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The Cheerleaders

A Dark and Twisty Thriller That Will Leave You Breathless

Kara Thomas



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29 December 2020
Sharp, brilliantly plotted, and totally engrossing' - Karen McManus, New York Times-bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident - two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night.

Then the murders happened - two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it.

Monica's sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they'd lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it's not that easy.

Her world is starting to unravel. After she discovers the letters in her stepdad's desk, unearths an ancient phone, and meets a strange new friend at school, Monica can't just move on.

Whatever happened five years ago isn't over. People know more than they're letting on and somehow, Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn't mean anyone else is safe.

Imprint:   Macmillan
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   274g
ISBN:   9781529053524
ISBN 10:   1529053528
Pages:   384
Publication Date:  
Recommended Age:   From 12 years
Audience:   Young adult ,  Children/juvenile ,  Preschool (0-5) ,  English as a second language
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:

Kara Thomas has written for everything from her high school newspaper to Warner Bros. Television. She is a true-crime addict who lives on Long Island with her husband and rescue cat. She is the author of The Darkest Corners, Little Monsters, and The Cheerleaders. To learn more about Kara and her books, visit her at or follow @karatwrites on Twitter and @karathomaswrites on Instagram.

Reviews for The Cheerleaders: A Dark and Twisty Thriller That Will Leave You Breathless

Praise for The Cheerleaders A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults A Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year Nominee Sharp, brilliantly plotted, and totally engrossing. Every time I thought I had it figured out, the story twisted again. Kara Thomas should teach a master class in suspense. --KAREN M. MCMANUS, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying A little bit Riverdale and a little bit Veronica Mars, The Cheerleaders is a twisty page-turner that will have you doubting every character you meet--and everything you think you know. --RILEY SAGER, bestselling author of Final Girls A crafty, dark, and disturbing story, but in Thomas's masterful book, the real crime is how dangerous it is to grow up female. The Cheerleaders is a riveting read.--KATHLEEN GLASGOW, New York Times bestselling author of Girl In Pieces At times eerie, exciting, and even frightening...this deliciously deceptive thriller and provocative drama is a must-have. --SLJ Keeping the audience guessing until the very end...[The Cheerleaders is a] satisfying, whodunnit with a solution as complicated as its premise. --Kirkus Reviews Thomas builds her novel around an appealingly gruesome case...beset by herrings, and it keeps the pace moving at a solid clip....A solid pick for mystery fans. --Booklist Praise for Little Monsters A Junior Library Guild Selection A disturbing portrait of how bad news and gossip can curdle when mixed An eerie and masterly psychological thriller...[that] culminates in a shocking and disturbing ending. Thomas expertly captures the pointed nuances and the fickle, manipulative bonds of adolescent girls' friendships.-SLJ Taut and suspenseful...this gritty page-turner will easily hook a broad range of readers-Booklist An intense psychological thriller that all but ensures the lights will be left on between dusk and dawn.-Publishers Weekly Gritty and realistic...this mystery will leave readers in awe.-VOYA A twisted story of obsession and manipulation, Little Monsters captivated me right up to its surprising conclusion--and left me wondering how well I really know my friends.-CHELSEA SEDOTI, author of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett A brilliant, well-written masterpiece, full of unreliable narrators, suspense, and plot twists that will leave you at the edge of your seat.-Inah P., The Bibliophile Confessions A twisted and evocative tale of teenage friendships, obsession, and family dynamics all wrapped up in a mystery that is as compelling as it is dark. -Liz, Liz Loves Books The ending left me staring slack-jawed.-Leah Lorenzo, Bumble Bee Books Little Monsters was absolutely amazing. It pulled me in and now that I am done with it, I am going to have such a major book hangover....Every time I thought I was close to having [the mystery] figured out, Kara Thomas would throw something at us and it would change EVERYTHING! -Stephanie Torina, Reading is Better With Cupackes Praise for The Darkest Corners An International Thriller Writers Award Finalist An ABC Best Book for Teens A Junior Library Guild Selection Gripping from start to finish, The Darkest Corners took me into an underbelly I didn't know existed, with twists that left me shocked and racing forward to get to the end.-VICTORIA AVEYARD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen A tight, twisted thriller, full of deft reversals and disturbing revelations--deeply, compulsively satisfying! -BRENNA YOVANOFF, New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement As dark as Gillian Flynn and as compulsive as Serial...Kara Thomas's mystery debut is intricate, chilling, and deeply compelling. Unforgettable! --LAURA SALTERS, author of Run Away You'll be up all night tearing through the pages, gasping through the twists and turns.-Bustle [It] will have you questioning the lies young girls tell, and the ripple effects they can Thomas carefully crafts the suspense, leaving present-tense narrator Tessa--and readers--to doubt even those she loves the most...An unsettling story of loss, lies, and violence lurking in the shadows of a small town. --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review On the heels of Making a Murderer and The Jinx comes a psychological thriller strongly rooted in the true-crime tradition...Expertly plotted with plenty of twists and turns--never mind a truly shocking conclusion--this gritty thriller is sure to find a wide audience among teens and adults alike. Equally concerned with a quest for the truth and the powerful motivation of guilt, this compelling novel won't linger on the shelf. --Booklist, Starred review Thomas keeps it real with a jaded heroine from the have-nots societal segment who holds onto her humanity, and a frank illustration of failure in the justice system. Hand this one to older teens who love dark mysteries or fans of Netflix's Making a Murderer.--Shelf Awareness, Starred review Clearly drawn...[and] alive until the twisty end.--Bulletin Strong character development and thrilling reveals...this novel is a sure bet.--SLJ

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