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Dare Me: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Megan Abbott
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: Oh my--these beautiful, terrible girls, with their "Aruba-tanned" legs and their ferocity and fears, for whom the smallest slights become life-and-death matters. This brilliantly dark and uncomfortably real story, sharp and suspenseful and chilling, made me desperately glad I have sons. The author is so attuned to the "witchiness of girls" and the drama of high school that she takes us to the darkest corners of that world. These aren't Mean Girls or Breakfast Club teens--more like Glee on steroids. Megan Abbott is a scary genius. Her voice is fierce and fearless. --Neal Thompson

Review

PRAISE FOR DARE ME:

"A fascinating, almost voyeuristic, glimpse into the power struggle that goes on between teenaged girls. Not just any teenaged girls-cheerleaders-with their own unique hierarchy and fierce code of loyalty, which they'll protect at any cost. There's a dark and twisted love story here, told with a rich sensual undertone that lingers long after you close the last page, still breathing in your ear: Dare me."—Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Still Missing and Never Knowing

"Arresting, original and unputdownable."—Rosamund Lupton, New York Times bestselling author of Sister

"DARE ME sneaks up on you from behind, pulling on long-forgotten memories of teenaged desperation, obsession, and desire. This is truly masterful storytelling."—Alafair Burke, author of Never Tell

"Megan Abbott's brilliant new book presents a number of possibilities-the mysterious and the erotic, as well as the inevitable and paradoxical lessons of girlhood-with such illumination that the joyful terrors of adolescence were once again present in me. Abbott's characters, confronted with unaccustomed questions and strange, new difficulties, remind us that the loss of innocence can, if we are fortunate, emerge into a lustrous wisdom."—Susanna Moore, author of In the Cut

Product Details

  • File Size: 819 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books (July 31, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SCR9HC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,478 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars will keep you reading into the night July 31, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Addy Hanlon and her best friend Beth Cassidy rule their cheer squad; Beth as captain and Addy her lieutenant. The squad doesn't just look up to them--their afraid of them. But when Colette French walks into the gym and takes over as cheer coach everything gets flipped around. Coach French has every intention of taking her girls to regionals and she needs to get them ready. First things first she dethrones the cheer captain.

Beth seems to lose interest in cheer and begins running more wild than usual. Addy is preoccupied running after Coach. The girls are getting stronger and better at cheer. The coach starts having them over for late night drinking parties. Coach French begins turning her attention to Addy. She begins entrusting her talking to her like she was an adult girlfriend instead of a girl on her cheer squad.

Addy's new bff seems to be Coach French. But we haven't seen the last of Beth. She's been watching and waiting in the wings. Coach French thought she could take away her captain's position on the squad? Beth wants Coach to pay for what she's done.

As the girls prepare for the game of their high school cheer career, there is a suicide. Addy finds herself right in the middle of it all. Entangled in a web of lies.

Dare Me is filled with sex, lies, alcohol, eating disorders and brimming with teenage angst, but that's just the first few chapters!

I have to admit it took me a few pages to connect with first person, Addy. I've read a number of books with a teenage protagonist, but the authenticity of Addy's voice was dead on--I felt like this is how my teenage daughter or her friends would think! Not only did Abbott nail it with the voice, but with Addy's perspective.
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47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't get it August 13, 2012
By melissa
Format:Kindle Edition
Based on the book description alone, I might have waited for the Kindle version of this book to be available at my library. I bought it based on the reviews...and now, I wish I'd waited. I expected a dark, quirky thriller about a cheerleading squad gone haywire. What I got was a story of one cheerleader (Addy) who's spent years as a subservient follower of her cheer captain and "best friend" Beth. Beth is mean, spiteful, and so completely unlikeable that I wanted to light the book (er, Kindle) on fire just to eliminate her from this world. As to why Addy remains so very loyal to her - perhaps that's supposed to be the mystery of the novel. If so, I never figured it out. The other characters, if not necessarily unlikeable, are just uninteresting altogether. The stunning twist of a murder was not twisty and did not stun me. And the writing - I suppose it was good. But. Every chapter, every section within chapters, ended with a seemingly profound statement that I just did not get. And 500 hyphenated adjectives later ("blister-white tennis shoes", "dusty-shouldered geometry teachers and crepy-skinned guidance counselors), it kind of got on my nerves. Really, I just wanted it to end.
I finished it, because it was decent enough that I didn't light my Kindle on fire after all. And I could tolerate it enough to find out how it ended, because, I guess I did want to know how it ended. I'm not saying don't read it. I am saying, wait till you can read it for free.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid School Story August 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you have read some of my other reviews, you might know that I am addicted to stories set in schools and universities, and in the past year I have been very fortunate to have read some stunners, especially Donna Tartt's The Secret History, Tana French's The Likeness, and amongst school stories, Patrick Gale's Friendly Fire. In one of these Amazon reviews I declared that the best school stories have to be set in boarding schools. But now I'll eat crow. Dare Me is a superb school story. American public school students when they are like the Sutton Grove cheer squad yield nothing to English "Public School" students or American preppies.

Because lots of other reviewers have discussed the setting and characters in Dare Me, I'll focus on the principal characters' relationships. When I was about half way through my initial reading, I would have described Beth as a Number One Mean Girl, who seeks revenge on the new coach for depriving Beth of the captaincy of the cheer squad, I might have predicted that Beth might grow up to be the heroine of a Gillian Flynn novel. After two readings I find that version still plausible but superficial. Beth is a much more complex, and indeed, tragic figure. Like all good tragedies, in Dare Me the Fates bring together characters with extraordinary personal qualities whose mistakes lead to their downfall.

The principal tragic actors are Beth Cassidy the cheer captain and her antagonist, Colette French the cheer coach, but our sole narrator is another cheerleader, Beth's BF and `lieutenant" Addy. Megan Abbott uses the first person point of view brilliantly to envelop her story in mystery and ambiguity. We observe only what Addy witnesses and thinks, but she relies for much of her knowledge on Beth and Coach, both of whom are consummate liars.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like, tots overrated September 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read glowing words about this book in a number of publications but didn't bother to read the reviews on Amazon. In retrospect I wish I had. I would really like to talk to someone who liked this book and ask them "Why?!?". Was it the dialogue? The plot? The characters? Was it the knowledgeable description of cheerleading stunts? If you enjoy underdeveloped caricatures of machiavellian teenagers and a paper-thin "mystery", this just may be the book for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like it
This book was so confusing. If it wasn't required for my English class I wouldn't have read it. There were definitely times where I was utterly confused.
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is about girls who are MEAN!
According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, “for High School girls and college women, Cheerleading is far more dangerous than any other sport” (Live... Read more
Published 27 days ago by YoyoMitch
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty lame
One of the worst books I have read in a while . I was expecting a twisted mystery novel, instead I got a cheeky, high school cheerleader book that lacked depth, character... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Lauren Hendricks
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
everything about it was trite, telegraphed and tiresome
Published 2 months ago by skiwiz
4.0 out of 5 stars A heavy uncomfortable read about the mean girls in high school
Goodreads Description- Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy's best friend and trusted lieutenant. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Regina Niesen
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely riveting.
As a reviewer I get sent an awful lot of books which I will always be eternally grateful for, and an offshoot of that life is that I also get a great many recommendations from... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Liz Wilkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding
What a brilliant book Dare Me is.
It tells the story of a cheerleading team that are taken over by a new coach who wants to do things a little differently to her predecessor. Read more
Published 2 months ago by nigel p bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it
Published 2 months ago by Mark A. Lerch
1.0 out of 5 stars Should've been entitled "bore me" instead of "dare me"
Okay, let me find one good thing to write about this author: she does seem to have a facility for writing the way high school girls may speak... Read more
Published 3 months ago by E. Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Great understanding of relationship and for we older persons
Great understanding of relationship and for we older persons, agreat reminder and happiness that we aren't there.
Most important is the description of mass illness
Published 3 months ago by Sue Marx Smock
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More About the Author

MEGAN ABBOTT is the Edgar award-winning author of six novels, including Dare Me, The End of Everything and Bury Me Deep. Her writing has appeared in Detroit Noir, Queens Noir, Phoenix Noir, New York Times and Los Angeles Times Magazine. She is the author of The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir and editor of A Hell of a Woman, a female crime fiction anthology. She has been nominated for awards including the Steel Dagger, the LA Times Book Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she is working on the screenplay for her novel, Dare Me, soon to be a major motion picture.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature and went on to receive her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She lives in Queens, New York City.

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