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The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
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The Cheerleaders (edition 2018)

by Kara Thomas (Author)

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7810221,009 (3.8)None
Member:iwriteinbooks
Title:The Cheerleaders
Authors:Kara Thomas (Author)
Info:Delacorte Press (2018), 384 pages
Collections:Young Adult
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

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“I am a victim whether or not I feel like one.”

The book is told mainly from Monica’s POV while she searches for clues and tries to piece together the tragedy that happened. She delves into morally questionable territory, doing things she never thought she would, just to get answers to discover what truly happened. She links up with a girl named Ginny and together they both get wrapped up in the mystery and form a genuine friendship in the process. There are other sections in the book that are narrated in third person and focus on Jen and what she was experiencing leading up to her suicide.

The Cheerleaders was a good read. I REALLY struggled with the first 80 to 100 pages. It was a rough start, especially knowing I had other books on my dresser I could pick up, it was a bit difficult to keep with in the beginning. I wasn’t a massive fan of the writing style. It was a bit simplistic and there were some words that I just didn’t believe a sixteen year old would use. “Jonesing”… I’m 23 and I’ve never used this word in my life. I’ve heard it used but not from anyone relatively close to my age so it just seemed BIZARRE. Also, in the beginning there is a situation where we do not know the gender of a mysterious texter and they are continuously referred to as “he or she” and it drove me absolutely insane. I understand it is grammatically correct but it was a bit much, and the author also swapped “he or she” with “they” multiple times so I’m not really sure what we achieved. All of this is just nitpicking but it was pretty irritating and contributed to my inability to jump right into the story.-

Once I did pass those initial 80 to 100 pages, the story became addicting and I spent all day reading just to know what happened. I finished my book at 4:25 and zoomed off to work at 4:35 as a testament to its readability.

I thought the mystery was very intriguing and for the most part it was constructed well. I did not expect the reveal to be who it was and when that character was initially mentioned, I just thought “Okay … and?” but I was pleasantly surprised! That being said, I wish we had just a little bit more information and some more detail as to the killer’s motive. I feel like the reveal was very rushed and could have been executed much better. Had the scenes leading up to the reveal, the reveal itself, and the aftermath been more fleshed up, I may have bumped this book up to four stars. As for the very last chapter, I loved the addition of it and I would not change that for the world.

Overall, it was an enjoyable story to work through and I had a good time with it.
( )
  vfdreader | Nov 20, 2018 |
I needed something light as an escape from the utter destruction of America, and this definitely delivered. I do not often read YA, but I wanted the simplicity, the singular focus of YA. I wanted to wallow without distraction. Monica is an engaging character and the book manages to weave in many topics very relevant to teens -- abortion, suicide, drinking, difficulty communicating with family -- with grief and a good whodunit. Recommended. ( )
  Narshkite | Nov 19, 2018 |
If you were a freak for RL Stine's 'Fear Street' series as a kid, you'll love this book. It's like sophisticated 'Fear Street.' Also, Google "The Stacks: The Searing Story of How Murder Stalked a Tiny New York Town" for E. Jean Carroll's article about the town the story is loosely based on. It's fascinating! ( )
  prunetracy | Nov 14, 2018 |
Literary merit: Great
Characterization: Great
Recommend: Yes
Level: High School

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Thomas constructed a brilliant plot that had me standing up as I read the last two chapters. It was a very exciting read. I was engrossed in the story after Monica befriended Ginny. Each chapter of the novel was like a puzzle piece. As one piece of the puzzle would line up another would fall apart. The mystery involved the deaths of Monica’s older sister and four of her sister’s friends. The story takes place five years after the deaths. Monica starts to question the facts surrounding the deaths and starts her own investigation.

I would recommend this book to teens and adults that like mystery. It is not graphic. However, the book does deal with an abortion, suicide, depression, and statutory rape. ( )
  SWONroyal | Nov 9, 2018 |
I love going into a book blind, meaning I don’t read synopsis and base my interest on the cover and maybe word of mouth. All I knew going in is that this book was about murdered cheerleaders. I was ready. In the mood I was in, i was ready to Texas Chainsaw some cheerleaders by way of Scream.

That is not at all what I got, but I am not disappointed. For most of this book the cheerleaders are already dead. It’s five years later, and Monica has been asked to participate in a memorial for the toppled pyramid. Besides not wanting to do it, she also wonders what really went on. Were all five deaths connected? Or were they exactly what they appeared to be. She is determined to find out.

This book is more a mystery but I wouldn’t call it a thriller. Yes it has thrilling moments, but no long drawn out seat of your pants action. It’s a slow build like the original Halloween movie. It uses bumps and shadows to get your heart pumping and keep the reader turning the pages. And it does it well.

I actually want to complement the author for the first chapter or two. I had to ask myself multiple times if what I think was happening was really happening. So many parents would have been up in arms about that scene, and while it was done exceptionally well, I kept wondering why include it? Is this to make the reader think about how crazy life has become for Monica since her sister died, or how out of control she is, with no one noticing. Originally it seemed gratuitous, like, I’m gonna write throw this controversy in covered in description, and it will be okay because I never use the A word. And for me it’s FINE. I love how it’s done. Just, this is what is happening. And by the end I know that the scene is not gratuitous, but integral. I’m not going to tell you what this scene is because I don’t want anyone to say I’m not reading this because it contains …. Something. It contains reality.

While Monica is the main lead, we meet a shy dance teammate Ginny who is the sounding board none of Monica’s better friends can be during this emotional time. Plus, we do actually get to know Monica’s sister. Sporadically, there are chapters that take the reader back in time leading up to the deaths of the cheer team.

Overall I enjoyed this quick and fresh read. It pulls no punches, does not skirt around topics, and feels very now. It’s not a blood and gore horror book, but rather an Our Town, for a new generation that must live and grow up in our current society. ( )
  LibrarianRyan | Sep 17, 2018 |
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"As a town prepares for the anniversary of the deaths of five cheerleaders who were killed in three separate, horrific accidents, two teens uncover long-buried truths about what really happened years ago"--

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