AD • I received a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and opinions are entirely my own.
Happy hump day, my friends! It’s been a few weeks since I last stopped by with a book review but I’m officially back and ready to talk books! Today I’m talking about Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow which has been described as a “social horror” and compared to Get Out and My Sister, the Serial Killer.
by Bethany C. Morrow
Date of Publication: 8th February 2022
Format: eBook (331 pages)
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
Hardcover • eBook • Audiobook
Seventeen-year-old Farrah Turner is one of two Black girls in her country club community, and the only one with Black parents. Her best friend, Cherish Whitman, adopted by a white, wealthy family, is something Farrah likes to call WGS—White Girl Spoiled. With Brianne and Jerry Whitman as parents, Cherish is given the kind of adoration and coddling that even upper-class Black parents can’t seem to afford—and it creates a dissonance in her best friend that Farrah can exploit. When her own family is unexpectedly confronted with foreclosure, the calculating Farrah is determined to reassert the control she’s convinced she’s always had over her life by staying with Cherish, the only person she loves—even when she hates her.
As troubled Farrah manipulates her way further into the Whitman family, the longer she stays, the more her own parents suggest that something is wrong in the Whitman house. She might trust them—if they didn’t think something was wrong with Farrah, too. When strange things start happening at the Whitman household—debilitating illnesses, upsetting fever dreams, an inexplicable tension with Cherish’s hotheaded boyfriend, and a mysterious journal that seems to keep track of what is happening to Farrah—it’s nothing she can’t handle. But soon everything begins to unravel when the Whitmans invite Farrah closer, and it’s anyone’s guess who is really in control.
Told in Farrah’s chilling, unforgettable voice and weaving in searing commentary on race and class, this slow-burn social horror will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.
This book is a difficult one to review. On the one hand, it had the level of intrigue that made me desperate to keep reading. But on the other, there were a lot of things that meant that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I’d hoped to.
First of all, it’s a slow burn thriller about an intense friendship with fairly lengthy chapters. And the bulk of the weird stuff doesn’t kick in for a long time.
The POV is from one of the teen protagonists and I get that she’s alluded to as being some kind of monster throughout but I struggled to fully understand that. Is she a psychopath? (This seems like the most likely answer.) Or is she something more paranormal? I was kind of hoping that would be addressed towards the end especially as things got a bit more unstable in terms of the imagery in Farrah’s head but I couldn’t make sense of it.
That said, I can see why this is marketed as a social horror. There are a few instances of graphic violence and body horror that made me a bit squeamish. Again, if that’s what you’re after then you really need to be prepared to wait for it because it does takes a while to get there.
Will you be adding Cherish Farrah to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured Image background: Jelena990 from Getty Images