Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms (Paperback)
2021 New York Public Library Best Books for Teens
A sweet, queer teen romance perfect for fans of Heartstopper and Check, Please!
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 Bebe 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.
Val Wise is a cartoonist originally from Clearwater Beach, Florida. He's contributed to a handful of anthologies, including Dates! and Wayward Kindred, as well as projects like Rolled & Told. He currently lives in the Southern U.S. with his husband, two best friends, and two talkative cats named Biscotti and Ciabatta.
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"Sweet without being saccharine, this short work is a wise, funny look at the distance between queer rights and real acceptance."
— Publishers Weekly
"Showing that everyone has more to learn, and that embracing others is often the best way to do it, Cheer Up is a wonderful graphic novel."
— Foreword Reviews
"Readers will root for these girls as they navigate the waters of self-confidence, love, and cheerleading."
— Sarah Rice
"In the vein of Ngozi Ukazu’s Check, Please! or C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad’s Fence, this peppy yet angsty graphic novel irresistibly reclaims sports for queer and trans audiences. Recommended for all teen collections."
— School Library Journal
"Cheer Up! is joyful and insistent in its portrayal of queer teens like Annie and Bebe as worthy of love and respect, imperfections and all."
— Alanna Felton
"Wholesome and heartwarming."
— Kirkus Reviews