Dare Me

Dare Me (Photo: Hachette Book Group)Maybe it’s because there’s nothing in Dare Me that resonated with my own experiences in high school, but I really didn’t enjoy this one as much as I hoped I might.

Like this Oprah.com review says: “Count yourself lucky if you’ve never met (let alone parented!) teenagers like cheerleaders Addy Hanlon and Beth Cassidy.” If bulimia, ultra-competitiveness and Mean Girls-style backstabbing is the name of the game in American high schools, I’m thrilled to have experienced my awkward years in sleepy Canada, where the most exciting thing that happened was that an older guy from the university invited me to breakfast once after we met at the Model United Nations. I just don’t think it would have been in me to take part in the deceptive, dangerous world of Dare Me.

I was hoping for a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller. What I got was sort of disturbing and neurotic and very self-absorbed. It really was like reading the inner monologue of a really warped 16-year-old girl, which I guess is what Megan Abbot was going for, but even the adult characters in the novel (don’t get me started on the cheerleading coach!) are unlikeable. I like a book where I can at least root for someone (even in Gone Girl, while your allegiance flips and flops, there’s always someone to cheer for). Here, I’ve got nothing. This one wasn’t worth the Kinde price, in my opinion. It just sort of left me feeling unsatisfied, disturbed and vaguely icky.

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