Review by Lauryn Angel
I absolutely loved Kara Thomas’s second novel, Little Monsters, so I was excited to hear she had a new book coming out at the end of July. And maybe my expectations were too high, because, honestly, this book fell a little flat to me. I still enjoyed the book, but something seemed to be missing, though I can’t put my finger on exactly what that something is.
Our protagonist is Monica, whose older sister, Jen, is one of five cheerleaders who died one right after the other. Four of the girls died in two separate accidents, while Jen took her own life, presumably because the loss of her friends was too much to bear. Now, five years after the deaths, Monica is finally old enough to question and investigate her sister’s death. On top of this, Monica has her own problems – both at home and at school – to deal with.
Comparisons of Thomas to Gillian Flynn are accurate in that both tell very dark, twisted stories. Thomas’s audience is young adults, so there is nothing as extreme as the violence in Flynn’s books, but her characters are not angels. One of the problems Monica has to deal with is her pregnancy by an older man – a problem that gets handled quickly and almost pushed under the rug and really could have been developed a bit more.
All this being said, I still really enjoyed The Cheerleaders. The twist at the end was a complete surprise for me, which is always the mark of a good thriller for me. I eagerly await the next book from Kara Thomas!