When boys on the football team start dumping their girlfriends, the girls team up to get revenge.
Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana want to steal the revered Football of ’76, touched ritualistically by every Ranburne Panther every gameday. The girls aren’t friends, but each has a grievance against the team. Liv’s boyfriend insists he still loves her but says the team will prevent him from getting a crucial scholarship if he doesn’t accede to their wishes. Melanie Jane, a confident beauty pageant contestant, can’t believe her boyfriend dumped her, and it turns out he was forced into it as well. Worse, the entire town allows the team members, and the team captain in particular, to get away with any sort of mischief or even abuse while punishing others for the same deeds. The girls plot to win access to the football, key to their revenge. In the meantime they spy on the boys, even secretly videotaping the team’s secret initiation ceremony. Allen sets the action in a small town near Nashville and deliberately explores how the girls survive and thrive in the male-dominated society. While the initial setup feels comic, the book takes a hard look at real difficulties. Written in chapters featuring each of the girls, their different personalities add a nice level of complexity to the story.
A deceptively light look at the dark side of football culture. (Fiction. 12-18)