The Ten Fantastic Fails of Rory O’Leary
Thirteen year-old Rory O’Leary is struggling with her role as a middle school cheerleader, being the daughter of the only Lutheran pastor in a Baptist town, and her recent diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. An unfortunate underwear incident and barf tsunami during the Reformation Sunday service leaves her a victim of bullying and blackmail from her former best friend Laura.
To complicate things further Rory must not only set up her older brother, Mark, with Laura as part of Laura’s blackmail scheme, she must also portray Santa Lucia and sing a solo at a special church service in December. The prospect of a repeat puke performance sends her anxiety into overdrive. Rory’s mom believes that if she can’t participate as Santa Lucia because of her anxiety, she should let cheerleading go. If Rory fails at setting Mark and Laura up and bombs at Santa Lucia, Laura will show everyone the video of her puking in church which could jeopardize her place on the cheerleading squad as the video could break the team morality clause. Add in a difficult relationship with her mom, feelings for her friend Will, confirmation service projects, and bad luck that seems to follow her around, Rory is destined to have quite a few fails before figuring things out.
“Thoughtful, humorous, and psychologically astute.”- Kirkus