Dare Me

Dare Me

A Novel

Book - 2012
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After a suspicious suicide, the members of a high school cheerleading squad, along with their new, perfectly cool coach, Colette French, are drawn into the investigation.
Publisher: New York : Reagan Arthur Books, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316097772
0316097772
Branch Call Number: FICTION ABBOTT MEGAN
Characteristics: 290 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Dare me

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b
bsidney
Feb 28, 2019

I enjoyed this read even though it was about mean teen girls. It was a quick read and i would recommend it.

g
goddessbeth
Jan 20, 2019

I enjoyed The Fever so much, when I saw my library had the Dare Me audiobook I couldn't resist listening to it. The most notable difference between the two (aside from story, of course), is that The Fever had a very present sense of magical realism. Dare Me, on the other hand, not as much. But it still shines with Abbott's almost preternatural ability to weave language into evocative passages.

Dare Me is a mystery with an aspect of thriller, and it explores jealousy, control, and obsession. Delightfully, the primary characters are all rather chilling and made of shades of grey when it comes to ethics. I found them realistically flawed and self-centered, especially the teenagers. You get the constant sense that something isn't quite right, with any of the characters, which makes for delicious tension as you're trying to figure out what's going on.

I did struggle a bit with the unhealthiness of the cheerleaders. I'm sure it's not unrealistic, but my heart just hurt at all the casual mention of these girls being anorexic, eating virtually nothing all day (or nothing, with a side of sugar), and popping pills and crazy weight loss hacks. The parents in this story are (deliberately) absent, in a variety of ways, but I just wanted someone to stop killing their body with malnutrition. I know, that was part of the point- this mind over body, steel-tight control concept. Still.

I definitely recommend Dare Me if you enjoy Megan Abbot books, or contemporary YA with poetic (not purple) language, mystery, and dark undercurrents.

g
Gulkh
Aug 07, 2018

This book is crap. Absolute crap.
There is not a single character I like or care for. Why do they behave this way? Teen angst? Why is Beth the way she is? There is absolutely no depth to the girls. Why are they such hateful brats? Where are the parents when the girls are running rogue? And what sort of a cheer coach is that? She smokes at school, serves the girls alcohol at her home, calls Addy over at her boyfriend's? Ugly behaviour, lots of bullying, underage drinking.
I found the writing to be awful. I couldn't get through a page without reading and re-reading all the wishy washy words put together to make a sentence. It's hard to believe this book was about teenagers. Seemed more like jaded 30 year olds.

b
booknrrd
Apr 25, 2018

Addy and Beth are best friends and the top girls on the varsity cheerleading squad, but things start to change when the squad gets a new coach. Oh, and there's teen alcohol use, sex, infidelity, a lot of cheerleading injuries, and maybe a little murder.

Anyway I have seen reviews that say that Megan Abbott really knows how to write teenaged girls, and at first I was like, "But I wasn't anything like this as a teenaged girl!" But by the end I kind of got it. She gets at the girls' hearts so well. Kudos to her.

s
Sioux_2
Sep 24, 2016

This is a bore. This is high school. I was a high school cheerleader. This was life in the "higher echelon". Most of us have moved on, I hope. Minus GI Joe's suicide, that was us.
I kept waiting for something to happen.......twists & turns besides the "crime". Don't waste your time!

b
BWilsoned
Aug 10, 2014

Wow. I'm so glad I did NOT go to a high school like the one in this book. It was scary to read about these kids' behaviors in and out of school, not to mention the adults involved (or not in some cases). Intense read.

d
dprodrig
Dec 16, 2013

This is a book full of dark sick things that can possibly happen in the night were you a cheerleader from a very strange world.

JCLGreggW Nov 16, 2013

Megan Abbot writes wonderfully about the dark things in the human heart. Here, she turns her elegantly-written brand of literary noir to a suburban group of cheerleaders who has a new coach. The shake-up dethrones the group's alpha female, leading to a power struggle with the coach over the book's narrator, Addy. Don't let the pom-poms fool you - Abbott weaves a tale that's as heavy as any you'll read, and will leave an impression on you. Literary chops, strong female characters, and backsprings. What more could you ask for?

j
JCLRachelSH
Aug 12, 2013

Cheerleader noir! This was even better than I'd hoped it would be. When I read Megan Abbott's Queenpin, I thought it was OK but it didn't blow me away -- I've never really been lured in by the old-timey, hard-boiled milieu that Queenpin inhabits. But I liked Abbott's tough-as-nails (anti-) heroines, and felt her other books held promise. I do like over-the-top cheerleader movies, though (don't judge!), and Dare Me's vicious cheerleaders provided the perfect backdrop for Abbott's signature ice-queen voice and spare prose. It's a dark psychological thriller with beautifully handled twists and that morally ambiguous ending certain thrillers have, leaving me weak-in-the-knees. I have to put this one right up there with Natsuo Kirino and Gillian Flynn for its strong leading ladies and murky psychoses. This was a very fun, dark and twisty read. Highly recommended to anyone who likes psychological thrillers, cheerleaders in pop culture and/or taut prose.

a
a_campbell
Feb 13, 2013

Book seemed slow, and took a while to get into the good stuff. It didn't grip me well, and I forced myself to finish.
It's a lighter book, and seemed directed at young adults. It was unfortunately not much of a mind bender or thriller.

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LocketLibrarian Jan 14, 2013

LocketLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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