Dare Me by Megan Abbott was the first of the books I’ve had a chance to read in my Blair Waldorf reading challenge. It was interesting that this book came first because, about halfway through, I came across a quote that will likely sum up the entire reading list:
“There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.”
That was certainly the case with Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, and it was also the case with Beth, the queen bee in Dare Me.
This was such an interesting book because it brought together two things which we usually think of as complete opposites. When we think of cheer leading, we usually think of bright and peppy young girls, and when we think of death, we usually associate dark moods and feelings.
Dare Me was all about cheerleaders and cheer leading, but instead of being peppy, it was dark and ominous. The story began but exposing the hidden underbelly of the sport: the jealousy, the impossible standards, and the power struggles. The mood of the book was already very dark, so when an apparent suicide made it’s way into the story, it wasn’t a real shock to the system.
There’s something weird about the suicide though, and narrator Addy finds herself somehow stuck int he middle of the investigation. Because she seems to be the linchpin to finding the truth, she is stuck putting all the pieces together, and as is the case with any good story, things aren’t exactly as they seem.
In the end Dare Me is all about teenage boredom and jealousy, and somehow in the midst of it all we see one of the main characters change and grow into somethings else. The shift is subtle, but it happens before the reader is even aware of what is going on.
Dare Me is a part suicide mystery, and part coming of age story, all done in the darkest way possible. It’s fascinating and macabre in a way I totally was not expecting. The entire story itself is a surprise, and if you don’t mind dark stories, it’s definitely worth the read.
Dare Me is one of the books in my Blair Waldorf Gossip Girl reading challenge. Head on over to the main page to see the full list.