Monday, July 30, 2018

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas-- Not as slashery as I was expecting

The Cheerleaders

The town of Sunnybrook lost 5 cheerleaders in the span of a few weeks in 3 separate tragedies.

Now, it's 5 years later and Jennifer (the final girl to die)'s sister, Monica is dealing with the fallout.  Her life is spiraling, she's making bad decisions, and just when she thinks she's going to break, she finds some letters in her stepdad's desk that make her question if the deaths were somehow connected.

With the help of a new dance team friend, Monica embarks on finding out the truth about the cheerleaders.

This was supposed to be MY FAVORITE book of the summer!!  I wanted to love it sooooo badly.  I mean, we have cheerleaders + murder + mystery-- what more could I want???  Apparently, what I wanted was more.

It's not that this was a bad book-- I did like it.  The thing is, it wasn't that exciting.  There were a lot of things that I would have just wanted to be cut rather than to go along with the character going through the mundane motions and none of it turning out to mean anything.  While there was a legit mystery, it wasn't as riveting as I was expecting.  I kind of thought there would be new killings or a new threat looming-- and that intensity just wasn't there.

On a positive note, there really wasn't any romance-- and right now I'm just not feeling the romance in books very much, so that part made me happy.  There was an inappropriate relationship, and I did feel terrible for Monica to be in that situation.

My favorite part of this book was Monica.  I thought she was going through some major problems (as the book opens she's just had an abortion & the anniversary of her sister's death is coming up) and I liked reading about her journey through it all.  Her new friend Ginny was also a highlight, but I felt a little off about her at times.  She was just a tad too eager to help or something.

The twist was on point with the twists I know from Kara Thomas's other books.  That genuinely saved the book for me.  I just wished that it was something to CONNECT everything, and it really wasn't that.

OVERALL: Kinda disappointed.  It pains me to say that it didn't live up to my massive expectations. I enjoyed the book up to a point, but it dragged too much and didn't have enough of an IMMEDIATENESS to the mystery.

Date Published: 7/31/2018
How I got this book: Thanks to Penguin Random House and ALA for providing me with a copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 3/5

Character: Monica Rayburn
Book: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

  • I think Monica should read about a strained mother/daughter relationship because she could relate.


  1. Oh no, I'm sad this didn't live up to your expectations! It's also been one of my most awaited releases, as it looks like the perfect summer mystery. :| I'm glad at least the twist worked for you, even if it wasn't fully how you wanted it.
    Great review!

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    1. I hope you love it!! It just wasn't INTENSE and that's what I was looking forward to :(

  2. Oh, too bad! It sucks when a book ends up being a bit disappointing. I like that it doesn't have a lot of romance in it, either. I feel like that's shoehorned into too many books.

    1. Yes!! I was super glad that romance wasn't a focus. Usually they'll have a boy helping the girl solve the mystery and they'll fall for each other-- and that was not this book!!!

  3. I am sad. I really liked Thomas' debut, and thought this sounded great. Though, you go a lot darker than me, so maybe I will like it more than you. (Am I alone in liking romance?)

    1. I think you will like it!! And I always think I am alone NOT liking romance, so I think you are good!! It was a decent book, just not the THRILLER I was hoping for.

  4. Overall I agree. The whole cheerleader murder thing made me think it would be more gripping. It did hold my interest, but you are right - since the murders are all in the past, the tension wasn't as high as it could have been. I wished for more resolution on some things. And lol I didn't even think about the lack of romance - also glad about that.
    Jen Ryland Reviews