Source: From the Author in the exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
Cheating Lesson: A Novel by Nan Willard Cappo
Publisher: Tadmar Press
Publication Date: May 2016
Can honesty be the worst policy?
Bernadette Terrell has always known the right thing to do. Not the most popular girl in school, her focus has always been on academic, not social, success. When her favorite teacher names her to Wickham High School's state championship quiz bowl team, she believes that she has reached the pinnacle of her high school academic career. However, her elation quickly fades as she begins to suspect that perhaps someone cheated to get Wickham into the contest and is cheating still.
In her search for answers, Bernadette must contend with a situation that isn't black and white, where a community's hope, hard work, and pride are on the line. Is a team -- and a school -- implicated by one person's behavior?
Cappo's blend of suspense and humor makes Cheating Lessons a riveting story about right and wrong -- and the downside of trust.
Bernadette is a high school student who loves the thrill of winning with her debate team and she is a very smart girl. When she and her classmates score higher than other schools on a quiz bowl exam they are entered into a competition with loads of prizes and the chance to beat a rival school, one that has beaten her before. Bernadette and the quiz bowl team are very excited to get started learning all the info that they need to compete but Bernadette has a nagging feeling that maybe something was not tallied correctly.
This was a very interesting book about pressure and cheating and honesty. Bernadette was not really a very likable character at first, she is intense and overly critical and pretty rude because of these traits so I was not really drawn into the story in the beginning. Eventually I did feel for her but more-so because the story felt like a mystery unraveling itself than because she was in distress.
I found this to be an interesting story about the subject matter and the characters grew but it was a slower read for me. Luckily in the end, I ended up enjoying the book overall. Bernadette becomes almost a new character and the anxiety of it all fades away... a very truthful tale that is bound to make you cringe but overall a good read.