ARC Review: The Revenge Playbook

The Revenge Playbook
The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That’s a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it’s only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.

The Revenge Playbook – it’s cute, light, but also poignant and representative of our times. Set in a small town near Nashville, the story is about how four girls unite in a cause against the guys of their town, who let them down. Melanie Jane is dumped by the boyfriend because she wants to stay a virgin, Liv is considered a slut by the school population, as well as Ana, and Peyton is sick of the footballers getting special attention even though they don’t deserve it. While all the girls are typical teenagers, Melanie Jane is perhaps the most girlish (in the sense that she has a little internalized misogyny) which makes her doing those dares all the more awesome. Liv is anyway enthusiastic for every plan they concoct, and I felt she didn’t contribute much to the storyline besides being their mascot and encouraging Peyton. She and Trevor – yawn! Peyton was – hmmmm, too naive, I guess? But she did grow a spine by the end, so kudos to her. Ana probably had the best storyline as a character because she is the most invested in taking those boys down – she is
bitter, and alone and you can’t blame her for it. Her conversation with the school counselor had me outraged!

Through each of the girls and their experiences, the author highlights the injustice girls, especially young ones, face everyday. Dressing as a reflection of your character, sexual assault, everyday harassment, slut-shaming, prude-shaming, objectification – things like this are almost daily occurrences for women and society doesn’t even think it is wrong because misogyny is so ingrained – that is perhaps what the author tried to show with this book, but in a non-preachy way, of course. Even at the end, it is evident that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but small changes lead to big differences one by one. I loved how the girls were smart enough to not let the guys walk all over them, even when they loved them. A good book, with lots of entertainment, but also a beautiful story.

Received a free galley from HarperTeen via Edelweiss; this does not influence my opinions or review.

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