I’m so bad about posting (and linking to) my reviews. Links below to reviews 27 through 36.
Beth Cassidy is your prototypical Mean Girl. She captains her school’s cheerleading squad, using manipulation, deception and intimidation to get what she wants. Everything starts to fall apart when a new coach for the squad shows up and charms every girl on the squad, even Beth’s ‘trusted lieutenant’ and best friend Addy Hanlon. Colette French is the ideal coach: she’s tough but supportive, firm but cool. Well – she’s ideal to everyone but Beth.
Naturally, Beth immediately battles against Coach French’s authority and will stop at nothing to ensure everyone, especially Addy, understands what Coach is really like. Someone close to the squad commits suicide and soon there is a police investigation. Addy and Beth both strive to understand the truth and who they can trust.
I can’t say there was much I liked about this book. I enjoy a good mystery usually, and I’d liked another of Abbott’s novels. The premise seemed like a noir Mean Girls and in theory, that’s what “Dare Me” is; something in the execution fell short for me and I have several ideas about why. I should at least say that judging from the other book I read by Abbott (“The End of Everything”), she strives to show the world the mysterious life of being a girl, to demonstrate how we interact and are often our own worst enemies. She succeeds at this at least – in both “Dare Me” and “The End of Everything,” if you’re a woman reading them, you’re faced with some very familiar struggles about friendship, trust, popularity, and love and unlike a lot of fiction out there, she doesn’t always allow you to walk away unscathed. The ending here isn’t wrapped up in a neat bow, all unicorns and rainbows. It’s ugly and hard to read without wincing. I respect that in this book, even if I don’t really like it.