Book Review: The Revenge Playbook
ashley | Why I keep revisiting high school through young adult books, I have no idea, but I read a few reviews that made The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen sound like it stood out among your typical YA mean-girl book, so I definitely wanted to see for myself if it really could avoid becoming a preachy and shameful high school stereotype.
What I love the most in movies and books, even though I think it’s so unrealistic, is how people from very different backgrounds, cliques and sides of the track band together for the greater good. It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside when characters defy the social hierarchy and cause an uproar. Melanie, Peyton, Ana and Liv are not friends. They’re not from the same social groups or the same table in the cafeteria. But they’re brought together by one similar motive: revenge.
While they are very different people, I couldn’t help but mix the four girls up throughout the story. I confused which boy was the one causing them heartache, I couldn’t tell which voice belonged to which girl; they were actually all pretty indistinguishable and really didn’t stand out from each other much. When you’re telling a story from four different points of view, I really think there needs to be a more defined divide between the characters.
There are a lot of things about this book that are kind of cliché and a bit fluffy. It’s pretty predictable and not really original and there are a few inconsistencies in the story, but there are also a lot of really good conversations that try and break down the walls of the stereotypes and pressures and labels that are applied to everyone in high school. Slut shaming is analyzed. Being a prude is addressed. The romance aspect doesn’t dominate the book. People finally stand up against the football team in a football town. Basically a lot of the things I would like to tell my hypothetical daughter as she enters this stage of her life is put in this book in one form or another (especially towards the end) and for that, I applaud it! I will celebrate this!
You can write a book like this five times over and say the same things and it will never be enough. These are important messages that need to be driven home and it makes me so happy to see them so clearly laid across these pages. If people are responding and connecting and understanding these messages, then who cares about anything else.