August 12, 2023

Don't You Dare by Jessica Hamilton

Crooked Lane Books | 16 May 2023 | 272 pgs
Source: Library 

Hannah and Scarlett are best friends in college, until they met Thomas and he created a ripple in their friendship. While Scarlett makes sure that their friendship remains platonic, it doesn't take long for Hannah and Thomas to fall for each other. The trio's dynamic becomes more tense and complicated after they play the Daring Games and eventually lead to a tragedy, resulting Thomas being expelled from the college. No one heard from him thereafter. 

Sixteen years later, Hannah receives a note about the Daring Game from Thomas. Hannah is married and have a young daughter, but her life isn't happy. She and Scarlett still contact with each other via texts occasionally, but their close friendship is no longer the same since that tragedy. With her unhappy marriage and without Scarlett around, Hannah rekindle her friendship with Thomas, or to be exact, their love relationship behind her husband's back as well as resuming the Daring Games. Until a day they both receive a note telling them to meet at their secret meeting place of the Daring Games, daring them to "tell the truth". 

This was an additive and compelling read. I found it unputdownable but the characters are unlikeable, to say the least. The dynamics between Hannah, Scarlett and Thomas are the draw and strength of the story, but at times I find their behaviours juvenile and full of angst. Most of all, I think it's a bit unbelievable seeing two adults continuing the Daring Games as if they were teenagers, but I suppose I'd accept it for the entertainment, the intensity and the story developments. I also find the ending a bit mediocre but I did enjoy the author's writing and her ability to capture the reader's interest. I'm definitely curious to know what she has in store for her next book. 
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  1. The Daring Game does sound like it belongs more in a YA novel, than a novel about adults sixteen years out of college. That cover is pretty cool though.

    1. Lark - The Daring Game has that YA feel isn't it. I suppose the author wants to capture the two characters' emotions and used the games as their reminiscence. I loved that book cover. It's what made me pick up this book in the first place. :)


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