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Dare Me Hardcover – 10 May 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144722115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447221159
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Deliciously compelling' Heat

'Megan Abbott is an extraordinary writer' Nick Hornby, The Believer

'Mesmerising . . . A truly nerve-shredding crime plot . . . exemplary writing.' Independent on Sunday

'A taut, twisted tale . . . Dare Me shimmers with dark sexual tension' Marie Claire

'A tense, fast-paced psychological thriller' The Times

‘Truly nerve-shredding’ Independent on Sunday

‘A powerful tale of sexual awakening, obsession, twisted loyalties and murder’ Irish Times

‘Tense, fast-paced’ Sunday Times

Book Description

We thought nothing and no one could touch us. Addy Hanlon and Beth Cassidy are the unchallenged rulers of their high school kingdom. They’re the girls that nobody crosses, captains of the cheerleaders, invincible. Until their new coach arrives – all sleek poise and cool command – and their world is changed forever. That year, there are no limits. And in their quest for perfection the girls begin to risk their lives. Faster, higher, brighter, bolder: they become warriors. But Coach French has been crossing a line of her own, and the consequences are devastating. Dare Me is an electrifying novel about the fierce bonds between girls, their bitter rivalries, and their power to transform one another.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Mar 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like Megan Abbott's The End of Everything, this is another dark and unsettling read centred on the edgy instability of female adolescence.

Our narrator, Addy, is sixteen and is one of the high school's sassy cheer-leading team, along with her best friend Beth. A new female coach arrives and disturbs the status quo, soon inviting the team to her house where they drink, obsess over her and misunderstand her relationship with her quiet, seemingly dull husband. Only Beth refuses to succumb to Coach French's charms, and takes it upon herself to reveal what only she can see...

I loved this book which is more subtle and nuanced than The End of Everything. There's a dangerous edge to everything that happens but it's subliminal and oblique rather than obvious. Abbott is particularly good at charting the shifting tides of power and powerlessness, knowledge and innocence in these girls, as they experience an adult world which they think they understand but which overwhelms them.

The world of cheer-leading is an alien one to UK readers and it takes a bit of time for us to catch-up, but it fits well with the overall atmosphere of danger and unease as the girls push themselves physically and psychologically towards a kind of perfection. The hints of anorexia, dysmorphia, competition and physical danger blend well with the unsettling depiction of nascent sexuality.

So overall this is a gripping and atmospheric read with some important things to say about the modern female psyche - highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Lyons on 5 Mar 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this on a blog-post listing 2012's best crime thrillers/murder mysteries and so was looking forward to a page-turning head-scratcher. Instead, I read out of puzzlement, rather than a sense of dying-to-see-what-happens next.

Very few of the characters are easy to warm to. That in itself can be an author choice obviously. But then you're left relying on other aspects, such as the realism of the setting or the plot. Being neither American, female nor a teenager, I found it quite tough to tell how realistic I was supposed to find the whole High School cheerleader setting (most of the girls apparently eat nothing substantial for weeks on end, while there is no parental supervision at all). Without any strong tie to the characters or a setting I could warm to, I was relying thus on the plot. But, to be honest, the plot is incredibly thin. There are very few twists or turns and the book sort of limps to a close.

Reading this was certainly not my worst mistake, and I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will like it, but what I took from it is that Megan Abbott is not for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't think I would enjoy a book about cheerleading, something which might, in real life, briefly stimulate the enjoyment pulses but then is all forgotten as the girls troop off.

But I read this book at one sitting so it's an easy read. But the content is not so easy. From small acorns in the form of the arrival of a new Coach to the grown oak in the form of a dead body in an apartment block. In between, whilst the story develops is a power struggle filled with the rivalries of teenage girls, raw emotions not fully developed but mature enough to do adult things and, at the same time, try to create the best Cheer Team ever.

I must say I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the way the story unfolds. I couldn't understand a word concerning the cheer team's routine but, somehow, this didn't matter. In all honesty, I skipped a few pages of such routines just to maintain my grip on the underlying investigation as seen through the eyes of a sixteen year old Addy Hanlon. (I'd also forgotten that in some US States, sixteen year olds are allowed to drive a car!) The book is clever in its progression, in its development of the relationships and jealousies between the girls and their Coach.

As with all good investigations, there is a nice twist in the story; one which probably could be expected if I hadn't been rattling along with the read but perhaps this made it the more enjoyable. The blurb snapshots do not do justice to this book. Had I read them before buying the book, I would have changed my mind. As it is, I'm glad it was recommended to me on the basis of a darn good story. It is and I shall look for more Megan Abbott, though no more Cheer, pleeeese.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Natasha Bibi on 10 Jan 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read so many good reviews about this book, but I found it quite a difficult read. It's very 'bitty', and doesn't flow particularly well. It's not an easy story to follow, lots of moments where you have to make your own interpretations. Also, if you don't know anything about cheerleading, you may be doing a fair amount of googling whilst reading. It's not a book I would pass on to a friend to read, but that's just my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ben VINE VOICE on 18 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I guess my expectations were raised by the very positive reviews this had been given by other authors and its inclusion in the CWA Dagger Awards but I have to say I was very disappointed.

To begin with the setting (girl's school) and the theme of teen angst has been overdone in my opinion. You have to have written something as truly brilliant and original as Eleanor Catton's The Rehearsal to hold my attention in this area now.

In the second place, I found the style a little too economical - I would describe it as clipped. It is probably an American trait to remove joining words from sentences, that I accept (with gritted teeth), but there was so much compression that I found myself finding it hard to read because it felt wrong to my ears.

I can't comment on the plot because (to my shame) I did not complete the novel. It is rare that this happens which I suppose is the best comment I can make upon my experience of this book.
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