Dare Me by Megan Abbott
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
This is a book about bad people doing bad things. If you're hoping to see mean girls, this book is for you. If you're hoping to see said mean girls get their just desserts, then you're not going to find it here.
Dare Me starts off on a fairly good start. The cheerleading coach has to leave and the school is bringing in a new one. The old coach pretty much let the girls do what they want. And when I mean girls, I mean the captain. Beth. The Queen Bee of this novel and the group of teens.
But all that changes when the new coach arrives. She quickly dethrones Beth and becomes the leader of the pack. This might make for a interesting read, but to top it off it seems like the new Coach use to be the Queen Bee back in her hey day and seems to relish in being one again.
The girls are taken by Coach, including our narrator Addy. This makes Beth angry and she decides to seek revenge.
At this point, I was with the novel. Coach seems to have never grown up and while she is unhappy in her marriage, she seems to open up and love being the leader of teenagers. However, since she hasn't grown up herself, we see scenes with her bringing the cheerleaders to her house and letting them drink and smoke. Her husband seems concerned about this at first, but doesn't do anything.
Which makes me wonder where the parents are in this novel. Even though Coach is an adult, she doesn't behave like one and even calls Addy her best friend in this novel. Her relationship with Addy, and the girls in general, isn't healthy and her behaviour makes me wonder why the other teachers haven't done anything. Why her husband hasn't done anything. I mean, this is an adult who would rather spend her time with teenagers, instead of picking up her kid at daycare.
The parallel between her and Beth is fascinating though. It makes you wonder if Beth will grow up to be like Coach in the future.
That quickly changes though, when Beth decides to go into cray cray mode in order to take down Coach and bring Addy back to her side.
Dare Me isn't for the faint of heart. The behaviour of the teens and adults in this book is shocking and troubling. Everyone gets away with their bad behaviour, except one and even then said person was pretty much the only good one there.
Will you relate to any of the characters? I hope not. I sure didn't, but that didn't stop me from continuing to read this novel till the bitter end.
3.5 stars out of 5