Rachel Cohn Books In Order

Publication Order of Cyd Charisse Books

Gingerbread (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shrimp (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cupcake (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Steps Books

The Steps (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Two Steps Forward (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Dash and Lily Series (with David Levithan) Books

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Beta Books

Beta (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Emergent (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Pop Princess (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (with David Levithan) (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (with David Levithan) (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
You Know Where to Find Me (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Very LeFreak (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kill All Happies (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Rachel Cohn is an American bestselling novelist born in Silver Spring Maryland in 1968. She lived most of her life near Washington DC, before leaving at 17 to attend Barnard College in Manhattan, where she majored in political science since she had always wanted to be a journalist.

However, instead of undertaking a career in journalism, she moved to San Francisco to work in a law firm and found herself writing her first novel – Gingerbread. In 2002, she moved back to New York and got Gingerbread published in the same year.

Cohn’s work is in the American young adult fiction genre and typically includes witty yet strong female protagonists such as Cyd Charisse, Wonder Blake, and Annabel. As a full-time author, Rachel Cohn has published many successful younger children and Young Adult books, three of which she coauthored with David Levithan. Some of the series she has written include the Steps series the Cyd Charisse series, and the Annex series.

In 2008, her novel Nick 7 Norah’s Infinite Playlist was adapted into a movie starring Kat Dennings and Michael Cera as Norah and Nick with Peter Sollett as director. Cohn asserts that having the book adapted into film was quite an experience particularly seeing the scenes she had written down come into life on the streets of New York.

In 2011, Cohn entered into a book deal that was to see her write four books under Publishers Weekly. The first of the books, “Beta” came out in 2012 followed by its sequel “Emergent” in 2014. Being more fantasy/sci-fi focused, the books emphasize more on plot as compared to her previous titles. These latest books may be classified as young adult science fiction.

A Summary of Gingerbread (Cyd Charisse series) by Rachel Cohn

Cyd Charisse goes by the moniker “recovering hellion” a name given to her by her benevolent stepfather who believes the name suits her attempts at reform after she is expelled from her boarding school. She finds her six-year-old half-sister foul-mouthed rants quite delightful. She abandons her family and heads out to spend the night with Shrimp her new super cool surfer boyfriend. Nonetheless, while Cyd is always trying to show a hard demeanor, inside she is a softy.

Even when she strikes up a patronizing attitude, it just comes out as funny, book smart, and worldly. When she is informed that they would be having ice cream and visiting museums one Sunday, she tries her best impression of a Von Trapp Child in saying “Oh could we really?” When Sugar Pie, her nursing home friend, calls her spoiled, Cyd on reflection believes she is more misunderstood than spoilt. When her mother goes out, Cyd gets busy helping their housekeeper make cookies and lasagna for their driver Fernando’s family, who has a grandson in remission from leukemia.

Gingerbread is an exploration of the evolution of Cyd Charisse from the shy girl seeking comfort and fun with no regard to rules, to a confident young adult that has found her place in the world she lives in. On her visit to New York, she talks freely with her half-siblings while drinking cappuccinos in cool coffee houses as a willing participant. She is enjoying her life whether it is with her stepdad or her mom in San Francisco. The novel does delve into the dark past particularly when Cohn brings up memories of Cyd’s past. While Cyd is yet to resolve some of the issues plaguing her past when the novel ends, she is now ready to confront and talk about them.

Gingerbread is such a great book not only because of the sarcastic humor that Cyd brings into it but also her fantastical dreams. She constantly thinks of a commune in the future that she will head – admitting only “good-looking men” or one with the mantra hear no evil see no evil speak no evil. Upon reuniting with Shrimp, her new boyfriend she thinks of inventing a corkscrew hoodoo freedom ride for celebrating her freedom. Charisse always totes her doll Gingerbread around though she got it as a present when she was five. She feels she is not ready to give it up yet and has yet to make the decision at the end of the narrative. Similar to many of us, she wants to hold on to her childhood and its memories for as long as is possible.

A Summary of Shrimp (Cyd Charisse series) by Rachel Cohn

In the award-winning Gingerbread Rachel Cohn’s character 17-year-old, Cyd Charisse gets to spend time with her newfound siblings, father, and family in New York. It is during this visit that Cyd finds a new definition of family and has to deal with darks secrets of her family’s past.

Shrimp, the sequel to Gingerbread has Cyd returning home to San Francisco to start her senior high school year. However, her parents soon find out that Cyd has little interest in her schoolwork or college applications. She is more interested in reigniting her relationship with Shrimp the super cool boyfriend who dumped her.

Nonetheless, she is now more grown up as she no longer carries Gingerbread around and has more of an adult outlook on life. She believes that she is destined to be with Shrimp though she is not going to make him an obsession. She even finds a new interest in cooking and makes new friends, which she could never do before. When she gets back together with Shrimp, she goes into it with a no expectation and take it slow attitude. With graduation looming ever nearer, she must make a decision if she wants a future with or without Shrimp. Things are complicated by the growing intensity of their relationship, which to some extent is clouding her judgment.

Similar to the telling of the story in Gingerbread where the reader get introduced to the emotionally vulnerable and fiercely opinionated Cyd Charisse, Rachel Cohn continues to weave the same story in Shrimp. In this novel, Cohn in a story full of pop culture references, and slang develops Cyd’s story in a sassy hip voice. While some of the cultural references might not transcend time, the main character’s story of growth and discovery mirror that of many young adults. In Shrimp, while the focus is on Cyd’s attempts at reigniting her relationship with a boyfriend that broke her heart, the essence of the novel is more about her journey toward growth and adulthood rather than finding her destined boyfriend.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Rachel Cohn