Synopsis from Little, Brown, and Company:
The searing novel of friendship and betrayal that inspired the USA Network series, praised by Gillian Flynn as “Lord of the Flies set in a high-school cheerleading squad…Tense, dark, and beautifully written.”
Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives.
Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself.
Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.
The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.
About: Dare Me is a young adult mystery thriller written by Megan Abbott. It was published on 7/31/2012 by Back Bay Books, an imprint of Little, Brown, and Company, paperback, 290 pages. The genres are young adult, mystery thriller, and fiction. According to the publisher’s website, “Back Bay Books is focused on the publication of the nation’s best fiction and nonfiction.” Please see below for more info about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Dare Me on 4/15/2020 and finished it on 4/21/2020. This book focused on cheerleading which reminds me of the cheerleading movie called Bring It On. At first the story is fast paced and then there were weird vibes with Addy and her thoughts/conversations on/with Beth, Sarge, Coach, and Casey. This story seems to be about friendship but somehow the relationship is tumultuous. I do like the puzzles Addy was to solve: the lies and the sprinkles of information from Matt.
This book started with a prologue told in the first person point of view following Addy, 16. It’s 2am, someone asked Addy to come. Addy was reluctant when she looked at something on the floor. Then the story began 4 months ago as Addy got ready for cheerleading. At football season, the cheerleaders have a new coach, Coach French, 27. This coach is unlike any coach the girls had before. Addy is Beth’s sidekick/lieutenant and Beth always do what pleases her. With Coach around, Beth has a competitor. The story is timeline by counting down to the final game where the cheerleaders will do their big stunt. Except around the final game, an arrest is made for someone’s death.
Dare Me is cheerleading and mean girls who defy their parents and do underage drinking and drugs. I just have little tolerance for characters intentionally bringing trouble upon themselves or purposely do dumb things. Therefore, Beth is my least favorite character. At first I like Addy but later I don’t because she’s mean too. The Coach thinks their parents don’t care for them but it’s not true because Addy’s dad cared when Addy said he waited up for her. Coach is no better complaining about how the girls’ parents don’t care and it’s her job to care but she served them alcohol when they’re together. The crime and suspense is good. I like not knowing who to trust and how little by little it all comes out.
I rate it 4 stars!
About the Author:
Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of nine novels, including You Will Know Me, The Fever, Dare Me, and The End of Everything. She received her PhD in literature from New York University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Guardian, and The Believer. Currently, she is a staff writer on HBO’s David Simon show, The Deuce. She lives in New York City. (Photo and info obtained from Little Brown’s website).