“Dare Me” by Megan Abbott is a novel about some majorly messed up high school cheerleaders, dying for attention, affection, and popularity. According to a quote on the inside front cover, the book is “A searing novel of friendship, betrayal, and the dark truths that hide behind cheerleader smiles.”
Addy Hanlon and Beth Cassidy have always been best friends, with Addy being more of a sidekick to the over-the-top, girl-in-charge Beth. When the girl’s cheerleading squad receives the new, young, calm and collected Coach French, the cheerleaders are drawn to her immediately. All except for Beth.
A sudden suicide of a well-known figure at the school throws the Coach and many of the girls on the squad for a loop, especially when the police decide that the suicide might actually have been a murder.
Caught between Beth, Coach Colette, and the truth, Addy struggles with her friendships, control, and the squad.
I have mixed feelings on the book “Dare Me” by Megan Abbott. This book kept me hooked and I read it in a day and a half. I honestly couldn’t put it down and Abbott kept me guessing until the end. I had many hunches throughout the book, some of them right, and many wrong, which always makes a book enjoyable.
However, I’m not sure how much I liked the characters in the book. The girls are not a positive portrayal of teenagers and female characters, with issues regarding weight and eating disorders being portrayed in an honest, almost positive way.
While I’ve never been a cheerleader, I was once a teenager and I understand the pressures of looks, weight, guys, popularity. I understand that there are hidden secrets that go on behind closed doors. But that’s not how it is for everyone or how it should be. I just didn’t feel like the positives of being an individual or being healthy were mentioned at all in this novel, and I think they could have been fit in, even in a small role, somewhere.
Need a little more? Here’s another review of “Dare Me” from Heather at Between the Covers.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys some young adult fiction, with a more adult flair. Read “Dare Me” if you want a book that will keep you interested from page 1, all the way to the end. While you won’t find amazing positive teenage role models, you will receive a twisted view from a group of teenage cheerleaders and their coach.
Have you read a book about teens that you enjoyed recently? (Besides the amazing Hunger Games trilogy!)