This book is so brilliant.
It battles slut shaming:
“I’m energetic. And impulsive. And passionate. But just because I’m all those things doesn’t mean I give my body away like free samples at the perfume counter.”
“Even if she did, who cares? It’s not like that would make her bad or stupid or any different from half the guys on the football team.”
Rape culture, preferential treatment to sports players, and most of all, this book builds strong female relationships and empowers women.
This book starts off very fun and even a bit “juvenile”, with the challenges the girls are completing to beat and embarrass the guys on the football team.
“You will complete the following 14 dares- one for every game the Panther football team won last year. […] Should you fail to retrieve the football before 3:00 a.m., you will be walking onto the field naked at Homecoming. Good luck.”
But soon quickly delves deeper into the girls’ lives, their pasts, and how they were treated by the both the football team, and the school who glorified those jerks.
Every girl has a distinct personality, and genuine reason to rebel against the school’s preferential treatment. I think every girl was brilliantly characterized. I loved their voices individually, and their friendship was so wonderful and genuine.
There’s also time for romance, and it was so ADORABLE!!! The love interests are complete gentlemen, which is what these girls deserve after being treated so badly.
This book evoked so many emotions from me. From blind anger at the extreme sexism the school presented, to bouts of giggling with each ridiculous task the girls completed, there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t entertained.
The writing alternates between past and present POVs between all four girls. Both timelines seamlessly converge and flow together. It was really engaging writing. When you wanted to know more about what happened in the past, you were snapped back to the present where the girls where completing the dares, and vice versa.
If there was one thing I kind of wish I had seen more, was the long-term effects of the girls’ stand against the football players. But this is just a personal preference, not a fault in the book.
Overall, I really really enjoyed this book. It was a short read, but incredibly powerful, utterly hilarious, and definitely one you should read if you like “girl power” type books.