Synopses & Reviews
"I dare you not to love this book. You lucky reader."---Tom Franklin, New York Times
bestselling author ofCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter
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.
"Edgar Award-winner Abbott dives into a gut-churning tale of revenge, power, desire, and friendship in the insular world of high school cheerleading, in her latest (after The End of Everything). Addy Hanlon, 16, has always been second lieutenant, 'fidus Achates,' to her best friend Beth, who's pep squad captain. But when a new coach flippantly removes Beth from power and takes Abby as her confidante, Beth turns vengeful. The new coach transforms the squad, changing it from a costumed clique to a competitive team and earning the cheerleaders' adulation, but the squad's development has a darker side: eating disorders, rivalries, cruelty, and the blurring of lines between student and adult. The coach has a darker side, too, and Abby is drawn into her secrets, including a troubled marriage. A shocking turn sends everyone spiraling wildly and traps Abby in the middle. Abbott's writing in her sixth novel is deliciously slick and dark, matching her characters' threatening circumstances, and the plot is tight and intense, building a world in which even the perky flip of a cheerleader's skirt holds menace. 'There's something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls,' one character says. Indeed. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The high school cheerleading squad has a new coach: Colette French, perfect in every way, a cool and commanding presence who instantly wins the girls' approval and allegiance. The girls find themselves drawn into Coach's life, opening up to her and eagerly vying for her attention.
But when a suspicious suicide hits close to home, and the police investigation involves Coach and her squad, the girls are left wondering where their loyalties truly lie - and how far is too far to go for those in power.
When it's all over, someone will emerge on top, and the others will have fallen. Megan Abbott brings all of the raw passions of girlhood to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of what it means to be a leader, and what it means to truly fly.
About the Author
Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of five previous novels. She received her Ph.D. in literature from New York University and has taught literature, writing, and film at NYU, the New School, and SUNY-Oswego. She lives in New York City.