Sunday 28 March 2021

REVIEW: Cheer Up! Love & Pompoms

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Oni Press 
Genre: Contemporary, Graphic Novel
Release Date: August 10th 2021
TW: Transphobia 
Source: NetGalley
Buy the Book: Book Depository

Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.

This adorable graphic novel follows Annie, a high school student who needs to join a team in order to improve her college applications. When former friend, Bebe, takes a stand to get Annie on the cheerleading squad, the two of them find themselves bonding once again.

When I say this is the loveliest thing I’ve read in a while, I mean it. This story is just so nice and uplifting. With a trans main character, it does delve into the everyday transphobia that Bebe has to face, but it shows how good communication and an open mind can go a long way.

Annie and Bebe are complete opposites, which is exactly what I love when it comes to romance. Despite their differences, the two of them have such respect and compassion for each other. The two of them warmed my cold, dead heart.

We also get to see how the other members of the team learn to think about how they treat Bebe, and how their words, which they think are harmless, might actually hurt her. Their learning curve was another heart-warming aspect of this story.

  • Diverse characters. A love story between a lesbian and a bipoc trans girl. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY WHAT WE NEED MORE OF.  
  • Quick read. Whilst I would happily inject more of this into my eyeballs, it’s perfect for someone who’s looking for a short story they can delve into. It’s fast paced, but leaves you satisfied.
  • Supportive friendship groups. It was a joy to see the squad learn how to respect each other and celebrate their differences.

I devoured this in one night and I’ll definitely be purchasing a physical copy of this when it’s released because it’ll be perfect to reread whenever I need a little serotonin boost. The characters are loveable and the story is fun, whilst bringing up some important conversations. I’m so glad I had the chance to pick this up!  

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