Dare Me | Teen Ink

Dare Me

August 29, 2018
By TeaOnPluto PLATINUM, Dublin, Other
TeaOnPluto PLATINUM, Dublin, Other
38 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Dare Me is one of Megan Abbott's earlier novels, revolving around the fairly simple lives of a group of young highschool cheerleaders. This book brings to life how serious a popular group sport can be to these young girls, giving the book a bit of complexity. The stern and strong teenagers reveal more about themselves than their ability to somersault and hand stand as emotions begin to crack through the girls' perfect clique, and a new coach raises hell between them. This young adult novel portrays the revenge and sexual awakening in young girls, and the dangers of sparking adolescence. 


I didn't enjoy Dare Me as much as I thought I would, mainly because of the unusual style Megan Abbott used to create the characters. Although sixteen year old Addy and the girls on the cheer squad would naturally be very basic characters (as most teenage girls in books usually are), we got very little introduction to the girls. Two main characters, Addy and Beth, were key influencers to the main story, but I knew barely anything about them. Although the reader was constantly given small memories or facts about them, these were always just enough to establish the character's personality. Some readers may think that there wasn't much information needed on these girls to build up  the story, but I always like a good background on whoever is starring in the dilemma. I would personally have preferred to know a lot more about Addy; her family life, what school days were like as a cheerleader, her day to day activity, but it seemed like all I really knew about her was her commitment to cheer leading and her relationship with Coach Colette.  I even enjoy a good, detailed physical description, so I can really imagine who I'm reading about, but all I knew of Addy Hanlon was her toned athlete body and her swishing pony tail.


Writing style aside, the other reason I wasn't so keen on this book was the almost anticlimactic nature of the "mystery". When i first read "mystery" and "cheer leading coach", I automatically thought of murders after games or scary teenage girl fights. Although my wild predictions come from my bookshelf of noir crime and thrillers, I really did expect more from Dare Me. I would have liked to know a lot more from the police's point of view, and would have liked to hear  more about what the public thought of such a case. I won't spoil the "mystery", but all I'm saying is that Dare Me is not a novel to read if your'e looking for a creepy murder puzzle to figure out. 


Dare Me was not an atrocious book, and I definitely didn't hate it, but I wouldn't recommend it. I did like how it was sometimes almost poetic, and the insight on a group of American teens, and there were good parts. I'm still willing to give Megan Abbott's other books a go, and I may have a review for you lot soon...

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