The Cheerleaders

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

2 beautiful cheerleaders were brutally murdered and shortly after another cheerleader at the same school commits suicide, or did she? The Cheerleaders opens 3 years after It's been 5 long years since the murders. The alleged murderer was identified and shot 5 years ago, The case seemed like it was open and shut, so why are questions surfacing now? Was it open and shut? Was the real murderer ever identified? Will it happen again? Kara Thomas knows how to grab her reader's attention and not let go!
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I’m not always the biggest fan of YA mysteries and have a hard time suggesting them to adults, but this one I have easily told many people about. It was interesting from the beginning to end and one i could read again!
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This was a great mystery that I didn't want to put down. I didn't see the twist coming. I regularly recommend this title to patrons who are in the mood for a thriller/mystery.
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This title has been very popular in my high school library!  I read the intro here on Goodreads, but was unable to read the download prior to it being taken off of the list.  But, from the premise of the story lead me to purchase.  It was the right move as it has been checked out by students a lot!
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This was a fun YA mystery, I loved the concept of the plot but it didn’t blow me away. I think high school readers will find it intriguing as well.
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Many cheerleaders died five years ago, thus causing the small town of Sunnybrook to shut down their cheer program. One of the cheerleaders were Monica’s sister. Monica never understood what happened to her sister. However she finds a clue to what happened five years ago she can’t help but follow it. The only thing is that someone else want everything to stay hidden. This was a great book that kept my attention and had me on the edge of my seat (metaphorically). This was a great page turner that kept me p late at night, not wanting to put the book down. I would definitely read more books from Kara Thomas.
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Mean girls, school drama, murder...what more does abook need? If you like books that are dark and obsessive yet as easy to read as a romance paperback- this book is it!
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The pacing, the characters, the unique plot, there was so much to love about Thomas’s THE CHEERLEADERS. The author had us guessing what would happen next - and turning pages at lightning speed - through every chapter.
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Five years ago too many of the cheerleaders died, causing the small town of Sunnybrook to shut down the cheer program. Monica never understood what happened to her sister, why certain choices were made. And when she finds a clue to what was really going on five years ago she can't let it go. But someone else wants the past to stay buried.

Kara Thomas does it again, and it is just like magic. This is the third book I have read from her and I have not been disappointed in the slightest. Her characters feel real, like actual people with flaws and hopes and fears, someone you could pass on the street- and never know the darkness that lives inside. But not only that, the teens actually read like teenagers, not adults playing as such which helps add to the story and the situation. 

This will be a brief review since watching the story unfold is best part and I do not want to have any spoilers. Overall I found this to be a great read with a complicated mystery that kept me guessing. This book was not as twisty or as messed up as Little Monsters was (yeah, that one was a doozy!!) but instead it felt like something that could happen to any teen, in any town, adding to the realism of the plot. Let me just tell you though, the ending (last few chapters) was the best part of the book and so surprised me. I wanted to be horrified yet cheer at the same time. I highly recommend The Cheerleaders for anyone who likes a dark YA mystery with plenty of suspects and surprises. 

Come visit me at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/
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This has been much-buzzed and for good reason. My patrons really enjoy this one and I plan to recommend it to older teens and young adults.
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Kara Thomas is now an auto-buy author for me, though I read her books out of order, so The Cheerleaders was my second of her 6 novels (3 published under the pen name Kara Taylor) that I read. The Cheerleaders kept me turning pages, and several moments/images from it have stuck with me all year--I just found the premise so sad (all those girls dying) especially once you knew the how/why behind it all. I love the way Thomas is inspired by true crime and examines issues like toxic masculinity and rape culture through her work. There were a few tiny issues I had with the resolution, but they weren't dealbreakers for me, personally.
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*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

I was very excited to read this book. As I started it, it was more of an adult YA thriller than I expected. For example, there is a teen abortion, sex, drugs, statutory rape, and so many lies! I have never encountered a main YA character who had a abortion before, so kudos to having real teen situations. 

The mystery itself didn’t quite float my boat. You expect me to believe that a high schooler would figure the mystery out? I found the final twist to be good, but by the end I didn’t care enough about the main character, Monica, to care if she got her peace or not. 

Yet the book was a quick read and it does have its twists and turns. I’m sure many will enjoy.
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I don't normally read contemporary but I really enjoyed this one. The mystery and the plot kept me hooked from beginning to end.
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"The Cheerleaders" is a real page-turner. The title and cover are a little misleading; it is not a campy thriller. This is a pretty dark mystery that addresses real issues like teen suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, and other heavy topics. 

The book is written mostly from the point of view of Monica, whose older sister, Jennifer, committed suicide five years previously. Monica begins to question what why her sister killed herself, and starts her own investigation into her sister's death. Adding to the mystery were the deaths of three of Jennifer's close friends shortly before her suicide. As Monica begins to get closer to the truth, she may be putting her own life in danger. 

Overall this is a solid YA mystery/thriller, with definite appeal. Will recommend to readers.
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Writing reviews for Kara Thomas’s books proved to be a great challenge for me, so I’ll try my very best to produce coherent thoughts along the way.

The story opened up with a great line. “This house was made for someone without a soul.” First line, and I was already captivated. I was really excited to read this book, because Kara Thomas never disappoints. Reading this book got me really excited as I delved into it further.

Monica’s sister, Jen, died along with a string of deaths involving people from the cheerleader team. Five years later, the school wanted to hold a memorial for the cheerleaders but for Monica, she just wanted to forget. I really enjoyed Monica’s character and personality. She definitely stood out among all Thomas’s heroines because of her driven personality. Her thoughts are raw, blunt, and honest, which sometimes lead into confrontations that make my heart burst.

I also love how this book had healthy representation of family dynamics. I mean, Monica and her family doesn’t always see toe to toe, but in general her parents have always been supportive of her, even in times of grief. This book also was one of the few books which has shown a good relationship between the heroine and her step-father. Honestly, I’d live to read more of this kinds of relationships and eventually bury the stereotype of abusive step-parents.

Monica’s friends and their relationship proved to be realistic. They had their ups and downs, especially when Monica started hanging out with Ginny, who was basically an outcast from their circle of friends. However Monica’s intention was clean and she really just wanted to keep her friends away from shady trouble as she tries to find out what really happened to her sister and the cheerleaders.

The ending was solid and it packed a punch. I was obviously dumbstruck, but as always Thomas knows how to deliver a good ending. Of course, I can’t say anything but I’ll let you know that I had to pick my jaw up from the floor.

Kara Thomas has an exceptional caliber that I’m always looking forward to when it comes to thrillers. She knows how to direct readers and maintain the suspense that will definitely send chills into everyone’s spine.

If you’re a big fan of thriller/mysteries and whodunnits in general, you should definitely check out this book!
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Suspense is a highly-sought after genre in my library. The Cheerleaders did not disappoint. The element of suspense and shock kept me turning the pages late into the night. Kara Thomas is one of my go-to authors for suspense after being dually impressed by this novel, as well as Little Monsters.
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The Cheerleaders opens as a a grieving town is coming up on the anniversary of the death of five of their high school cheerleaders. Two died in a car accident, two in a horrific murder and the fifth in an apparent suicide.  The suicide victim's sister Monica begins to suspect that her sister Jen's death was not a reaction to the death of her friends and decides to investigate.  Told in alternating chapters from Monica's first person perspective and Jen's third person flashbacks,  the mystery unravels as Monica looks into some anonymous letters she found in her stepfather's desk, along with her sister's phone. Stepdad was the police officer who killed the supposed murderer. The letters intimate that all is not as it seems.  The car accident and the murders are linked and the real culprit is still at large. Monica becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth, alienating her friends and aligning her with people tied to the mystery.  Jen's chapters slowly reveal her disenfranchisement from her friends  and then horror and guilt over their deaths.  Readers will enjoy guessing the outcome of this complex well-written mystery.
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I tried to read this several times.  This book just isn't for me.  It did not hook me at the very beginning, so I couldn't continue reading it.  I kept forgetting that I had even began.  Sorry for the trouble.
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Actual rating: 4.3 stars

TWs: rape, drugs, suicide, and underage intimacy 

Where, where, where do I begin? Here's a summary of my fresh thoughts:

- Kara does it again. Every single time I swear her mystery thrillers are the best palette cleansers. I'm speaking as someone who just came back from a slump.
- Again, I was legitimately on the edge of my toes the entire time. To be honest, I have a hard time reading through ebooks but heck, I cannot put my phone down for this book.
- In relation to that, the writing and the pacing was unbelievably smooth. Despite needing to pause for brief moments, I was eagerly on the edge of my seat craving for the next chapter. I could have read it in one sitting if not for my exams, boo.
- I honestly didn't know what I was getting myself into. All I know is that I trust Kara too much and she just knocks my socks off.
- Honestly I was thinking about Buzzfeed Unsolved the entire time. The Ghoul Boys should really look this up, too.

I really liked:
- Monica, our main lead. I also liked the friendship that she developed in this story. The way she grew as the plot progressed as well as the unveiling of certain layers.
- The way the story was interwoven - kind off like a spider-web... like dots.
- The complexity it contains. It was so simple yet so complex. I don't know how to describe it but there's this certain ring to it that you just anticipate and scream every chapter. "WHODUNNIT???"
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A quick and exciting read full of twists and turns, but a somewhat clunky plot. Still, a quick read for someone in the mood for a dark mystery with some truly horrific elements.
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