Thursday, May 8, 2014

DARE ME by Megan Abbott


I had seen the picture of this hardcover floating around the Interwebs and wrote it off as a teeny-bopper, young adult, chick-lit novel. That was before I knew who Megan Abbott was. That was before I read her awesome, hard-boiled crime book, Queenpin. After reading that award-winning romp, I knew I had to reevaluate that book with the cover art featuring the lip-biting teen. And now, after finishing Dare Me, I now have to seek out every one of Abbott's novels.

This foray into the TERRIFYING world of a high-school cheerleading squad is riveting thanks to the same crackling prose and astute observations that made Queenpin so great. 

"And there's Emily, keening over the toilet bowl after practice, begging me to kick her in the gut so she can expel the rest, all that cookie dough and cool ranch, the smell making me roil. Emily, a girl made entirely of donut sticks, cheesepowder, and Haribo. 
I kick, I do.
She would do the same for me."

Not only does Megan throw you headfirst into the highly competitive (and surprisingly dangerous) ins-and-outs of cheer, but she also takes you into the mind of the main character, a modern teenage girl. Addy's world is filled with insecurities, jealousy, and mind-games. And once the new cheer coach enters her life, her romantic outlook on adulthood gets turned upside down. Megan Abbott, writing with confidence, guides us through it all.

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