Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Cheer!: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders Paperback – March 10, 2009
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
From Publishers Weekly
Torgovnick, who skipped all of her Durham, N.C., high school's mandatory pep rallies, decided at age 25 that cheerleaders are largely misunderstood and set about to illuminate the realities of the sport. Inspired by research she first did for a Jane article about the rise of cheerleading injuries, she set out to cover the 2006–2007 season, from the tryouts to the national championship, following three highly ranked teams: the Stephen F. Austin University Lumberjacks, in Nacogdoches, Tex.; the Southern University Jaguars, in Baton Rouge, La.; and the University of Memphis All-Girl Tigers. One commonality she finds among the majority of the young women is the myopic obsession with appearance and thinness, particularly for flyers, who are lifted and thrown. Cheerleaders, she writes, are not a carrot-stick kind of crowd although an entire chapter is devoted to one woman's story of how an addiction to cocaine to lose weight resulted in accolades from her coach and teammates. Torgovnick has clearly done her homework, though important characters and major narratives are lost within scores of inconsequential details. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Fans of Bring It On will find much to cheer about in Kate Torgovnick's meticulously reported account of the often-mocked but fascinating world of cheerleading." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Torgovnick has done an excellent job of reporting, bringing the reader into this world most of us would never see." -- USA Today
"A fist-pumping, Astroturf-banging tribute to the women and men who make up the in-world of competitive college cheerleading. It had me rooting from the edge of my seat for the final countdown of Nationals." -- NY Post
"An engaging, voyeuristic narrative that suggests college cheerleaders are as close to real-life superheroes as exist." -- Dallas Morning News
"One of the more successful pieces of narrative nonfiction this year, distinguished by Torgovnick's impeccable ear and canny, original choice of subject matter." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Kate Torgovnick's Cheer! is the Friday Night Lights of a new generation. Through her painstaking research, compassionate analysis, and uncanny eye for scenes, she offers us a window into the competitive subculture of college cheerleading the way Susan Orlean did for orchid hunters and Stefan Fatsis did for Scrabble players. Torgovnick is a journalist's journalist -- the kind of writer who gets the story and then has the good sense to get out of the way. We, the readers, can't help but revel in the world she's created, not only because it tells us something quintessential about America, but because it tells us something quintessential about ourselves." -- Courtney E. Martin, author of Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters
"Because Kate Torgovnick has captured every voice in this fascinating world verbatim, crack open the book to read just one sentence and you too will be instantly immersed in these characters' riveting ups and downs (pun intended)." -- Jane Pratt, founder of Jane and Sassy magazines
"An exuberant and empathic journey deep into one of America's least-explored and most iconic team sports -- and if you've never thought of cheerleading as a sport, accompanying [Torgovnick] on this ride through the physical challenges of a competitions season will certainly change your mind. Whether you tried out for the Pom squad yourself, or blew off every high school pep rally like Torgovnick did, this suspenseful tale of cheerleading's glorious and addictive highs, and dangerous and pressure-cooked lows, will give you an insight into an ever-growing national phenomenon." -- Lauren Sandler, Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There is also something sad about "Cheer" from the stories of Mary and Ashley who where doing cocaine and anorexic respectively because they weren't thin enough to be cheerleaders. Even the successful cheerleaders seem to speak of cheerleading as a sickness or addiction at some points like towards the end of one the sections on Memphis, I believe one of the girls passes a twelve year old in full cheerleading uniform and says something like "Sometimes, I just want to walk over to her and tell her to get out while she still can." This certainly isn't the picture of the smiling never ending ball of pep that I always had running through my head...
In some places throughout the book, I had trouble following the descriptions of the of the routines. I would have done better with the use of the technical terms of each move, rather than the verbose descriptions, as I didn't really have the patients to read the full descriptions. I'm not sure how they will translate to someone who is not familiar with the sport.
What is really exciting about this book is the accuracy. Many modern portrayals of cheerleading treat it as a joke. This book explains the sport, why it's difficult, how dangerous the sport really is and isn't. It is really refreshing in that aspect.
There is a word of caution: THIS BOOK COVERS MATURE CONTENT. There are references to the very ugly sides of college cheerleading like: drug use, and eating disorders. As a coach, I wish this book had taken a stronger stance against these practices. There are MANY college cheerleaders who do not take drugs, and who do not have eating restrictions. This is a very sensitive subject, and I would hate for young cheerleaders to aspire to this type of behavior because of heroes found in this book.
All in all, this was a good book, and I would recommend it.