Friday, 26 July 2013
Review: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's
Released: July 18th, 2013
It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love. As she awaits the judge's decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine...
I don't know where to start with this review. I really just want to write READ IT and leave it at that but, without giving any spoilers away, I have to somehow convey how brilliant this book is, how twisted and compelling it is. Words like that were invented to be used when talking about books like this, believe me. I'll also give you a warning: if you read this book, you will be hooked very quickly. After a few chapters, addiction sets in, and then your day is gone before you know it. That's what happened to me, anyway. It's that good.
Dangerous Girls takes place in numerous different places, timelines and locations. It's partly set in the past, the present, a holiday island and a court room. It jumps from time to time and place to place, taking the narrative with it. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, another twist emerged and all but whacked me round the head. I did not expect things to go the way they did, but they did it anyway.
This book makes the reader question the world, themselves and every aspect of the legal system. It plainly shows just how easy it is for evidence to be bent out of shape and misconstrued, and it also shows how easy it would be for any one of us to end up in the horrific situation that Anna finds herself in. In the interest of full disclosure, I was ever so slightly disappointed with the ending. I just expected that little bit more, a full resolution, laid out in black and white. I'm still thinking about it, though, which means it did its job!
Dangerous Girls is the best thing Abigail Haas (AKA Abby McDonald) has written so far, and I urge every fan of YA to read it. It's the best teen thriller I've ever read and, in a genre that is still flying under the radar, it's exactly the kind of book that could launch crime and mystery into the young adult mainstream. It's a whirlwind of a story, dark and edgy with enough of a shock factor to take your breath away. Just read it!