- Written By: Megan Abbott
- Narration By: Khristine Hvam
- Published By: Hachette Audio July 2012
- Length: 9 hours 10 minutes
- Source: Purchased from Audible
Summary: Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives.
Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself.
Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.
The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.
My Thoughts: I’ve had this audiobook in my library for a quite a while, I was just waiting for the time to listen to it. I’d heard many good reviews….and then…wow what was I thinking for waiting!!
This is not your simple teen cheerleader story gone bad! Abbott crafts a tale of a group of girls with a designated ringleader and twists it up a bit with a new coach that wants that role. Coach is young, married, a mother, but she’s also attractive, and has a win or go home attitude about how to make this cheer squad a success.
Coach begins to build friendships with Addy and the other girls, perhaps a relationship inappropriate for their roles as coach and team, but it happens anyway. These girls trust her, believe in her. The twist and manipulation is exquisitely written, as Abbott knows how an adult with power can appeal to the teen girl persona. Coach is cool, and they want to be her friend.
The suicide and investigation are frightening to most of the girls, even Addy who believes she knows the truth is unsure, and seeks to learn more, of course Beth is egging her on just a bit. Beth wants her power back.
I loved this book, I worried it would be too young for me, but it was definitely an audio book I anxiously waited for time to listen. The narration by Khristine Hvam was excellent and she is becoming one of my favorite female voices .
If you’ve not read Megan Abbott’s books, I urge you to stop waiting. Next week I’ll be featuring her new book, The Fever. You won’t want to miss it. For more information on Megan Abbott visit her website.