Dangerous Girls is now available in the UK and let me tell you, it is BRILLIANT. It's so addictive and I can't wait for everyone to read it! It's one of the best YA books I've read this year, and I don't say things like that lightly!
My review will be posted next week but, until then, here's a guest post from Abigail about the ingredients for the perfect thriller. Enjoy!
ingredients for the perfect thrillerby Abigail Haas.
When it comes to thrillers, I don’t need the characters to be likeable and nice, I want them to be as complex and interesting as possible. The kind of person who, if you met them at a party, you’d sit all night listening to their crazy stories, and then go home and tell someone, “OMG, you’ll never guess who I just met!” Unpredictable characters make interesting decisions, and it’s those left-field turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat all through the book, just wondering what’s going to happen next.
Even if the characters are nothing like me, there’s got to be some moments where I click in and really relate to their situation. Sure, maybe I’ve never been stalked by a psycho killer, or been on trial for murder, but there are broader emotions we’ve all experienced—loneliness, jealousy, heartbreak—and it’s those emotions that keep a book grounded and let me really see through the character’s eyes. I love asking myself what I’d do in their situation: how would I react? It’s that connection that makes me really invested in how their story turns out. Which leads me to…
The best thrillers are the ones where everything is on the line: their life, their freedom, the threat of losing something they really love. When a character is facing the worst possible consequences, then I have to keep turning those pages to see how it all ends. We can discover the most about a person when they’re backed into a corner or under huge stress, and I love seeing how characters cope with the drama—or unravel under pressure.
Crazy plot twists.
A great thriller yanks you all over the place. One minute, you think you have it all figured out, and the next? You’re screaming at the book over some crazy revelation that’s made you re-think everything. I love it when something I thought was important turns out to be a red herring, and a tiny detail I almost overlooked turns out to be the key to everything. Guessing along with the characters and trying to come up with your own theory is half the fun of the thriller, and the best ones always have big reveals and reversals woven through the whole book, so there’s never a dull moment.
Even with all the plot twists, I love a thriller that slowly builds the tension, ratcheting it higher until by the final chapters you’re caught up in that amazing state of painful anticipation: too nervous to keep reading, but desperate to find out what happens next. The pace of a story is everything, and the best thrillers will tease and taunt you, bringing all the different plot threads together in time for…
The mind-blowing ending.
It doesn’t matter how much I’ve loved the rest of the book, if the final pages don’t deliver, I’ll walk away feeling disappointed and meh. The best finales leave me clutching a pillow, texting all my friends because I just can’t believe what happened—and flipping back through the book to catch all the clues I missed the first time around. Shocking, emotional, dramatic—I love endings that don’t just tie up the action, they give us major insight into the characters too, and maybe even one last twist that keeps me thinking about the book long after I go to bed at night.