Feature Image Credit: @the.skull.library
If you liked CHEER on Netflix, then you’ll want to read every one of these books. Whether it’s making the team or making new friends, the world of sports is full of drama, heartbreak, and hometown heroes. This stack of books has got it all, from competitive rivals to love/hate relationships.
The Falling Girls by Hayley Krischer
Jadis and Shade are the best of friends and do everything together. So when Shade decides to join the cheer team, Jadis is shocked and starts to worry about the fate of their friendship. However, Shade is blown away by the athleticism of the cheerleaders and even more so by the clique of Chloes on the squad. As Jadis starts to see Shade bonding with her new friends, she knows that her only choice is to try and branch out on her own, too. But when one of the cheerleaders dies unexpectedly under suspicious circumstances, Shade makes it a mission to solve the mystery, even if that means Jadis is behind it.
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
In 1989, the female-led Falcons were the true ice queens. In Danvers, Massachusetts, this hockey team is unstoppable and a force to be reckoned with. Although captain Abby Putnam is straight-laced and all business, she is the direct descendent of Ann Putnam, who was at the forefront of the Salem Witch Trials. Some say that the town’s spirits are responsible for taking the team to the next level, but co-captain Jen Fiorenza is out to prove that their ability to win has nothing to do with Salem superstitions. Truly a tale of girl power, these athletes take their team all the way to the state championship.
Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
Gigi, June, and Bette have one last chance to secure a spot at the famed American Ballet Company. With everything they’ve worked for on the line, they all know that this will be the most cutthroat competition of their career. Although June is finally starting to envision her dancing dreams coming true, she knows that this might end her relationship. Bette is working hard to rebuild her reputation after accusations of harming Gigi. But If Gigi has her way, neither will they take her coveted spot in the elite company. There’s only room at the top for one of them, and it’s a long fall to the bottom.
Cheer Up by Crystal Frasier
Annie is about to begin her senior year and needs extracurricular activities to balance out her college application. As a shy, book smart lesbian, the thought of joining the cheer squad seems out of her comfort zone, but she decides it’s an excellent way to make friends. When she realizes a Bebe, a trans girl, and past friend, is also on the cheer squad, she seeks solace in their commonalities. As the two grow closer, they find a renewed sense of friendship and overwhelming support in one another during these trying teenage times. They also discover that this relationship just might run deeper than friendship.
Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli
Audrey never thought she’d make the US gymnastics team after undergoing spinal surgery just one year ago. But now, she and her best friend Emma are ready to compete in the most important meet of their lives. Just when everything seems to be on track, Audrey learns of something terrible that has happened to one of her teammates, and she will do whatever it takes to rectify the situation. While navigating these choppy waters, things only get more complicated when her coach’s cute son Leo shows up to training. These games are quickly proving to be about much more than just about the sport.
A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong
Luna and Ren became fast friends through the love of basketball on a warm summer day. Unfortunately, Luna is forced to move back to Oahu, and they lose touch, even though Ren gave it a solid effort. Years later, Luna comes back to town, hoping to pick up where they left off. But Ren is not so sure; with juggling family, grades, and basketball, she’s not sure where Luna fits in. With them both on the basketball team, things prove to be even more challenging than they ever could have anticipated. Working together will either strengthen their bond or tear them apart for good.
Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Camila is living a double life; she is quiet and timid at home, but she is a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field. When her team gets the chance to play at the South American tournament, she knows this is her big break; however, she needs the blessing of her mom and dad to make the trip. On top of that, the only boy she’s ever loved is back in town, and she must force herself to put those feelings aside not to be distracted by the end goal. Her dreams of making it big all come down to her parents’ approval as she tries to show them that there is nothing more important than living out your dreams.
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Gymnastics is life for the Knox family. Just weeks before fifteen-year-old Devon is set to compete in an important meet, a tragic death devastates their tight-knight community. As this becomes the talk of the town, harmful rumors start to spread, putting Devon’s parents right at the center of the scandal. Everything that she’s ever known and worked for seems to be crashing down, and the Knox family tries desperately to do damage control. As more information comes to light, Devon and her parents face further scrutiny that only draws them closer to the crime and the secrets and lies beneath the surface.
Tumbling by Caela Carter
Everything is on the line for this group of five Olympic hopefuls as they face the two most important days of their lives at the trials. Four years ago, Wilhelmina’s dream of making the team slipped through her fingers, and she’s not going to let that happen again. Monica is scared to death, but all Camille wants is to quit the sport. Even though it seems like Grace has it in the bag, she’s her own worst critic, while her best friend Leigh is harboring a secret that could ruin everything. With so much to lose and potentially gain, these girls know that no matter what happens, their lives are about to change forever.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
In the small town of Palermo Heights, cheerleading is more than just a sideline show for a sports game. In fact, cheerleading is the sport. Beloved and adored by the community, these hometown sweethearts burst with school spirit. Since Hermione knows it’s her last season at PHHS, she wants to go out with a bang. But when someone spikes her drink during training camp, everything changes. As she starts to piece together what happened and why someone would do this to her, fuzzy details begin to bubble up to the surface that threatens to destroy everything she once knew and loved, including the sport.