Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Published by Simon Pulse on May 6, 2014 (originally 2013)
my rating: ⭐️⭐️.5
Goodreads avg: 4.12 (as of 2018-09-26)
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Spring break. Aruba. Swimming, sunshine, and drinks. Lots of drinks.
It’s supposed to be the best time of Anna’s life. Perfect.
But then Anna’s best friend is found brutally murdered.
And as the local police begin to investigate the gruesome crime, suspicion and evidence unfathomably point to one person—Anna.
Now trapped in a country not her own, Anna must fight for her freedom and prove her innocence. But as she awaits the judge’s decision, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but dangerous.
And when the truth finally comes out, it’s more shocking than anyone could have ever imagined…
Oh, do I have some conflicted feelings about this book. Spoilers abound. I read this as the last book in the postal book club I joined last year. I honestly wasn’t expecting much going into it. It seemed like a typical YA thriller and I thought it could be a fun read. On the plus side, I was correct about the latter part. I blew through this fairly quickly, and the story is super easy to get pulled into. The dialogue was a little awkward and left something to be desired, but otherwise there wasn’t much wrong with the writing itself.
The premise of the book is pretty simple: a bunch of high school kids are on vacation and one of them is brutally murdered. There’s a lot of jumping around between timepoints, which I found to be a little confusing and not super well-done. We go between the history of the MC and the murdered girl, the vacation itself, and the aftermath. But it’s confusing because it jumps around different parts of the aftermath as well, so sometimes it’s hard to know where exactly you are.
Parts of the story really got to me. It’s implied that there’s some sort of sexual tension between the girls and it makes me feel really uncomfortable for reasons I’m having trouble fully describing. I was absolutely livid at the plot twist. This is not how you write an unreliable narrator. We are given absolutely no reason not to believe everything the MC is thinking and saying. That’s the problem. We’re inside her head and she seems completely normal and then at the end — surprise! We find out she’s a sociopath and has been lying the whole time. I hate plot twists and characterizations with no support, and this is the epitome of that. A twist just doesn’t feel satisfying if the book hasn’t actually been building up to it.
Okay, that rant may make it sound like I completely hated the book, but I didn’t. Like I said, it was a fun read and I honestly couldn’t put it down. I just really wish the ending had gone differently or had been supported by the rest of the book. I think this would be good for someone who wants a mindless YA thriller, but I wouldn’t recommend expecting a lot out of it.
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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)