Title: The Cheerleaders
Author: Kara Thomas
Date Published: July 31, 2018
Number of Pages: 371
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
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 think I just read this book in two days, and I actually enjoyed it. At first, I thought it’s not that heavy given the title and the cover because I find it cute (even with the blood stains). When I was already a couple of chapters in, I realized that I thought wrong and that it actually deals with dark and serious issues such as abortion, murder, suicide, and rape.
There were times when it felt a bit dragging and it seems like it’s a long read, but overall, it was well-written and the characters felt realistic. Monica Rayburn has such a dynamic personality with just the right amount of angst.
Personally, I like these kinds of setting; a high school student in a small town who’s struggling to find out who she really is. I also like school settings as it reminds me of my years in school. I found myself wanting to crack the case and put an end to the questions that were left hanging in the town of Sunnybrook as much as Monica did. It had me at the edge of seat, flipping pages, and eager to find out what happens after each chapter.
If you’re looking for a dark mystery/thriller YA novel, I highly recommend this book.