Game On

Melanie Spring, Author
Melanie Spring. Little, Brown/Poppy, $10 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-316-22727-8
Reviewed on: 07/29/2013
Release date: 09/03/2013
In a story created in partnership with cheerleading brand Varsity, ninth-grade best friends Chloe, Emily, and Kate are all on the JV cheerleading squad and utterly devoted to their sport. Chloe, whose older siblings were cheerleading champs, seems like a shoe-in for captain until new girl Devin shows up at practice. Devin doesn’t even want to be a cheerleader (she’s an expert tumbler), but she agreed to give it a try since there’s no gymnastics team in the area. When Devin and Chloe are elected co-captains, the friction is immediate; all that team troublemaker Leila has to do is tell a few lies to get their feud going strong. Third-person narration moves breezily among the girls, highlighting their strengths and insecurities, in this first book in a planned series. The story lifts up the virtues of teamwork, hard work, and the power of a smile as it builds toward a co-captain blowout and a big competition at Regionals. While the endless positivity may overwhelm some readers, the friendship dramas and cheer action should keep fans of the sport entertained. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
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