Review: Dare Me by Megan Abbott

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; First Edition edition (July 31, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0316097772
  • Source: Publisher (via BEA)

Addy Hanlon and Beth Cassidy, it seems, have always been a duo, a force to be reckoned with. They are revered, and feared, by their peers. Now at the height of their high school, career, the girls are seniors, heading up the school’s cheer squad. Beth, always the head cheerleader, is thrown off guard when a new coach, Colette French, comes to the school.

Coach French quickly forms a ring of adoring girls around her. She compels the girls to go beyond what they believed they were physically capable of, trying out stunts they wouldn’t have dared previous. Beth is the only girl who remains out outside the circle, refusing to allow someone to take over the reigns as leader of the squad. When French’s attention focuses on Addy, Beth loses it. She begins a vicious obsession with bringing down Coach French, not caring who stands in her way. She has a history of evil and deceptive moves so the girls, especially Addy, don’t doubt what she is capable of.

When a suicide hits close to home, the police investigation focuses on Coach French and the squad, especially Addy. Addy soon comes to realize how insignificant Beth finds their friendship, their loyalty to one another is truly tested.

Dare Me is a truly honest, albeit frightening, glimpse inside the world of teenage girls. It deftly explores such things as ambition, friendship, and love. The girls on the cheer team are so dedicated, willing to risk bodily harm in order to get the limelight and attention of others. Failure isn’t an option, the girls are willing to risk anything, and anyone, to protect the bond they have formed. Normally incredibly loyal to one another, that loyalty is tested when one of their own steps beyond the bonds of what is acceptable to seek revenge for the perceived attacks against them.The most frightening aspect of this thriller are the girls, their deception and pure disregard to those not in their group.

Honestly, I thought I had this all figured out, certain I knew who was behind the act that sent ripples through the stability of the squad. When the truth was revealed, however, I was completely stunned! Abbott through me for a complete loop, leaving me cheering for her in the end! A perfectly executed thriller, one that took this former cheerleader back to high school. I thought my high school experience was tough…

Dare Me is a completely chilling, incredibly creepy yet addictive read. Abbott has already proven herself to be a truly talented writer of thriller, this novel just verifies it even more. How is it possible that an author so sweet and adorable in person can write such a disturbing novel? Talent, pure talent! Highly, highly recommended.

7 Comments to "Review: Dare Me by Megan Abbott"

  1. Harvee's Gravatar Harvee
    Twitter: BookDilettante
    August 9, 2012 - 8:44 AM | Permalink

    I enjoyed reading your comments, but I think I’ll stop there and not read the book even though it’s addictive, yet chilling and creepy! Great review!

  2. Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    August 9, 2012 - 12:31 PM | Permalink

    EW loved this book, and I’ve read a number of reviews that really pull me towards reading it. I have a teenage daughter though, so my fear is that I’ll end up worrying and losing sleep. Yes I obsess over these things I read and wonder if any of it is going on with my kids. Terrifying.

  3. bermudaonion(Kathy)'s Gravatar bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    August 9, 2012 - 2:43 PM | Permalink

    I love Abbott’s last book and can’t wait to read this one.

  4. Jenna's Gravatar Jenna
    Twitter: littlebirdreads
    August 10, 2012 - 11:50 AM | Permalink

    This sounds intense! Can’t wait to read it!

  5. Becky's Gravatar Becky
    Twitter: BeckyLeJeune
    August 10, 2012 - 12:00 PM | Permalink

    Abbott’s last book disturbed me so much! She does have a very amazing ability to tune into the happenings of the teenage mind. It’s more shocking than just about anything else I’ve read and that’s saying a lot!

  6. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    Twitter: BookAddictHeath
    August 11, 2012 - 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Hmm, I don’t know about this one. Everyone is gushing about it, but I didn’t love THE END OF EVERYTHING so I’m not sure I’d feel any differently about DARE ME. I love your enthusiasm, though!

  7. Howard Sherman's Gravatar Howard Sherman
    Twitter: howardasherman
    August 12, 2012 - 7:27 PM | Permalink

    As more of a casual spectator and less of a typical guy, I totally bought in to your book review. I already knew about how competitive teen girls can be in all sorts of ways, and I say that not just because I watch Glee once in a while.

    Truth is stranger than fiction which is what makes this book so spooky.

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