We Are Mayhem (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
We Are Mayhem By Beck Rourke-Mooney Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
Oblong Books - Rhinebeck
4 on hand, as of Jun 20 5:07pm
Oblong Books - Millerton
1 on hand, as of Jun 20 5:07pm

Staff Reviews

Queer teens + defiance of gender norms + professional wrestling in the Hudson Valley = what's not to love? Heartwarming, campy and fun.

— Nicole


Filled with messy, complicated characters, We Are Mayhem is a debut YA novel about finding your strength, embracing your weird, and being who you truly are - no matter what.

When Birdie’s parents move the family from their gated New Jersey community to the Catskills, Birdie thinks life as she knows it is once again—just like it was when she quit gymnastics—completely over. But when Birdie’s friends ditch her during a dare gone wrong, she finds herself staring down the barrel of a shotgun wielded by Mad Mabel the Mother of Mayhem, and Birdie strikes a deal with Mabel to work off her crime.

Abigail Rose, Mabel’s granddaughter, is convinced that Birdie—whose big, strong arms have always felt like the bane of her existence — is destined to help pull her family’s male-dominated indie wrestling promotion in a more feminist direction.

With no way to return to or escape her past and no clear course into her future, Birdie has to find a way to somehow make her new town a home. But if Birdie is going to be the future of Mayhem, she first has to find a way to embrace who she is - no matter the cost.

About the Author

Beck Rourke-Mooney grew up outside Providence and has worked as clambake staff, a donut finisher, a ballot counting machine tester, a telemarketer, and most importantly, a middle school English teacher. When not writing contemporary YA novels, they procrasti-bake, write songs, and watch (depending on who you ask) either way too much or just enough television, including, of course, wrestling. She lives in upstate New York.

Praise For…

"Rourke-Mooney’s snarky yet heartwarming prose propels the story and reveals Birdie’s inner struggles with body image, gender, and physical strength; the result is a captivating and offbeat debut that explores wrestling, gender nonconformity, femme friendships, and finding one’s bliss and true self."

Fans of GLOW and WWE will catch familiar names, but readers who don’t care about wrestling shouldn't dismiss this highly entertaining, knockout debut packed with vivid characters, fun wordplay, and the perfect amount of heart."--Booklist, starred review

"Thisdebut, similar to Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie, is a fun bear-hug about self-acceptance and embracing the weird and the messy...The joyful friendships and fresh perspective make a great read for wrestling enthusiasts and newcomers alike."

"The short chapters feature visceral, detailed language and laugh-out-loud-funny dialogue....Birdie’s coming out as nonbinary (she/they) is sweet, is lovingly received by friends and family, and provides an important reflection for teens everywhere who are struggling with big questions around gender identity...A wild, weird, and fun romp."

"In this kinetic coming-of-age dramedy, the romance is all about finding your passion and inventing a bold new version of yourself -- in and out of the wrestling ring. Birdie's transformation from awkward outsider to badass star is filled with all the drama and fun of sports competition, makeovers, mean girls and sexist old-timers, but it's also infused with real poignancy and insight."
-Alisa Kwitney, author of Cadaver & Queen

"Rourke-Mooney beautifully captures the exhilaration of finding your true self — wherever, whoever you are; no matter what others expect you to be. Birdie is the protagonist for the ages you'll want to keep cheering for in this tables-turning, world-rocking story of heels and faces, kayfabe and reality, and outsiders and the way in." –Jen Doll, author of Unclaimed Baggage

"In this powerhouse debut novel, readers will be treated to a story about gender, wrestling, wrestling with gender, pagans, powerful women, and pure fun."
-KL Goin, author of Fat Kid Rules the World

"We Are Mayhem reads like a fist-raising anthem to let your weird roar free. This book is for everyone who’s fed up with being squeezed into society’s tiny boxes, for everyone who’s been told they’re too much, and for everyone who’s done playing small."
-Emma Kress, author of Dangerous Play

"Scrappy and sparky, Birdie and her big arms will bust your heart and crack you up as she figures out how to turn her weird into a way to belong. We Are Mayhem socks it to the gender binary, spinning sex roles on their heads and flipping expectations on their butts. A speedy must-read for anyone trying to find their true self in the mayhem that passes for real life now."
-Lisa Lerner, author of Just Like Beauty

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250836595
ISBN-10: 125083659X
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English