Jennifer Niven’s debut novel is poignant and magical. Seventeen-year-old Violet Markey was once an enthusiastic cheerleader, member of Student Council, and a passionate writer. Now, after the death of her older sister, she is depressed, withdrawn, and counting down the days until she can escape from Indiana. Theodore “Freak” Finch, on the ledge of the high school bell tower for reasons that become clear later, meets Violet as she is also peering over the ledge. After helping each other down, Violet and Finch become partners on a school project that encourages them to “explore their great state”.
A private school is opening in Horsemouth, N.H.: Kaboom Academy Middle School. The information meeting attracts the attention of the parents of every child in Horsemouth that has had difficulty in the public school, and they all sign their kids up. Kaboom Academy, under the direction of the mysterious Dr. Kaboom, is an unusual place with unusual teachers.
Annie, a 14-year-old girl, has just moved to the U.S. with her dad from London. Annie has a background in gymnastics, and plans on joining the cheerleading squad at school. However, she is introduced to the world of Roller Derby! Training for both cheerleading and roller derby quickly gets overwhelming. Deciding which sport to choose is even harder, especially when Tyler the soccer player hangs out with the cheerleaders and Jesse the skateboarder hangs out at the rink. Decisions, decisions . . .