from women who really do rock. I think had the book focused a tad more on this and less on tips and tricks on how to get good karma by kissing a geek, I’d have enjoyed it more.

Basically, I find this book a waste of time. What’s really cool? Be your damn self, don’t listen to what a book tells you to wear because it’s what a “rocker chick” would do (or what the writer did because she’s married to Chris Vrenna and is therefore the expert on advice giving). Not all men love football, not all drummers are idiots, and not all women are this silly.

By Caitlin Elgin

P.S. She didn’t write the book, but Cynthia Freund doesn’t fact check and earns my vote for a dishonorable mention- “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken,” is not a quote taken from Tommy Lee. It was said by Oscar Wilde. Thanks.