Here is my review for one of the Sunday Street Team‘s books for the month of June: The Revenge Playbook!
You can enter to win The Revenge Playbook by clicking this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
Release date: June 16, 2015
In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.
Don’t get mad, get even!
In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That’s a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it’s only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.
Brimming with sharp observations and pitch-perfect teen voices, fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Mlynowski are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp tale—by the author of 17 First Kisses—about the unexpected roads that can lead you to finding yourself.
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned various times on my blog before, I’m not really a fan of contemporary novels. However, I tried to put aside my dislike of contemporary fiction in order to be able to write a fair review for this book. This novel tells the story of four high school girls living in a small Southern town where high school drama is just about the most important thing in the planet. The football team is the town’s pride and joy, and so they get to do whatever they want and treat people however they want without facing any consequences. Every year, the varsity football team does the Ranburne Panther Scavenger Hunt, a crazy scavenger hunt that involves condom water-balloons and peeing on giant rocks and hugging bikers (don’t ask me to explain because I don’t know that I’d be able to). To get revenge on them, the four girls (Liv, Ana, Melanie Jane and Peyton) attempt to beat the boys at their own game.
First of all, I’d like to talk about the characters. In my opinion, the characters were pretty forgettable. Putting Ana aside because she is Portuguese, there isn’t really anything that sets the three other girls apart from one another. They’re all white girls going through some kind of boy trouble. Their voices as narrators are fairly similar; so similar, in fact, that I had trouble remembering which character was which. “Is this the girl that was slut shamed, or is this the girl that is missing the tip of her pinky?” was a question that actually ran through my head at one point. Aside from that, I liked their dynamic as a group. They had a crazy adventure, and they supported each other throughout it all. I found Ana to be the most likable out of the entire group because she was different: she hung out with “nerds” and reenacted Game of Thrones scenes and dressed differently than the other girls. Also, her motivation for getting back at the team is the most heartbreaking and real. Of all the issues covered in this novel, I think the one that Ana faces is the most important.
As for the setting, it comes with all the wonderful “perks” of living in a small town in the South: there’s homophobia, there’s a little bit anti-semitism, there’re attempts to cover up an attempted rape in order to preserve the image of the football team. About that last one, if I had read The Revenge Playbook a year or two ago, I probably would have thought that the amount of power the football team has in this book is unrealistic. Now, having read stories like the Steubenville High School rape, I know now that this is actually real. That there are places where schools look the other way to protect their athletes. And I applaud Rachael Allen for deciding to talk about this heavy subject in her book.
This book was a fairly light read, despite the heaviness of the topics it covered. There are several moments where the girls’ shenanigans will make you laugh out loud. Their determination to take action against the injustice they see is admirable. If you’re looking for a quick read with some “girl power”, a little bit of romance, and some hilarious antics in it, then The Revenge Playbook is for you.
About the Author:
Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, two children, and two sled dogs. In addition to being a YA writer, she’s also a mad scientist, a rabid Falcons fan, an expert dare list maker, and a hugger. Rachael is the author of 17 FIRST KISSES.