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The Cheerleaders

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  12,694 ratings  ·  2,202 reviews
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident--two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know his reasons. Monica's sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Delacorte Press
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Kelli Kara Thomas was interviewed by Karen McManus and here's one of Kara's responses

"Where do you get inspiration for your books?

Everywhere! Im a big…more
Kara Thomas was interviewed by Karen McManus and here's one of Kara's responses

"Where do you get inspiration for your books?

Everywhere! I’m a big true-crime junkie—not in a gross, murderer fan club way, but I get obsessive about unsolved crimes. I spend a lot of time on Reddit: Unresolved Mysteries and listening to podcasts like The Vanished. The Cheerleaders was partially inspired by real-life events in a town called Dryden, New York..."

Here's the link for the interview if anyone interested :)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,694 ratings  ·  2,202 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I read this for an upcoming reading experiment video & I really enjoyed it. I will say that I didn't find it as compelling as her previous book, LITTLE MONSTERS. Which if y'all haven't read little monsters get with the program that book is where it's at fam! Something that kind of stuck out to me were the reactions the characters gave. A lot of times in YA books I don't feel like the characters react to the situations they're in, in a realistic way. This one you could see the mental affects ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-publisher
"I am a victim, whether or not I feel like one."
I wanted to include more of this quote, but it contains spoilers, so I'll let you experience the rest of what Monica has to say there when you read the book for yourself. ;)

I know some readers like to write off any type of YA novel as cheap and unworthy of the same type of attention that adult literature receives, but I'm here to tell you that's a load of BS. I've always tried to review each genre of book that I read based on the target audience
Emma Giordano
An okay young adult mystery. Honestly, not my favorite, but still enjoyable.

The Cheerleaders
CW: suicide, murder, death, statutory rape, sexual assault, substance abuse, abortion

One of the things I really like about the story was its attention to controversial topics that arent often approached in young adult literature. They were approached VERY realistically which was much appreciated. There were some story lines I wish had been deepened, such as the theme of substance use throughout the
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
I've enjoyed the author's Prep School Confidential series, so I had high hopes for this one. I wasn't disappointed. It did drag on a little, but overall, this is an excellent addition to the YA mystery genre.

This isn't a fluffy murder mystery, despite what its title would imply. It deals with some very dark issues. Abortion, suicide, murder.

Its title and description scream TEEN HORROR MOVIE. It's nothing like that. No campiness and slapstick here.

Still, it reads like a YA novel, and I don't mean
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Page-turning mystery!

5 cheerleaders in a small town die, in 3 separate incidents, within a months time. Is it a coincidence or is there something sinister going on in the town of Sunnybrook?

Some people say a curse fell over our town five years ago.

The Cheerleaders is a compulsively readable YA mystery with a strong, intelligent female lead.

When Monica Rayburn finds her sisters phone hidden in her stepfather's desk, she begins searching for clues about what might have led her sister, Jen, to
ELLIAS (elliasreads)

I get it. YA is a genre that caters to everyone. But YA Thrillers, in general, are the outcasts lot of the bunch because.....they just suck in general. Sure there are a few hidden gems but these are far too few and too rare to count. I just....when it comes down to in thrillers arent that great. High school kids trying to solve these mysteries bigger than themselves when seasoned detectives or police couldnt even be much of a help to begin with.

The kids who solve these
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Five years ago, the Sunnybrook High cheerleading squad was disbanded after five members ended up dead in rapid succession.

Two lost in a car accident, two murdered by an unhinged neighbor and the last, Jenn, wracked with survivor's guilt, took her own life.

Now that time has passed since the terrible tragedies, and many people have put it behind them, the school is hoping to organize a memorial for the girls.

Monica, Jenn's little sister, gets asked to participate and unsurprisingly,
BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
This YA mystery really surprised me! It was a bit dark with some mature themes and it proved to be one heck of a twisty, captivating page-turner.

Five years ago 5 cheerleaders wound up dead in the span of a few months. One of them was Jenn, Monica's older sister. Monica has never believed that her sister's death was a suicide and she is determined to connect the dots and find out what really happened to the Sunnybrook High cheerleaders.

This one definitely has that "suck you in" factor. I found
Kayla Dawn
More like 2,75* - the ending kind of ruined everything for me. It was so... anticlimactic? I don't know, I thought it would be smarter than that.

I'm pretty sure though, that most people who like dark young adult temporary thriller type of books will enjoy this.
It was written very well and it deals with a lot of interesting and problematic topics. I personally was just let down by the conclusion.

PS: The description on the back that says "A little bit Riverdale" is definitely accurate lol
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas is a young adult mystery that Ive been anxiously awaiting having read this author before. Before I get too far into this review though I need to warn yet again that this one is going to be for the older crowd with a lot of darker content that may be disturbing to some.

As the book begins readers are introduced to Monica who is now in high school and battles the memories of her older sister every day since shes been gone. Five years before Monicas sister was a
Even with its ominous cover, The Cheerleaders ended up a darker story than I expected.

After 5 cheerleaders are tragically killed in close succession, the high school in Sunnybrook decides to disband its team. 5 years later, the school wants to have a memorial for the girls. Monica is a junior on the dance team now and her sister, Jen, was the last cheerleader to die. With the upcoming memorial looming, Monica spends a lot of time thinking about the how? and the why? surrounding Jens death. Her
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
This was a decent YA thriller! I definitely did not like it as much as Little Monsters, but it was still a good time. There were quite a few things I liked about this book but ultimately the mystery was just sort of meh to me.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

JFC I read this one a looooooooooooooooooooong time ago. This was my third Kara Thomas book and Im happy to report each one has gained a Star on its predecessor (a reminder to all especially myself to not tank an author because of one mediocre experience). The title alone had me singing . . . .

The premise of The Cheerleaders goes a little summin like . . . .

Some people say a curse fell over our town five years ago. What else

The Cheerleaders was amazing from the very first page. It had me guessing who was a suspect or not. Then it would throw in some kind of curveball and make me second everything that I was originally thinking. I loved it and now I'm kind of sad that it's over. Is it too early to dive back into it?

In this book, you will meet Monica. Her family dynamic is a bit strange, or it was to me, because of her sisters death. Well, not only that.. but the whole town
4.5 stars
OKAY, THIS BOOK COMPLETELY TOOK ME BY SURPRISE. I wanted to start off my October with a creepy read and so I chose this one and I had no idea I would end up loving the hell out of this. I'm not typically a fan of YA thrillers (they usually always disappoint me) but this one impressed the hell out of me and had me turning pages so fast trying to figure out what happened!

This story follows Monica who had an older sister named Jen who was a cheerleader who died. In their town five
Carol (Bookaria)
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult, 2019
This is a YA mystery/thriller and right up my alley. The main character is investigating the details surrounding her sister's death which happened 5 years ago, and what she finds out create more questions than answers.

I enjoyed the story and the characters. It reminded me of similar yet entertaining books I've read such as ONE OF US IS LYING, PEOPLE LIKE US, and MY NAME IS VENUS BLACK.

Overall, a captivating and good story. Highly recommend it to readers of YA thrillers and mysteries.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was addictive within the first few chapters. I actually did not find it predictable. I loved it as much as I did the authors other book, Little Monsters. I love a book where there are so many shady characters that you are basically inthralled just to see what dark skeletons they have in their messed up past. Makes for a fun read.

My quick and simple overall: very enjoyable read!
Review trigger warning: statutory rape, pedophilia mention, abortion mention

Arguably my largest pet peeve when it comes to reading is when a book seems awesome but then it decides to do you wrong and include unchallenged problematic crap.

This book was amazing for the first 75 percent. Maybe a tad heteronormative, but a person can forgive. The writing style was compelling and easy-to-follow, the characters were three-dimensional and relatable, and the mystery was original and had me at the
Five dead cheerleaders all in a row!

They all smile at me: Jen, Juliana, Susan, Colleen, and Bethany. It really is a beautiful picture. By the end of the season, everyone in it is dead.

Theres been no cheerleading squad at Sunnybrook High for the past five years, following three separate tragedies involving cheerleaders. Bethany and Colleen were the first to die, killed in a car accident when their car hit a tree. Then, Susan and Juliana were murdered strangled by Susans neighbour (who was
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
"Everyone goes through shit, and there's always someone somewhere who has it worse. It doesn't make what you're feeling any less real or any less shitty."

Reading The Cheerleaders made me both excited and scared at the same time. I mean, hello, a book about cheerleaders suddenly found dead days within each other? Anyway, safe to say, this book did not disappoint.

🎀 The heroine? Raw and honest. She's not always very likable, but that's okay. She's lost; she feels like everything's falling apart,
There are no longer cheerleaders allowed at Sunnybrook High School. It's been that way for five years, ever since five members of the team died within a short span of each other. One of those girls was Monica's sister, Jen. Jen committed suicide after four of her fellow cheerleaders died--two in a car accident and two in a brutal murder at the hands of a fellow Sunnybrook resident. That man is dead, killed by the police. Still, Monica doesn't understand why her confident, beautiful sister killed ...more
3.5/5 stars

First, I'd like to thank the lovely Chelsea for providing my copy of The Cheerleaders . Chelsea knew that I needed this book as soon as it was being publicized. I've never read a book by Kara Thomas, and although I am hesitant with YA novels, I have heard amazing things and was excited to give this book a try. In Westchester, New York, there resides a town called Sunnybrook. Five years ago in Sunnybrook, a tragic series of accidents took place with the school's cheerleading team. Two
I dont know if were cursed. All I know is that my sister wouldnt have killed herself. But if she did, why didnt she leave a note explaining why?

Five cheerleaders dead over the course of three weeks. This happened five years ago. One of those girls was Monicas sister, Jen, and its been haunting her ever since. Jen was the last of the five to die and it has never made sense. First, two girls hydroplaned and hit a tree in a storm. Next, two girls were strangled by the man next door. And last, Jen
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-mystery
Monicas sister Jennifer died five years ago. Jennifer committed suicide shortly after four of her friends died they were all cheerleaders. The town was upset by the loss of the five teens, and the school ended the cheerleader program. The deaths were all somewhat suspicious car accident, murder, and suicide. Monica believes there to be more to her sisters death, and that of her friends. In an effort to discover the truth, Monica enlists the help of her friend Ginny and they start digging into ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HOLY CRAP. this was so good. so freaking good. i've heard so many good things about kara thomas and her books and this lived up to all that praise. the pacing was excellent and the reveals were so GOOD. ugh i can't wait to read more from her.

*arc provided by delacorte press from yallwest 2018*
Ova - Excuse My Reading
It was OK, but nothing remarkable.
Searching for answers felt like grasping around in the dark. At some point, you have to choose to live in the light.

Ive loved Kara Thomas previous two books. Her bleak, desolate settings emphasize the darkness contained within the plot. And boy, is Kara Thomas DARK. However, THE CHEERLEADERS just didnt work for me.

Heres the premise: years ago in the town of Sunnybrook, five popular cheerleaders died in suspicious circumstances--all within the same month. Prompted by the discovery of mysterious
Aj the Ravenous Reader
The cover had me expecting a gory thriller where a serial killer is on the loose zeroing in on pretty cheerleaders. Im slightly disappointed. Kidding. Im actually glad the plot didnt pull off that Riverdale-esque-vibe because the story actually took on several serious issues while still maintaining its entertainment factor.

The main mystery is lot like that in The Darkest Corners where the wrong guy was punished for the crime he didnt commit and the bad guy is still out and about. Monica, being
2.5 stars?

This book looked to have everything I could have ever wanted, even down to the blood spatter on the cover. Sadly, Im wondering if 2.5 stars is too high.

I think I liked Monica. Shes got a lot of things going on and I could understand why she was doing they things she did. I mean, not all of them, of course. There were a lot a lot of characters here, but the only one I really liked was Ginny.

Plot wise, I was intrigued. I was hoping there would be more tension, but the slow reveals were
A solid mystery. Slightly predictable and unrealistic, but an intriguing story.
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Kara is the author of THE DARKEST CORNERS, coming April 2016 from Random House/Delacorte. She is also the author of the Prep School Confidential series from St. Martin's Griffin under the pen name Kara Taylor. Kara has written for Warner Brothers Television and currently writes full-time on Long Island, where she lives with her husband and rescue cat.

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