December 11, 2014

Latest Read: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Publication date: July 16, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Category: Young Adult - Mystery Thriller
Source: Purchased
Summary: It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love. As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine.. (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
Wow, this book. Where do I even begin? Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise and the rest of their group of friends decide to go to Aruba for a Spring Break filled week of partying and drinking. But when they find Elise murdered in their vacation home, the police are convinced they did it. Specifically, that Anna and Tate killed Elise. They're trapped in a foreign country and imprisoned and face every accusation possible. All the while, they maintain their innocence but soon alliances change and Anna is determined to find the truth. But as more questions and evidence turns up, everyone starts questioning the truth, their friendships and where their loyalties lie.

The way this story unfolds is incredibly suspenseful. It alternates between then and now. Then being how Anna and Elise became friends, how Anna started dating Tate and the beginning of their trip. Whereas Now is all about the current trial and investigation against Anna as she awaits the final verdict. Reading this book felt like watching an episode of Law & Order, especially when it included evidence like transcripts and even diagrams. It also reminded me of when I was a juror and the importance of that phrase "beyond a reasonable doubt" (sidenote: I was trapped in a jury room for 4 days because we had to convince ONE guy to agree with us and he didn't change his mind until we asked the judge to explain that phrase to him) and justice in general. As each bit of information was revealed, I found myself trying to look at it from every angle because even though I had my own strong instincts from page one of the book, I knew there was no way it would be that straightforward. And there are times when you'll suspect everyone.

At the start, it seems like Anna, Tate and Elise fall into these stereotypical roles. Anna's the sensible one who didn't have friends before Elise. Elise is the party girl. Tate is the popular good-looking guy that Anna didn't expect to fall for. But it quickly becomes clear that it's not so black and white. Anna and Elise have this dangerous co-dependency skimming beneath the surface of their friendship. They bring out each other's good qualities but also their partying ways. Nate suddenly comes in and shakes up their dynamic and Anna feels like she's in the middle. But there's this palpable heat and dynamic between Anna and Tate too. The whole tone of the book and these characters' interactions have this sexual tone to it that the author uses to her advantage. It never feels gratuitous or something she's throwing in for shock factor but instead it fit seamlessly with the story and added to its intensity. I can't say enough how this book will have you running through a gamut of emotions - anger, frustration, sadness, shock and confusion. It is so well-written!

(No) reservations
The pacing, the reveals, the characters - all totally on point.

Do I recommend?
I do! I wanted to read something different from my usual books which is why I decided to pick this up. I ended up reading it in a few hours because you just get so pulled into it. And honestly, there's no way you can start this and not want to know the answers immediately. What's so great is that even if you think or suspect something, I guarantee the ending will shock you.

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. This books is so addicting right?? It surprised me big time because I was not a fan of this author's previous books... and then BAM this one was SO thrilling. I tell everyone to read it :)

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  2. Oh my gosh this one sounds amazing!! I've heard nothing but great things about it. It sounds so suspenseful. I love how this book has twists and turns and you can't figure out who really did it. Lovely review, Rachel!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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  3. Ah, Dangerous Girls. Dangerous Girls is the book that made me literally stop and say, "What the fuck" when I was finished with it. It's a twisty, mind-blowing, totally compelling YA mystery/thriller, and I'm so glad it was book pushed so hard on me! It's different from what I'd usually read, for sure, but it was definitely an intense, thrilling experience in the end.

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