Farrah Turner is 17 and her formerly wealthy family’s home has just been foreclosed upon. Used to living in an upscale area and going to a private high school where she is one of only two Black girls, Farrah is used to analyzing any situation or person and making a plan to get her to her goals. She’s temporarily staying with her best friend, Cherish Whitman, a Black girl who was adopted by white parents and raised to be what Farrah calls WGS, aka White Girl Spoiled. While living with Cherish and becoming a de-facto member of the Whitman family, odd things start to happen that range from weird to dangerous.
I saw raves about Cherish Farrah on my Twitter feed and I’d been wanting to read Bethany C. Morrow’s work, so I put in a request at the library and when it arrived surprisingly quickly, I skipped it up to the top of my TBR.
This was one of those books that I read instead of doing other things I was meant to be doing, like cleaning, writing my own stories, or sleeping. I tore through it in just a few days because I needed to know where all these weird occurrences were leading. It’s clear that something sinister is going on, but I’ll admit that until it was spelled out for me, I didn’t guess what was actually going on.
I’m not going to say any more and spoil the plot, but I do want everyone I know to read this so we can talk about it. I’m not 100% sure that the secret behind the big reveal totally worked, or at least I still have questions. But it kept me reading, and it wasn’t afraid to explore the negatives that can come with adoption, especially of a white, well-off family adopting a Black child.
There are definitely notes of Get Out, with Farrah’s parents seeming to do all the right things, such as her mom taking classes about how to care for Black hair and speaking about Black women having to work twice as hard as anyone else to achieve the same success. The unapologetic actions of the main character to address wrongs reminded me a little of the last scenes in Alyssa Cole’s When No One Is Watching, another book I couldn’t put down (that one is also in the social horror genre, focusing on the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood – go read that one too).
Overall, even if I wasn’t totally sure about some of the twists, I think this book was excellent. If you’re thinking about reading it, please do, and then let’s chat.