The Revenge Playbook
THE REVENGE PLAYBOOK is chock-full of girl power, which a guarantee to me that I'll adore it. I loved seeing Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana not only become close friends, but become the kind of friends who support each other through any hardships. All four girls are very different, but their friendship feels natural.
I appreciated the way the book approached some tough issues: slut shaming, bullying, assault, double standards, and toxic sports culture. The author handled these issues in a realistic way without being heavy-handed or flippant. The girls face a lot of obstacles, and I loved how not only did they support each other, but they also actively spoke out about how it was not okay how every girl in the school was being treated.
What Left Me Wanting More:
I almost wanted the revenge to be bigger or more intense. At times, it felt like a naive prank, one that wouldn't really have any lasting effect on the intended targets. That said, I did feel it was a realistic prank, like something a group of teenagers would think of and be able to pull off. So on that front, I felt the girls' revenge was very realistic.
The Final Verdict:
THE REVENGE PLAYBOOK is a fun, empowering book about female friendship and standing up for yourself.
(1) There are no words to describe how much I LOVE this book.
(2) I don’t think that it would be appropriate to write a review using only GIFs.
One small town in Tennessee where high school football is sacred ?? A rag tag group of girls who join forces to stand up for what is right ?? A book about how awesome girls can be when united ?? Is it cliche? NO
When you read the synopsis of The Revenge Playbook the first thing that come to mind is “Haven’t I read something like this before?” No, you have not. I will concede to the fact that there are many other Young – Adult books out there with the same premise. None of them even compare to The Revenge Playbook.
Have you ever read a book that you can’t even put into words how much you loved it? Yeah well it happening to me right now. The Revenge Playbook is an empowering story about a group of girls who are going to steal the football of ’76 to show the football team that they are worth to be treated with respect.
Now the plot was very well written and entertaining. However I just didn’t think that was a very original plot line. I’m not saying that I don’t like the book. Its just not what made me fall in love with the it. It’s the characters in this book that make this stand out and really memorable in my opinion. The story is told by the four main characters Melanie Jane, Liv, Ana, Peyton. The point of view in the story alternates between the four. Which is something that I really liked because I got to know the characters and personalities better. They are all very different which makes it so much easier to relate to at least one character; one is a cheerleader who’s into beauty pageants, another is a nerd who cosplays Game of Thrones episodes and two are on the dance team. I liked that none of the characters were stereotypical of any high school role and that they were all very well written. I have never loved every main character in a book until I’ve read The Revenge Playbook except for the few that were jerks a.k.a Chad McCalister ( even his name sounds like a jerk). Their decision to steal the football was initially fueled by the hurt and anger that two of the girls felt after they were dumped by football players. Now I’m not going to to into the reason why everyone decides to participate in the prank that they’re pulling because one of them is only revealed later in the book and I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I will say that this book touches upon some sensitive topics such as bullying, verbal abuse, divorce, assault, and many more horrible things that unfortunately happen to many people wether it be a boy or a girl. I liked the way that the author approached certain subjects, she never deflected from the gravity of a situation but also never made the story depressing. Rather it makes you start to think about how you treat others and how your action really affect them. Although i have to say that my favorite part of the book was The List. I know that it was really mean but, when I read it I couldn’t stop laughing. My only complaint is at times it would be difficult to figure out who’s who and it would become very confusing. It was never a main character but sometimes with the football players a name would be mentioned and I would have no clue to who it was. Although I was sick when I read this so that might of had something to do with it. Overall this is a book that makes you laugh, and teaches you about the importance of friendships.
The Revenge Playbook was that type of a book for me…and so much more. While obtaining revenge was what the book was based on, there were so many other things that the book spoke about. Bullying, for one. Learning to be comfortable with your virginity (or lack thereof) but also learning to respect other people’s choices in the same. Shaming girls for their choice in something as stupid as clothing. But for me, the message that made the deepest impact was the coming together of four completely different girls for one common goal and forming an unexpected friendship beyond belief as a result.
The synopsis states clearly that the football team of Ranburne are kings and get away with just about anything…but that does not even begin to scratch the surface of what I read in the book. There were times in the book where I was pretty sure that the stupid jocks in the book were naive, they didn’t know what they were doing, but it quickly became clear to me that that was not the case. The boys went on bullying girls and other boys alike, shaming girls and calling them names publicly, harassing students while class was in session, and more. And all of this, every single incident was deliberately done to break someone down. What was even more bizarre was the the non-reaction of the teachers and staff at the school. The girls kept being blamed for the misdeeds of the boys and none of the adults seemed to give a crap when this clearly was happening under their noses. It was outrageous to read and there are no excuses for this type of behaviour.
Rape culture. This is what the book was about. The she-asked-for-it stigma and the boys-will-be-boys excuse. That is what this book was based on. But more importantly, it was about the overthrowing of this cheap and sadly, rampantly prevalent way of thinking.
Which brings me to the characters of the book itself. The Revenge Playbook book is narrated by four girls—Ana, Peyton, Melanie Jane and Olivia—as they narrate their reasons for wanting revenge from the wretched football team of their high school. I loved reading their individual voices—so well written and each of their characters represented something that I’ve been seeing a lot around the bookish world lately: Diversity of Personality. None of these girls fit into a stereotype: they weren’t all overly shy or diva-ish or nerdy or outgoing. Instead, each of them had a mix of some these attributes, thereby bringing the appropriate amount of personality diversity into the book.
The Revenge Playbook is also one more thing: A mere glimpse of what girls can do when they band together and put their minds to something. Too often it is said that a woman is a woman’s greatest enemy, and true as it might be, a completely different side of this has been illustrated in this book. This book wasn’t just four girls coming together and fighting against the football team and rebelling against the stupid way their school seemed to run, though it was definitely that. No, to me, this book was about standing for what you know and understand are your rights. Your right to live in dignity. Your right to be respected simply because you are as much a human being as the next person. Your right to be able to express what you feel, without fear of recrimination from an ignorant authority figure.
It seems almost impossible that an author past the point of teenage could capture a teen voice as perfectly as Rachael Allen did. And, contrary to my review, this book isn’t only made up of the heavy…it shows all the little joys of being from a small town too! It made me smile on multiple occasions and each character had her own way of doing it. Each girl brought something new to the book, and that would have been impossible if not for the flawless writing that comes from its author. And to believe that this is only her second book!
This book, as you may have read, has a huge message to give. Yes, the girls were flawed and occasionally, obtuse. Yes, I know that high school math consists of more than the learning the difference between rays and segments and I do believe that may have been poor research. Yes, this book doesn’t have too many moments of romance. And yet, I chose to set all of this aside, because I don’t believe that this was the point of the book. Ultimately, what was important to me was that the book made me think and feel and rage. And as a reader, that’s all I can ask for from mere words on a page.
I WAS PROVIDED A FREE EARC OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE OF AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DID NOT IN ANY WAY, HOWEVER, INFLUENCE THE CONTENT OF THIS REVIEW.