Dare Me

Dare Me

A Novel

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780316097772
Characteristics: 290 p.


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Sep 24, 2016

This is a bore. This is high school. I was a high school cheerleader. This was life in the "higher echelon". Most of us have moved on, I hope. Minus GI Joe's suicide, that was us.
I kept waiting for something to happen.......twists & turns besides the "crime". Don't waste your time!

Aug 10, 2014

Wow. I'm so glad I did NOT go to a high school like the one in this book. It was scary to read about these kids' behaviors in and out of school, not to mention the adults involved (or not in some cases). Intense read.

Dec 16, 2013

This is a book full of dark sick things that can possibly happen in the night were you a cheerleader from a very strange world.

JCLGreggW Nov 16, 2013

Megan Abbot writes wonderfully about the dark things in the human heart. Here, she turns her elegantly-written brand of literary noir to a suburban group of cheerleaders who has a new coach. The shake-up dethrones the group's alpha female, leading to a power struggle with the coach over the book's narrator, Addy. Don't let the pom-poms fool you - Abbott weaves a tale that's as heavy as any you'll read, and will leave an impression on you. Literary chops, strong female characters, and backsprings. What more could you ask for?

Aug 12, 2013

Cheerleader noir! This was even better than I'd hoped it would be. When I read Megan Abbott's Queenpin, I thought it was OK but it didn't blow me away -- I've never really been lured in by the old-timey, hard-boiled milieu that Queenpin inhabits. But I liked Abbott's tough-as-nails (anti-) heroines, and felt her other books held promise. I do like over-the-top cheerleader movies, though (don't judge!), and Dare Me's vicious cheerleaders provided the perfect backdrop for Abbott's signature ice-queen voice and spare prose. It's a dark psychological thriller with beautifully handled twists and that morally ambiguous ending certain thrillers have, leaving me weak-in-the-knees. I have to put this one right up there with Natsuo Kirino and Gillian Flynn for its strong leading ladies and murky psychoses. This was a very fun, dark and twisty read. Highly recommended to anyone who likes psychological thrillers, cheerleaders in pop culture and/or taut prose.

Feb 13, 2013

Book seemed slow, and took a while to get into the good stuff. It didn't grip me well, and I forced myself to finish.
It's a lighter book, and seemed directed at young adults. It was unfortunately not much of a mind bender or thriller.

ehbooklover Feb 04, 2013

Awful. Horrible people doing ugly and disturbing things to each other. I couldn't finish this one.

LocketLibrarian Jan 14, 2013

I like the term "noir cheerleaders" coined by other reviewers. This is a hard book to say I loved. The characters are mean, flawed, and generally unlikable. No one does anything you can truly root for. Yet, it is compelling. The world of cheer is described in such vivid and vicious terms. The girls' relationships with each other and themselves are fierce and uneasy. Adding a new, young and competitive coach into their mix is essentially throwing a match on a pile of firecrackers-when one blows,they're all going to go. Beth and Addy could pretty much define frenemies, even if they don't realize it at first.

Parents are essentially nonexistent, and when they are present, they're pretty useless. There are apparently no other teachers at the school except for Coach, and this happens somewhere that allows smoking in school. So, there is a need for suspension of disbelief.

I found this on a list of Adult Books for Teens. I think it would be good for older teens. I have a hard time booktalking this one to a freshman. Sex, drugs, booze, swearing--all part of the story--but they don't make this one a mild read.

At the end of the book, I felt like I did after Gone Girl. I knew I had read something wow, but it sure didn't leave me with a happy feeling.

Sep 24, 2012

I thought this book was soooo interesting. It was a bit scary to see that catty side of teenage cheerleaders. But it gripped me, and kept me hooked throughout pretty much the whole book. Some parts I didn't really understand, because I felt like there was some symbolism or something, and the end was a bit weird for me because it seemed so random and just...left a lot of things missing. But it was...good, I guess, in the way that i couldn't put it down. And I absolutely admire the author's writing style. Very poetic, but it was weaved as a story as well.

jeanner222 Sep 22, 2012

Addy Hanlon has always played second fiddle to her bestie (and frenemy), Beth Cassidy. As the trusted lieutenant to the cheer squad’s captain, Addy is protected by Beth. Together, they rule the squad.

Everything changes when a new cheer coach is hired. Colette “Coach” French stands to interfere with everything, including the complex relationship between these two teens. Coach is serious about cheering, and the squad makes the leap from pom pom shaking to sky high stunts. As the squad morphs into a cheer army (lean, mean cheering machine), something else happens—Addy finds herself drawn from Beth to Coach.

When the squad is suddenly drawn into a suicide investigation, tensions between Addy and Beth reach an all-time high. Suddenly, Addy finds herself torn between two women and afraid to lose either one.

Fast-paced and fascinating. Loved it.

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LocketLibrarian Jan 14, 2013

LocketLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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