Reviewed by Charlotte Lynn
Jenny asks her teenage daughter, Ella, to watch her toddler brother, Riley. Ella doesn’t want to, but her mom leaves anyway. This small every day event leads to their whole lives becoming filled with guilt, grief, and blame.
Ella becomes a “perfect” daughter, student, and cheerleader, who secretly cuts herself to numb the pain. Jenny becomes obsessed with getting pregnant again, ignoring the rest of her families pain. Ethan, the father and husband, tries the hardest just to keep his family together, to preserve what is left of his broken family.
The personal pain portrayed in Cheer:A Novel broke my heart. To see and follow this family after the loss of a child made me hug and appreciate what I have even more. Every character in this story was easy to relate to. The way their world changed after such a tragic event was so believable. I found myself praying that they family would somehow find their happy ending and pull back together.
Having a teenage daughter myself, I found myself pulled to Ella and comparing her to how I believe my daughter would be if this was my family. I found it sad that after such a tragic death no one thought to talk to her about it. No one told her that is wasn’t her fault and helped her deal with the grief and guilt.
But I could not quite blame the parents for this lapse. It seemed that no one in the family knew how to cop or help each other. They all went into their own worlds, interacting with each other as little as possible.
I was absolutely totally hooked by this book by the end of the first chapter. I read it in one day unable to put it down.
As of December 1, 2009, According to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), product reviewers on blogs must disclose whether they received products for free or received payment for their review.
I was asked to read Cheer: A Novel but the author, Leslie A Gordon. This is a very common practice. We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.