Little, Brown and Company | August 2013 | 290 pgs
Megan Abbott's Dare Me is a book filled with friendship, teenage angst, lies and secrets within a high school's cheerleading community and a suicide case that would turn a few girls' world upside down.
Addy Hanlon and Beth Cassidy are best friends; Addy has always been Beth's trusted lieutenant while Beth is captain of the school's cheerleaders squad. Awed and feared by the other girls, Beth rules the squad until a young new coach steps into their circle.
Coach Colette French may be young, but she has a cool demeanour and have high expectations of the cheerleaders. Her arrival causes a ripple effect amid the squad; while most girls appear to be star-struck by their new coach, only Beth remains unsettled and nonchalant. Addy could only think of their eagerness to impress attributes to seeking approval from an adult like Coach Colette; after all the new coach first draw Addy and the other girls into her life, except Beth who stands her ground. Then, a suicide case led to a police investigation on the new coach and her squad and from then onwards, the intensity escalates and would lead readers into questioning some issues surrounding the perpetrator's acts and the consequences thereafter.
I wish I could elaborate more of the issues but it is hard without spoiling the story. However, I could say that Megan Abbott has a way of capturing teenage girls' voice and portraying their inward world perfectly into words. At the end of the story I simply had no words to describe how I felt about everything - the plot, the shocking truth and the impact still lingered in my mind long after I closed the book.
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