Author: Rachael Allen
Publication: HarperTeen (June 16, 2015)
Description: Don't get mad, get even! In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.
In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That's a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it's only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.
My Thoughts: Four sophomore girls—all wronged by the football team—decide to get revenge. They decide to beat them at their own game by beating them to all the stops on the scavenger hunt they use to "bond" with the new players on the team.
Melanie Jane is a cheerleader and pageant competitor who is dumped by her boyfriend at the command of the football team. Weston is forced to dump her which comes as a surprise to Melanie because she had planned to dump him in a short time anyway. She is determined to be a virgin until marriage and he was pressuring her for sex.
Peyton is quiet and shy but a dynamite dancer. She also has ADHD and resents that the football players get assignment extensions without asking while she is denied what she needs to succeed.
Liv is on the dance team too. She is loud, excitable, and enthusiastic. She is not the slut that the football team has painted her.
Ana has the worst of it. She was date raped by a star football player but the school counselor has encouraged her to "forgive" him rather than ruining his future career. She lost her best friend - Melanie - over it and has become a school loner.
As the girls accomplish each of the tasks on the scavenger hunt list, they learn more about themselves and bond together in friendship. Melanie and Peyton also find new boyfriends who are much nicer people than the guys on the team.
This was an engaging story with interesting characters that dealt with serious issues in a way that didn't feel like preaching. The ending is hopeful without being a magical cure-all. I'll be buying this one for my high school media center.
The decor is sort of hokey—rough wooden walls, barrels for tables, riding gear and wagon wheels and so many animal heads I'm tempted to have a moment of silence. It's definitely over-the-top country. So are most of the people here.I got this eARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.