Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (Simon & Schuster UK, 2013) borrowed from my local library
“Elise is dead.
And someone must pay.
Anna, her boyfriend Tate, best friend Elise and a group of close friends set off on a debaucherous Spring Break trip to Aruba. But paradise soon turns into a living nightmare when Elise is brutally murdered.
Soon Anna finds herself trapped in a foreign country and fighting for her freedom. As she awaits the judge’s decree, it becomes clear that everyone is questioning her innocence. To the rest of the world, Anna isn’t just guilty, but dangerous. As the court case unfolds the truth is about to come out, and it’s more shocking than you could ever imagine…”
I LOVED Dangerous Boys. I talked about it in a post here.
So knowing I was into Haas’ writing style, I didn’t think Dangerous Girls would be any different.
Characters – I think what’s most impressive about this book is there is what I call the ‘Wuthering Heights’ effect where none of the characters are particularly endearing. Does that make sense? They’re flawed. VERY flawed. And yet… I was easily brought along for the ride, and that takes some hella good writing skills for me to want to stay with a protagonist I don’t even like! Ha!
The interpersonal relationships were interesting to watch as they developed and broke down and then revelaed themselves.
Structure – I feel like Dangerous Girls takes some risks when it comes to structure, but it’s so clever in how it slowly pieces the plot together for the reader. I mean, who dunnit? I thought I had it sussed… but my god, I was wrong.
The ending – Holy fuck. I’m gonna swear, because fuck me, that ending? It still gives me shivers. And it’s not necessarily ‘good’ shivers. I’ve not felt that way about the ending of a book in so long… and it blindsided me. Astonishing, really.
This is a YA book like no other (except for it’s successor! Ha!). Personally, I think it pushes the boundaries of YA and forces the reader to reassess everything they’ve just read. Like, wha? WHA?! I don’t think it’s as good as Dangerous Boys, I feel like Haas took all the best techniques and aspects from Girls and it evolved into something spectacular in Boys.
Still, a damn good read. There were some parts that I found a little slow, I think some of the jumping around in time feels clumsy, like a couple transitions lost me a little. But all in all a rip roaring read. A solid 4 out of 5.