The Revenge Playbook
by Rachael Allen
Release Date: June 16th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Don’t get mad, get even! In this poignant and hilarious novel, Rachael Allen brilliantly explores the nuances of high school hierarchies, the traumas sustained on the path to finding true love, and the joy of discovering a friend where you least expect.
In the small town of Ranburne, high school football rules and the players are treated like kings. How they treat the girls they go to school with? That’s a completely different story. Liv, Peyton, Melanie Jane, and Ana each have their own reason for wanting to teach the team a lesson—but it’s only when circumstances bring them together that they come up with the plan to steal the one thing the boys hold sacred. All they have to do is beat them at their own game.
Brimming with sharp observations and pitch-perfect teen voices, fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Mlynowski are sure to fall head-over-heels for this sharp tale—by the author of 17 First Kisses—about the unexpected roads that can lead you to finding yourself.
Hello Rachael! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.
Thank you! I am super excited to be here!
Sure! It’s a book about four girls banding together to get revenge on the football team and beat them at their annual scavenger hunt. Along the way, the girls form an unshakeable, life-changing friendship and decide that they don’t just want revenge – they want to change their town.
Also, shenanigans. There’s lots of them.
- Peyton: I think of Peyton as a shy extrovert. She wants to make friends and do big things, but starting those initial awkward conversations with people scares the crap out of her. So, she’s shy and sweet, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t strong – she’s just her own quiet kind of strong, and she has an unwavering desire to do the right thing.
o Why she wants revenge: She really just wants to help her new friends and do what’s right (at first). But later she realizes some of the football players are getting special treatment in class and she can’t get the same treatment even though she’s supposed to because she has ADHD.
- Melanie Jane: She’s a pageant queen, a control freak, a deeply religious girl who is saving her virginity until marriage and who is feisty as hell about it. Actually, she’s feisty as hell about pretty much everything. She’s bold, and smart, and more than a little terrified of falling in love.
o Why she wants revenge: Her football-playing boyfriend just dumped her because she won’t have sex with him.
- Liv: Teeheehee. Oh, Liv. I cracked myself up writing her. She’s bubbly and outrageous and spontaneous and uninhibited. Here’s a quote from the book: “You know how people get when they’ve had a couple drinks and suddenly everything seems like a good idea? Well, that’s how it feels to be me ALL THE TIME.” She’s fond of tacklehugs, secret rendezvous, pretending to be a spy, and rolling down hills just because the grass feels nice.
o Why she wants revenge: Her football-playing boyfriend was just made to dump her by his teammates because they think she’s too slutty.
- Ana: At the start of this book, Ana is feeling very hurt and broken and has isolated herself. She’s strong and funny and is a member of all the best fandoms. She also feels like her voice has been taken away, and it’s killing her by degrees.
o Why she wants revenge: Someone on the team did something terrible to her. But even so, sometimes I think revenge isn’t what she wants so much as she wants to not feel alone and to find her voice.
I think what makes their friendship so special is that they’re all so different – different social circles, backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, life experiences, socioeconomic statuses. These girls begin as the unlikeliest of friends, but their cause unites them and they develop this unwaveringly supportive, life-changing friendship that allows them to take on anything together.
Peyton is the most similar to me in personality of any character in any book I’ve ever written (but I gave her different interests and life experiences). I’m actually really relieved about this because people would always wonder or assume I was like Claire from 17 First Kisses, and now I can say, “No, see, I’m like this one!”
And I could never, ever pick a favorite, although I will say I have a real life BFF who has a lot of Liv-like qualities (you know you are all jealous!).
This story is a bunch of ideas meshed together. The scavenger hunts my friends and I used to do in college. Articles I had been reading that made me want to write a book where girls are taking on boys (and the world). Football movies and show like Varsity Blues and Friday Night Ladies. Girls power movies like John Tucker Must Die, Pitch Perfect, and Thelma and Louise. It’s not like I set out to be like any one thing, but I think each small piece has it’s influence.
Hmm…I feel weird saying this one because it’s kind of a strange, sad line, but one line in the book that I feel like captures what it’s like to be a divorced kid is:
“They are perfect shapes pressed into dough, and we are the sad, broken pieces you tear away so you can make the pretty stars and gingerbread men.”
I really loved writing the David Bowie scene, the scene where the girls make the revenge plot over ice cream, and the scenes at the end that I can’t tell you about because I don’t want to be spoilery, but I have a feeling you’re going to know when you get to them :)
Brave by Sara Bareilles. I heard this song on the radio when I was just starting the book, but still knew what it would be about, and I was floored by how it was everything I felt about the girls in the book. I listened to it on repeat a ton, especially when I was writing the last few chapters.
Also, the video is pretty amazing:
Um, it would be completely and totally awesome!
For Melanie Jane, I’d pick Elizabeth Olsen. For Peyton, I’d pick Miriam McDonald circa Degrassi (please tell me you all watched Degrassi). For Liv, I’d pick Aly Michalka.
And for Ana, I’d pick Naya Rivera. (Side note: This photo of her is perfect because Ana would totally wear that hat and t-shirt and rock a ring pop!)
How to read this book:
Step 1) Coordinate with your BFF so she can read it at the same time.
Step 2) Listen to Brave by Sara Bareilles.
Step 3) Binge-read the book in one sitting.
Step 4) Meet your BFF for ice cream so you can talk about it together. (You’ll probably feel like giving her a hug.)
I always have a ton of ideas whirling around in my head, but the one I’ve worked on the most is about a boy with Tourette Syndrome who falls in love with the girl next door.
Thank you so much for everything, The Revenge Playbook!
Thank you for having me! You guys are the greatest!
Follow the The Revenge Playbook Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Rachael Allen lives in Atlanta, GA where she's working furiously on her PhD in neuroscience. When she's not doing science or writing YA, you can find her chasing after her toddler and her two sled dogs. Her debut YA novel 17 FIRST KISSES, is forthcoming from Harper Teen. Rachael may or may not have had 17 first kisses...luckily she doesn't kiss and tell.