Review: “The Revenge Playbook” by Rachael Allen

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael AllenA review by Danielle.

Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana are four girls who have nothing in common except for one thing… revenge. Each girl is personally affected by the football team’s antics that go wholly overlooked and are explained away by the faculty and adults in their small Southern town of Ranburne. The girls band together to finally put a stop to the special treatment the football team receives. As the annual scavenger hunt for the varsity football team commences, the girls come up with a plan to finally knock them down a peg. Hopefully this will get people to wake up and realize that allowing the boys to get away with whatever they want, just because they are star high school athletes, is setting a dangerous precedent. The girls race against time, attempting to do something that has never been done before in the history of their town – beat the football team at the scavenger hunt without the boys catching on that they even have competition, let alone that the competition is a group of girls. Slowly, the truth behind each girl’s reason for wanting to get revenge is revealed, and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

The Revenge Playbook seemed like a typical John Tucker Must Die type of high school story and in so many aspects it is just that. However, I was impressed at the statements that Rachael Allen managed to make with this story. She gets the reader to think about the serious moral issues that our society currently faces, and we, in fact, see in the news often, like college football stars being protected by the universities during a rape scandal; the prevalent but rarely talked about hazing traditions that are both dangerous and psychologically damaging; and the immense pressure on teenagers these days to be perfect and excel at all costs. Rachael Allen expertly weaved these thought-provoking scenarios into a story that, at times, comes off as trivial and a little young for my taste but is spot on for young adults and preteens. After all of the build up, I felt the storyline was a bit anticlimactic, but that is also unsurprising given the characters’ personalities. The act of challenging the hierarchy, of woman, teenagers no less, going against the big, strong men and stars of a beloved pastime in the Deep South is as bold as this story gets (not including the vile transgressions the boys themselves commit). Overall The Revenge Playbook greatly exceeded my expectations, based solely off the book’s overview.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

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