Sunday, August 19, 2018

Review: The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Author: Kara Thomas
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Date of publication: July 2018

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

I was excited to read The Cheerleaders because I was hoping for a good YA mystery.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this one.  While it does deal with some sensitive issues (suicide, abortion, murder), I thought it did a decent job at handling the subjects.  Monica's sister, Jennifer, was one of five cheerleaders who died five years before. The high school now does not have cheerleaders, but does have a dance team.  Monica has always had questions about the deaths of the five girls.  Now someone is telling her detective stepfather that he got it wrong.  She is determined to find out what really happened.

The mystery was pretty good.  The story goes between the present through Monica and five years before  from Jennifer's perspective.  As Monica finds out information, we get what really happened through Jennifer.  The story kept me engaged and the characters were interesting.  There was no love triangle of insta-love which was refreshing.   I definitely recommend this one.  It's another good YA mystery that would be great to curl up with during a summer storm.  

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