Author: Allyson Valentine Schrier
- Imprint: Philomel
Date Published: June 13th 2013
Format: ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy). Paperback.
Source: Received at the Razorbill Fall Preview event
Sophomore Nora Fulbright is the most talented and popular new cheerleader on the Riverbend High cheer squad. Never mind that she used to be queen of the nerds—a chess prodigy who answered every question first, aced every test and repelled friends at every turn—because this year, Nora is determined to fully transition from social pupa to full blown butterfly, even if it means dumbing down her entire schedule. But when funny, sweet and very cute Adam moves to town and steals Nora’s heart with his untra-smarts and illegally cute dimple, Nora has a problem. How can she prove to him that she’s not a complete airhead? Nora devises a seemingly simple plan to barter her way into Adam’s classes that involves her classmates, friends—and her older brother Phil’s award-winning AP history paper. But soon, Nora can barely keep track of her trades, and struggles to stay in control of her image.
In the end, the only thing that can save Nora is a chess tournament—that she has to compete in wearing her cheerleading uniform. Can she prove to everyone that she can be both a butterfly and a nerd?
Number of Days It Took to Read: 1.5
I think the cover may appeal more to tweens and younger teens, and if I were to only look at the cover I probably would never pick up this book. Luckily the plot was what caught my interest.
The Writing Score: 3.5 out of 5
Recommendation: Casual Perusal
Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
This was a really adorable light read, the perfect complement to the other book that I was reading at the same time. Anyways the plot consists of your usual teen story where girl and boy meet in a cute way, find out they live close to each other and that they are going to the same school. Then of course girl tries to win over the boy’s affection though there are a few obstacles in the way. Finally the cast is then rounded out with geeks, drama students, football players and cheerleaders. What I especially liked about this was the fact that although there were the stereotypical “dumb” jock and cheerleaders, they were not mean like the ones you see in those teen movies. In fact most of the supporting characters were revealed to have some hidden depth. The idea that there was more to a person then what meets the eye can be seen throughout the book.
While the plot was nothing really new or special, the writing made it a thoroughly entertaining read. The heroine, Nora is a cheerleader and has a habit of creating cheers (complete with actions) in her head to either cheer herself on or indicate how she is feeling at the moment. I thought this was quite hilarious and really cute, and it made me want to root for her even more. Another thing that I loved about this book was the portrayal of a blended family. Nora has a good relationship with both her mother and stepfather and her younger brother, Joshie is just adorable.
The only problem was that I found the lengths that Nora took to get close to the object of her affections to be a bit extreme. Also maybe it’s just weird but I found it a bit difficult to believe that after hearing that Nora lied, stole, helped other people cheat and used people just to get close to Adam; his only reaction is that he’s flattered. Though Nora is aware of her actions and she does face some consequences, for the most part things just end up working for her. But I supposed that’s usually what happens in these types of stories; the ending is predictable and everything is wrapped up neatly for the characters. Nevertheless, despite a predictable plotline I thought this was an enjoyable read with pretty amusing characters. I would recommend this book for 12 and up.
The opinions expressed in this review are my own; I did not receive any compensation in exchange for this review. I am currently accepting young adult fiction and adult fiction books that have a crossover appeal to young adults for review. If you have any questions or would like for me to review your book feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.