The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

*Spoiler free*


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’m not sure where to start with this one. I listened to the audiobook and I think I have a hard time connecting to stories when I listen to them.  At least for now, since I’m not used to them. Every scene is kind of like listening to a kissing scene for me haha. I think it’ll get easier the more I listen to them! I might have liked this book better if I had read the physical copy, I might not have. Trigger warnings: suicide, murder, statutory rape, sexual assault, abortion, substance abuse

I didn’t quite finish this one. I have about 25 minutes left of the audiobook and I’m not sure if I’m going to finish. I know I really don’t feel like it haha. I don’t anything major happens at the very end, so I’m going to review what I did read! I feel like everything wrapped up and loose ends are just being tied up and I kind of just want to be done with it.

The narrator for the audiobook was good. She had a really great voice and I enjoyed listening to her. Though, the voices she used for different characters didn’t change much between them. It was probably so noticeable to me since I had just finished listening to Sawkill Girls and that narrator did such different voices for different people.

As for the story, I’m not quite sure. I guess I wasn’t fully invested? The plot was interesting, though the outcome doesn’t seem to live up to the dramatics promised in the synopsis.

A lot of aspects swirl around in this book. I felt like they never quite came together for me. I think if more attention was given to a couple of them, it would have evened the book’s pacing out and allowed me to become more invested.

The whole mystery element seems pretty muddled to me. I’m a very visual person, so this could come from not actually reading the words. But, it seemed like all the clues Monica was going after were speculation. Looking back, I’m surprised she got as much information as she did.

There was a plotpoint I didn’t love. I felt like it didn’t carry through throughout the book and just disappeared sometimes. It did tie into the story in the end, which I appreciated and I’m glad it wasn’t some loose end created for something to make the beginning interesting.

I really enjoyed Ginny’s character. She was solid throughout and a great friend to Monica. I don’t know if Monica’s development came full circle, but if it did, it was crammed into the last pages of the book. I think I would have enjoyed the book and her character if she had more emotional development throughout the story. If something happened with her friends, if she really dealt with the emotional pain she was feeling.

In the end, this book was alright. I enjoyed reading it and it kept me entertained.

You can add The Cheerleaders on Goodreads and order a copy of your own!

Thank you for reading!

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