The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance
(Simon Pulse, Paperback, May 2009)
Bethany is content to live her high school live in geekdom. She stays away from "The Guantlet" where the popular crowd hang out and instead spends her time with the NHS crowd. Then Bethany's best friend decides that they need to try out for cheerleading. Bethany thinks it's all a lark until she and Moni actually make the team. Now Bethany is trying to protect her best friend from the school's biggest player and survive the stares and whispers from the popular crowd.
Normally, this book and I would never have found one another, but it's been sitting on my shelf and the GEEK in the title was just begging me to read it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about a geeky girl who is thrust into the popular crowd, mostly unwillingly. Bethany will do pretty much anything her best friend Moni wants her to do. Not that Bethany is weak, she just understands that friends have to stick together. Each chapter of the book starts with a snippet from the Prairie Stone High Varsity Cheerleading Guide, offering advice on team spirit, sportsmanship, and school pride. I usually find this sort of thing a little gimmicky but, in the case of this book, it was fun. Each exerpt added to the story and flowed well with the chapters' events. Additionally, the minor characters added a lot of flavor and suspense to the story. There's Todd, the ultimate geek who claims that Bethany is his muse and is determined to use her newfound popularity as his route to Student Body President. Moni is priceless. She's got the cutest, geek guy totally in love with her but she's swept off her feet by Prairie Stone High's biggest player. And then there's Jack. Jack is one of the best athletes at Prairie Stone High and Bethany finds herself drawn to his strong, silent character. All in all, this book does a great job of breaking down stereotypes and social groups. In the end, you'll find yourself asking, what's not to like about a geek girl cheerleader?