Monday, March 22, 2010

Teen Fiction Tuesday: Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading

The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading, by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 324
Reading Level: 14 and up
Enjoyment Level: High

Here’s another book I stole from my sister’s bookshelf. I grabbed it mostly because I tend to read (and therefore, review) fantasy and sci-fi. I felt like I needed to do some straight-up teen fiction for a change. Being a geek, the title of this one intrigued me and it didn’t take long for me to not be disappointed.

Bethany Reynolds is a geek. Her best friend, Moni, is also a geek – but a geek with a plan. The two girls try out for the varsity cheerleading squad. And make it. What’s a nerdy girl to do when the most sought-after boy starts paying attention to her and when her best friend is suddenly someone she no longer knows? Bethany finds out soon enough and her life changes in more ways than one.

Due to my own experiences as a geek in high school, I might classify this book as fantasy. No way would anyone less than popular get to be a cheerleader in my school (partly because the student body voted on cheerleaders!). However, despite the fantasy element, the truths of this book hold firm ground. The journey that Bethany takes is relatable to everyone, geek or not, and the lessons she learns about herself and others are worth some empathy.

Bethany, as a character, is easy to like and easy to relate to. Even when her fantasy life becomes her reality, it takes her a while to figure it all out and to figure out what to do with her new-found “power.” She sticks by her friends and she tries to do the right thing, no matter what. But that’s not what draws me to her the most. It’s her willingness to do anything she can to help her best friend, who’s having a very hard time working through a divorce. Bethany shines when she needs to and hurts like the rest of us, especially when it looks like her fantasy is being ripped away from her.

You’d never know this book was written by two authors. The story and characters are seamless. The authors never hit a wrong note AND the ending doesn’t disappoint (long-time readers will know how much I dislike most book endings!).

I’ll give this one my highest recommendation. The story draws you in and Bethany makes you love her. Long live geeks. And stay tuned for my interview with the authors tomorrow!

Until next time, go read something good!

~ Vilate

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