Culture Magazine

Book Review – Dare Me by Megan Abbott

By Manofyesterday


Addy and Beth are on a cheerleading squad and very close friends. Then a new coach comes to their school and she and Beth are instantly at loggerheads. Soon enough Addy finds herself torn between the two of them, between adulthood and adolescence.

You can go check out a review of Abbotts previous book The End of Everything if you’re interested that. I really enjoyed this one but I had a little trepidation when I read the blurb for Dare Me because it seemed like it was treading over the same ground. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, I just hoped that it wasn’t a simple re-tread of the first novel.

Thankfully my fears were quickly allayed and in fact this is a better book. Where I felt The End of Everything sagged in the middle, Dare Me is relentless and I found it difficult to put down. The writing is sharp with a staccato-like rhythm, giving the sense that everything is about to fall apart. There’s a real sense of finality and doom here, and Abbott manages to perfectly capture the melodrama and intensity of these teenage feelings, where every day feels like it could be the end of the world.

The bond between the girls is interesting because they’re really close, and have to basically trust each other with their lives, and yet there’s an inherent competitiveness as well as they’re competing to be the top. I also liked the fact that this was a book about cheerleaders that has them front and center rather than as a sideshow to football, and indeed the football team is only mention incidentally.

Abbott maintains the suspense and this is a fantastic read. I highly recommend it. There’s also a nice end section that has an interview with the author and a few other bits and pieces, which I think all books should include as I find them fun and interesting.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog