Two years after toddler Riley died, his parents Jen and Ethan, and his teenage sister Ella are still drowning in grief Separately Cheer is told from the first person POVs of Ella and Jen, and the third person POV of Ethan While Ella s voice is slightly teenage like, there was virtually no difference or distinct voice from the POVs From the beginning of the story, the first thing I noticed was an excessive amount of telling, rather than showing of the story Ella s chapters were the most in depth and well written, as the self destructive Cheerleader isolates herself trying to be the perfect daughter to alleviate the guilt she feels over Riley s death Rooting for Ella is easy Jen s sections were much less relatable, as she desperately wants to conceive thru IVF, while distancing herself from her husband and daughter She only talks to her best friend, writes useless details about the homes she sells, avoids her husband and contemplates regrets over an affair Ethan was also relatable and easy to root for, but boring as boring could be.
Cheer doesn t have much of a plot three family members grieving apart, we slowly learn the reasons for the accidental death Yawn For the first half of the book, I kept waiting for something to happen, before resigning myself to the fact that the book would probably end with a predictable kumbaya coming together of the family I m not saying that was the case, just that was my thought.
I had expected from so many positive reviews on , but upon further inspection many of those reviews were written by friends colleagues from the publishing business I loved the premise of the story, but was disappointed in the writing, lack of plot development, and except for Ella, lack of character depth.
There is a time for everything and I believe it was time for me to read this book amazing how that happens sometimes.
When I first started reading this book, I thought it would focus on the world of Cheerleading and the daughter, but it is a book that is not really about that at all I was pleasantly surprised at this novel, and had a hard time putting it down.
The story of the Dahl family is written from three perspectives, the daughter s Ella , the mom Jenny , and the dad Ethan It starts off with you knowing something tragic has happened to fracture the family, and they are all looking for different ways to assuage their guilt about it At points the book is depressing But at other times, it is uplifting Ella has her best friend, who she can t really talk to about everything Ella is just trying to be the perfect child and not cause any trouble in her family But in doing so, she is losing herself.
Ethan is doing something he loves as a job But finds himself flying to keep away from his family than be with them He listens to self help books on tape, but still cannot find a way to heal his fractured family He goes along with what his wife wants, even though he is not sure if he really wants the same thing.
Jenny feels the most guilt, and is probably the most unlikable character throughout the whole book, and blames herself for everything She knows her family is falling apart, but she thinks she has the perfect solution But the solution is not coming easily By the end of the story, I felt myself feeling sorry for her I still don t think what she did was right or what she is doing will solve all their problems, but everyone has their own way of coping.
It s not until Ella does something so thoughtfully stupid, that the family starts to come together and begin the long healing process Ella believes that she can fix her family by doing what her mom is having problems doing.
Overall, this is an excellent book I would recommend it.
This book is amazingly well written, with a great plot, well drawn characters, and gorgeous prose.
Each chapter follows one of the members of the Dahl family, which is still trying to recover from a tragedy that happened two years before First person POV for the women, third for the man.
Each one of them Ethan, the father, Jenny, the mother, and Ella, the teenager daughter is trying desperately to find a way to cope with the grief Unfortunately, they are all trying it alone, and the family is, like Ethan states in a chapter, looking like a bunch of roommates than people united by love and blood.
A tragedy like the one they faced is known to destroy families, and the mother is so consumed by grief and guilt she fails miserably to see what s happening with little Ella It s heartbreaking to read about this young girl ordeal, what she finds to be an answer to her problems The father is both weak and strong You ll love and despise them you ll Cheer by their happiness you ll read fast to finish it and then you ll feel a little orphan, missing them.
Having the twisted mind I have, I have to confess I knew what she was going to do but I don t think many normal people would guess It s a compelling and inspiring story and also a good mystery.
There s a beautiful Brazilian song that says, in Portuguese, something like Certain songs I listen to fit so well inside of me that I have got to ask How I m not the one who wrote it Well, this is one book that I d love to have written D Excellent job, Leslie A Gordon Milton Nascimento Certas Can es
Jenny asks her teenage daughter, Ella, to watch her toddler brother, Riley Ella doesn t want to, but her mom leaves anyway This small every day event leads to their whole lives becoming filled with guilt, grief, and blame Ella becomes a perfect daughter, student, and Cheerleader, who secretly cuts herself to numb the pain Jenny becomes obsessed with getting pregnant again, ignoring the rest of her families pain Ethan, the father and husband, tries the hardest just to keep his family together, to preserve what is left of his broken family.
The personal pain portrayed in Cheer A Novel broke my heart To see and follow this family after the loss of a child made me hug and appreciate what I have even Every character in this story was easy to relate to The way their world changed after such a tragic event was so believable I found myself praying that they family would somehow find their happy ending and pull back together.
Having a teenage daughter myself, I found myself pulled to Ella and comparing her to how I believe my daughter would be if this was my family I found it sad that after such a tragic death no one thought to talk to her about it No one told her that is wasn t her fault and helped her deal with the grief and guilt.
But I could not quite blame the parents for this lapse It seemed that no one in the family knew how to cop or help each other They all went into their own worlds, interacting with each other as little as possible.
I was absolutely totally hooked by this book by the end of the first chapter I read it in one day unable to put it down.
First let me say that this is not the kind of book i normally read I normally hate anything where a child dies, especially a little boy That being said, I really liked this book It s very well written, and the different points of view added greatly to the story I felt deeply each character s pain and guilt and empathised with all three of them, especially the mother I understand the paralyzing affect that guilt can have on someone, even if it s not merited I felt most sorry for the daughter Her feelings of guilt broke my heart A very good book I would definitely recommend this one I thoroughly enjoyed this book Cheer is the emotionally charged story about a family s journey through grief, guilt, and forgiveness as they struggle to adjust following the death of their young son The book is well written and engaged me from the beginning quote Gordon s characters are well developed, realistic and very easy to relate to Although the subject is sad and the characters are flawed and deal with some major issues, but the book definitely left me with a sense of hope I have already recommended the book to several friends and am looking forward to the author s next book.
What Happens When A Family Suffers A Tragedy And Everyone Blames Themselves The Dahl Family Is Reeling From The Shocking Loss Of Their Toddler Riley His Mother Jenny Channels Her Grief And Secret Guilt Into An Obsession With Getting Pregnant His Teenaged Sister Ella, A Competitive High School Cheerleader, Seeks To Atone By Being The Perfect Adolescent For Her Parents, Numbing Her Pain In Secret Riley S Dad Ethan, A Pilot, Is On A Singular Mission To Preserve What S Left Of His Family To Little SuccessEverything Changes, Though, When Ella Makes A Shocking Decision