The Revenge Playbook – Reviewed by Anya

revenge

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
Reviewed by Anya

CONS

I was a little confused by the order of events in the story. I understood that at the beginning of the story, the dares from the scavenger hunt were mixed up with past events, but I’m not so sure what happened after that. Which came first? At some point, the dares and the storyline meld together, but I flicked through the book again and couldn’t figure it out. Call me stupid, but I blame the fact that I currently have a fever.

Yikes. The characters in the novel are sophomores, right? Next year I’m a sophomore, and I can’t imagine going through what Ana had to during her freshman year. This also happened in The Truth About Twinkie Pie, which was my last review. The characters feel too young to be dealing with such terrible ordeals. Although, this probably does happen in high schools somewhere. The whole idea that this could happen to people so young made me sick to the stomach (and still does). I guess that’s sort of the point really.

I didn’t like how it was somehow okay for everyone to go to a strip club or a bar and get drunk and other dumb stuff. I mean, I guess it shows how the football players are an exclusion to everything, and how they get all the special privileges, but it was also plain disturbing. As a high-schooler myself, I can say that I’ve never met people like this in my life.

There were a few too many POV’s in the story, and it was a little hard to keep up with them. Usually, my maximum is two different people. Having to remember what everyone is doing at one time is kind of confusing and takes away from the story even.

PROS

One of the themes in the story is to not keep things bottled up. Ana did this, and she had to suffer alone. If she had just explained what had happened to Melanie Jane, maybe they wouldn’t have fought so much. This also reminds me of the book Speak, in which a similar situation was involved, and the main character was wrongly hated by all her old friends. And she wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened to her either! Moral: Just tell people when you have problems or else you may have even more problems on your hands! Trust me, I would know.

Melanie Jane is your stereotypical popular girl. But there’s more to her than dating tons of guys. We discover that she’s not as bad as Ana made her sound at first. Melanie Jane has her reasons for doing what she does, and at heart she’s a good person. I liked this because it shows that there’s always more than meets the eye. Everyone has a story behind them.

Another thing I liked was the romance between Trevor and Liz and Peyton and Rey and Melanie Jane and Michael. It was well thought-out. I think the thing that really makes love real in stories are the memories that the two people share. Fun memories, such as Liz and Trevor rolling down a grassy hill or Melanie Jane and Michael running through a maize maze or even Peyton and Rey working on geometry homework together (which isn’t that fun, but at least she understood the geometry after!). Which explains why I didn’t like Romeo and Juliet that much – their love didn’t feel real.

The ending was pretty awesome! And the fact that the girls made videos and posted them online was genius. And how Ana came out and told everyone what really happened was a huge step for her in the end. Oh, and how all the girls came clean and admitted it was, in fact, them who had stolen the dumb football of ’76, because they couldn’t let Ana take the blame on her own.

Another interesting theme in the story was to never judge a book by its cover (or just don’t judge at all). You can’t call a girl a slut because of the way she dresses – you don’t even know her! Unfortunately, despite everyone going around saying ‘Don’t judge me’, we do it anyway! It’s hard not to look at someone and make quick, clean judgements about them.

Oh, and the characters in the book were pretty relatable. I found I related best with Liv and Peyton – even though they’re both opposites.

Overall, I’d give this novel 4.5 stars. It was funny, but with a strong message. There were a couple of issues and things I didn’t like, but most of those are part of the story and they pull at our heartstrings all the same. A good read!