By Kara Thomas
Published July 31, 2018 by Delacorte Press
The Cheerleaders is a twisty YA thriller that kept me guessing until the very end.
Five years ago, the town of Sunnybrook was devastated by the deaths of five cheerleaders from the local high school. The first two died in a horrific car crash, two more were brutally murdered, and the fifth committed suicide a few weeks later. The cases were quickly closed: the car crash was a terrible accident, the police caught and shot the murderer, and the suicide was just another unfortunate casualty.
Five years later, Monica, the younger sister of the suicide victim, Jen, starts to wonder if they really know the full truth of what happened. Her stepfather is the cop who shot the murderer, so she thinks she knows the full story. But then she finds her sister’s cell phone locked away in her stepfather’s desk, and she begins to see that the story she’s been told may not add up. Monica has always had trouble believing that her sister could have committed suicide, and she starts digging into the events of 5 years ago. But most people in the town aren’t interested in dredging up the past, least of all Monica’s family.
Most of the book is told in Monica’s first-person narrative, but there are a few chapters set 5 years earlier where we see Jen’s point of view, and it gives the reader some insight into some aspects of the mystery that Monica doesn’t have access to.
This book is really gripping. I started it at night, figuring I would just read a chapter or two before bed. Ha–the next thing I know, I’m 70 pages in and having to force myself to stop reading, which is definitely the sign of a good mystery. I read a lot of mysteries, and I get frustrated when I can figure out the killer halfway through a book. That was not the case here. Kara Thomas threw in a ton of red herrings, and the book kept me guessing until the end. I want to check out the author’s other books, which sound like really interesting mysteries.
I received an ARC from Amazon Vine.