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Title: The Cheerleaders
Author: Kara Thomas
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: YA Mystery
My Rating: 4/5
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.
First there was the car accident–two girls dead 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 his reasons. 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’d 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.
Most of the story is told from Monica’s point of view. She is a teen troubled by the loss of her older sister five years earlier. Monica is sixteen years old and facing typical teen issues, but also some not so typical issues. This novel takes on some difficult topics, such as abortion, depression, suicide, and drugs.
This is a dark, and sometimes depressing, mystery. The deaths were all suspicious. The first two cheerleaders to die were killed in a car accident, but there were some questions concerning the cause of the accident. The next two girls to die were killed by a neighbor. Unfortunately, the police killed the neighbor before a motive was ever determined. The last death was Monica’s sister, Jennifer. She killed herself, but Monica thinks there was more to that story than she was ever told.
I’m a fan of young adult novels, and since I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers, this one seemed like a perfect fit. I did enjoy some parts of the novel, but some parts didn’t pull me in. The overall story is complex and intriguing. I kept guessing as to who was behind the deaths, so the story did deliver in that area. Due to the darker storyline, this book is more geared toward older teens, but also an interesting read for adults. Complex, dark, and twisty.
Books by Kara Thomas:
- The Darkest Corners
- Little Monsters
- The Cheerleaders
- That Weekend
- Out of the Ashes
- Lost to Dune Road