This is a wonderfully cute look at Middle School and the ever chased after desire (then and in adulthood to an extent) to obtain one thing....POPULARITY. I can hear the song from Wicked playing now in the back of my mind...popular...you're gonna be POP-U-LAR....thanks Kristen Chenoweth for the lovely rendition. (Are you all singing it now too? LOL.) Elaine has a great plan though, to become a CHEERLEADER! Raw raw sis boom bah...and all that jazz. (Sorry, I wasn't a cheerleader in any grade, though I did go out for the spirit team and attended a time or two. I was more of a bookworm...go figure right? Who'd have thought?)
That's right! She dreams of being a pom pom toting member of the Cross Creek Middle School Buccaneers cheer team...of course it helps that a certain cute boy she has been crushing on forever (*cough* Todd *cough*) is on the basketball team they cheer for. But wait, what's this? The middle school cheer team is a blended mix of mean girls disguised (though thinly) as nice girls....and worse yet, they don't get poms poms? What's a girl to do when something you wanted so badly is turning out to be not quite what you expected.... Elaine has some hard lessons to learn about life (gotta focus on school), love (cute boy does not always equal nice boy), and cheer leading (it's not all cupcakes and confetti)....but with good friends, a caring family, and a Grandmother not afraid to give others a much needed lesson in deportment, I think she might just have it covered.
Anyway....I ran off track there a bit, sorry! The story is written as journal entries since Elaine just happened to receive a journal for her eleventh birthday. Every passing thought, wish, dream, heartache and more end up within it's pages and you the reader have special access to that most secret information. Treat it kindly! From her deep seated love of comics to the best friends she stands the chance of losing, from tasty rice crispy treats to an unexpected admirer....you get the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens that comes along with the territory at this age. Remember the struggle of wanting to fit in so badly that you just might lose yourself? How about those times you wish you had said one thing instead of another? These situations and more are experienced here. Elaine's choices and lack thereof will make you smile, make you grimace, make you scream, but they are always made with the innocence of youth and as such you can't help but feel for her in the end.....a special touch of life given to the characters by the author.
Bound galley for review courtesy of author Adrianne Ambrose and Bellbridge Books. (THANKS!) For more information on the author's current work as well as her rather interesting bio, visit her website, or blog. To see this and other titles available from the publisher, check out their website or follow along on Twitter.
So let's see....cheerleaders and cheer leading. A lot of tumbling, dancing, spirit fingers, and the like. BUT, there is also a LOT of creativity in not only the choreography, but the cheers themselves. Let's put your creativity to the test. I challenge you to come up with a little cheer all of your own....subject of your choosing. The comments are open....let's see what you've got!